The focus of a relationship should be on the relationship. Then, each partner feels a sense of responsibility for maintaining the health of their union. In a sense, both partners are moving toward a positive place—a win, win if you will—focusing on building a healthy relationship.
Mutuality and intimacy are the two major players in a healthy relationship. And by strengthening the positive, the weight of the negatives diminish. For example, when one is in the middle of an argument, energy intensifies and couples may become polarized. However, if one partner moves forward in a tender way, the intensity diminishes immediately. This does not require either partner to claim blame. In fact, in healthy relationships, communication is strong enough for either partner to assert that though they do not feel responsible for any injury, they still want to re-establish intimacy.
Language is important here. It is not what you say, but how you say it. Never use language that is emotionally charged. For example, criticism can be phrased as a request. Never put your mate on the defensive. They will no longer hear what you’re trying to express as they immediately move into a defensive mode. Further, complaints should be crafted in a specified manner. Be personal and use feeling words. As an example “if this happens, I feel this way.” Always maintain mutual respect—each partner acknowledging and recognizing their equal roles in the power of their union.
Healthy relationships are relationships that are in balance. If you’re working all the time and don’t have time to listen to your partner, you are out of balance. Couples need to carve out a specific times for mutual activities, even if that time is simply a breakfast or a dinner. Being together intimately requires mutuality, remembering that that no partner can fulfill all the needs of the other and taking the responsibility to realistically meet your own needs. This requires each partner to come to the relationship as an adult.
Face conflicts honestly and openly. Never sweep under the rug hurt and injury, but rather confront conflict and anger in an open and empathic manner. This gives couples the opportunity to express in a healthy way both their wants and their needs. Then, discord can actually lead to an enhanced and more positive relationship. Physical intimacy can restore a sense of connection, which reminds couples that they love one another. Therefore, both physical intimacy and physical touching should be a priority in a relationship. Make time for one another. A simple touch or a passing glance keeps feelings of tenderness alive.
Always remember that a healthy relationship is mutual, whether it is physical intimacy, work or play, each partner must feel that they are an equal part of their relationship. When partners ask each other how they feel about a certain course of action, rather than offering a directive response, one is better served using a mutual approach. Therefore, the best phrase in relationship is, “How do you feel about…”
Simple Tips for a Happy Relationship
1. Try something new together.
Be creative and find new and interesting things to do together. Though it takes a little energy, the rewards are worth it. Preferably choose something that neither of you have ever tried. This adds to the relationship, the fun of exploring new things together new together.
These are the things we do when we first begin to date, the fun things that keep us in a state of anticipation and relaxation. And this is something, that one can do, to keep that sense of excitement and expectation alive.
2. Remember to laugh.
Humor is a curative for almost everything. Even in our darkest moments of despair, we can smile and laugh at some quirky or funny event, or some memory. Be playful, watch comedies, go to comedy clubs, etc. Fill your relationship with laughter.
3. Become a foodie.
When we are new to a relationship, food can become an aspiring component. The old adage, that “the way to a man’s heart, is through his stomach”, has a grain of truth to it.
We must all eat to survive. And, our culture has made eating, cooking, and kitchen comfort a part of our everyday lives. So be creative, ham it up. Take cooking lessons, cook together, and cook for one another. It’s all part of the grooming, caring, taking care of, that is so essential to the relationship.
4. Make life an adventure.
Go to new and different physical locations. It does not have to be a grand trip. It can simply be a weekend road trip. But, when you move your head to a different pillow in a different place, your defenses drop away and you become more open to one another.
5. Always keep each other’s confidences.
Never, ever share with friends the intimate experiences and conversations that arise in relationship. Trust is based on experience and if either partner hears their conversations and experiences casually bantered about in the public domain, trust can be easily broken and hard to re-establish.
6. Be honest.
Integrity is essential to relationship. That means to be honest about everything including money. And money is one of the most common reasons for fighting.
7. The Empathic Process
When a relationship is in trouble, it is important to communicate in an empathic way. Empathy helps to put things in perspective. This means to dialogue without defense, to listen to each other in an intimate way, by holding hands or touching, in a neutral environment, without accusation or blame.
Take turns dialoguing and then dialogue together, to try to come to a compromise or solution. The most important part of the empathic process is to listen without defense. This creates a safe space in which to return again and again, and work out problems.