A strong, healthy relationship can be one of the best supports in your life. Good relationships improve your life in all aspects, strengthening your health, your mind and your connections with others as well. However, it can also be one of the greatest drains if the relationship is not working. Relationships are an investment.
The more you put in, the more you get back. Love and relationships take work, commitment and a willingness to adapt and change through life as a partnership. Learn about ways to keep a healthy relationship strong, or work on repairing trust and love for a relationship in difficulty.
Everyone's relationship is unique and people come together for many different reasons. But there are some things that good relationships have in common. Knowing the basic principles of healthy relationships helps keep them meaningful, fulfilling and exciting in both happy times and sad:
Staying involved with each other
Some relationships get stuck in peaceful co-existence, but without truly relating to each other and working together. While it may seem stable on the surface, lack of involvement and communication increases distance. When you need to talk about something important, the connection and understanding may no longer be there.
Getting through conflict
Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship is through not being fearful of conflict. You need to feel safe to express problems that bother you without fear of retaliation and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation or insisting on being right.
Keeping outside relationships and interests alive
No one person can meet all of our needs and expecting too much from someone can put a lot of unhealthy pressure upon a relationship. Having friends and outside interests not only strengthens your social network, but bring new insights and stimulation into the relationship.
Honest, direct communication is a key part of any relationship. When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears and desires, trust and bonds are strengthened. Critical to communication are non-verbal cues, such as body language like eye contact, leaning forward or away, or touching someone's arm.
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