25 Good Ideas for a Healthy Relationships

 

Human beings crave intimacy, need to love and be loved, and function best when they are given that. Yet people have much trouble maintaining relationships. It’s clear from the many stories I get that lots of folks, men and women, have no idea what a healthy relationship even looks like. Because I hear about these things, and care about the environments children should grow in, I feel obligated to say something.

From many sources and many experts over the years, I have culled some basic rules of relationships. This is by no means an exhaustive list. But it’s a necessary list. Print the rules out and pin them up on your refrigerator door. I won’t test you on them but life will:

25 Good Ideas for a Healthy Relationships:

  1. Choose a partner wisely and well. We are attracted to people for all kinds of reasons. They remind us of someone from our past. They shower us with gifts and make us feel important. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend. Look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others and then know if that’s the kind of person u want.

  2. Know your partner’s beliefs about relationships. Different people have different and often conflicting ideas about relationships. You don’t want to fall in love with someone who expects dishonesty in relationships or cheating. They’ll create it where it doesn’t exist.

  3. Don’t confuse sex with love. Especially in the beginning of a relationship, attraction and pleasure in sex are often mistaken for love. We tend to then fill up the whole of loneliness we have heaped in the previous relationship and confuse the sex and romance to be love.

  4. Know your needs and speak up for them clearly. A relationship is not a guessing game. Many people fear stating their needs and, as a result, camouflage them. The result is disappointment at not getting what they want and anger at a partner for not having met their (unspoken) needs.

  5. Respect, respect, respect. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good and fair relationship.

  6. View yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths. That is the value of a team—your differences.

  7. Know how to manage differences, it’s the key to success in a relationship. Disagreements don’t sink relationships. Name-calling does. Learn how to handle the negative feelings that are the unavoidable by product of the differences between two people. Stonewalling or avoiding conflicts is NOT managing them.

  8. If you don’t understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don’t assume or accuse.

  9. Solve problems as they arise. Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers. Or enemies.

  10. Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.

  11. Don’t take everything personally. Sometimes a lousy day is just a lousy day.

  12. Work hard at maintaining closeness. Closeness doesn’t happen by itself. In its absence, people drift apart and are susceptible to affairs. A good relationship isn’t an end goal, it’s a lifelong process maintained through regular attention.

  13. Take a long-range view. A marriage is an agreement to spend a future together. Check out your dreams with each other regularly to make sure you’re both on the same path.

  14. Sex is good. Pillow talk is better. Sex is easy, intimacy is difficult. It requires honesty, openness, self-disclosure, confiding concerns, fears, sadnesses as well as hopes and dreams. Let your sex be love making not f*ck.

  15. Never go to sleep angry. Try a little tenderness.

  16. Apologize, apologize, apologize. Anyone can make a mistake. Repair attempts are crucial—highly predictive of marital happiness. They can be clumsy or even sarcastic—but willingness to make up after an argument is central to every long-term relationships.

  17. Some dependency is good, but complete dependency on a partner for all one’s needs is an invitation to resentment at the burden and unhappiness for both partners. We’re all dependent to a degree—on friends, mentors, spouses. This is true of men as well as women.

  18. Maintain self-respect and self-esteem. It’s easier for someone to like you and to be around you when you like yourself. Research has shown that the more roles people fill, the more sources of self-esteem they have. Meaningful work—paid or volunteer—has long been one of the most important ways to build and exercise a sense of self.

  19. Keep the relationship alive by bringing into it new interests from outside. The more passions in life that you have and share, the richer your partnership will be. It is unrealistic to expect one person to meet all of your needs in life.

  20. Cooperate, cooperate, cooperate. Share responsibilities. Relationships work ONLY when they are two-way streets, with much give and take.

  21. Stay open to spontaneity. Fun and surprise are sexy.

  22. Maintain your energy. Stay healthy. Don’t flirt around when you have someone already.

  23. Recognize that all relationships have their ups and downs and do not ride at a continuous high all the time. Working together through the hard times will make the relationship stronger.

  24. Don’t just run away from a bad relationship. You’ll only repeat it with the next partner. Use it as a mirror to look at yourself, to understand what in you is creating the problems. Change yourself before you change your partner.

  25. Remember that love is not a limited commodity that you’re in of or out of. It’s a feeling that ebbs and flows depending on how you treat each other. If you interact in new ways, the feelings can come flowing back, often stronger than before.

Do well to comment below how any of these have helped you so far in your relationships and marriages and don’t forget to add the ones I forgot to write. We deserve to be happy….

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