Many of the couples I have seen in therapy express a common goal to create a “healthy relationship”, but what does that really look like? Every couple is unique, and what may work for you, may not work for the next. However, I have found there are certain aspects of a healthy relationship that maintain though out various demographics of couples. Below I have put together a list of a few steps I find to have been effective in creating a happy, healthy relationship that lasts.
Make the Relationship a Priority- It is not uncommon for a couple to place their relationship at the bottom of their priority list as time progresses. This is especially true if you consider the addition of children, building a career, going to school, etc. Happy couples practice maintaining the relationship as a top priority in their life. This means putting in the extra effort to continue nurturing your relationship and not allowing it to be placed on the back burner.
Spend Quality Time Together- This can be particularly difficult for many couples in the age of smart phones and technology today. Give your partner the gift of undivided attention. Make time for one another without the distractions of technology, work, or kids. Take this time to foster intimacy between the two of you. Engage in healthy communication. Choose an activity to do together. Go on a date. Explore one another and the health of your relationship. Have fun!
Know When to Compromise- A couple who has learned when to compromise will resolve conflict with much less trauma to the relationship. Ask yourself, “Is this worth the fight?” This may mean you will have to set aside your pride and work together to find a new solution both of you can agree on.
Make Time for Yourself- Creating time to work on self-improvement and self-care is just as important to your relationship as spending quality time with your partner. Don’t forget, you are still a unique individual, and need time to yourself in order to maintain overall wellbeing. Depending too heavily on your partner can weigh on a relationship, potentially leading to issues later on, and even codependency. Get to know yourself. Explore your likes & dislikes. Spend time engaging in healthy activities to promote self growth.
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