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Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Starting a relationship represents an exciting period for most people. Many people feel delighted during the first days and weeks with a new partner. However, maintaining healthy relationships over time takes work.
Get help supporting a healthy relationship with our team at Energetics Institute. Reach out to us today to discuss your concerns by calling us at 0414-897-024!
Learn How to Identify a Healthy Relationship
Before we discuss the steps to maintain a healthy relationship, it’s essential to go over the features of a healthy relationship. Reviewing these signs helps you know what to aim for as you consider your relationship.
Every relationship has unique aspects. However, most relationships that last and provide fulfillment for both partners include:
- Respect and trust
- Equality and understanding among partners
- Understanding and open communication
- Emotional support and care
Additionally, most people in a healthy and committed relationship share values about essential things in their lives, such as their financial views or strategies they would use for childcare.
Finally, partners have an easier time making their relationship last if they share some interests and nurture individual hobbies and interests.
Develop a Healthy Relationship by Focusing on Communication
Communication plays a crucial role in every relationship. Poor communication can change a good connection into an unhealthy relationship. Without good communication, you can’t resolve conflict, make plans, or support one another emotionally.
Experts recommend that you work on communication before anything else to develop a foundation for a good relationship. You can improve your communication by being transparent and upfront when you speak. Always listen to your partner and double-check if you believe you misunderstood something.
Some people in a new relationship feel like their partner should ‘just know’ what they want or feel. However, we’re all human. Therefore, verbal communication is a must throughout your relationship to prevent conflict and heartache.
Steps to Support Healthy Communication
Most people don’t have perfect communication skills, and that’s alright. However, we all can grow and improve. Our team recommends several steps to facilitate open communication with your partner.
Plan Time to Talk
Setting aside time for your relationship matters. Try to plan out a set amount of time every week to speak with your partner. Make sure that you get rid of potential distractions, like the television or mobile phones.
Empathize with Your Partner
Try to consider how your partner feels when you discuss serious issues or conflicts. Understanding another person’s viewpoint makes it easier to avoid an argument.
You can end up in a severe argument if you hope your partner can guess how you feel. Issues that may feel obvious to you could completely escape the notice of your partner. Discuss your feelings to keep everything in the open.
Don’t Cut Anyone Off
Interrupting someone in the middle of a sentence often leads to frustration and anger. Wait until your partner gets done talking and listen to what they’re saying to foster healthy communication. Avoid spending the whole time they’re talking, thinking about how you’re going to refute them.
Attitude matters during discussions with your loved one. We recommend staying calm and avoiding being defensive or attacking your partner. Getting too emotional often strains conversations and makes it harder to communicate effectively.
Focus on Non-Verbal Communication
Finally, we communicate with more than our words. The tone of your voice, the expressions you make, and your posture all contribute to the message you send during a conversation. Make sure that your non-verbal communication matches your words for the best results.
Spend Time Together (And Apart!)
Time management plays a significant role in maintaining healthy relationships. Spending even a few moments each day focused solely on your relationship can have an impact on your overall levels of happiness and satisfaction.
How to Spend Time with Your Partner
The professionals recommend that you set up an activity that you both enjoy. For example, perhaps you both enjoy dancing or reading the same kinds of books. Maybe you share a hobby, like woodworking or cooking.
Embrace the things you enjoy together, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Exploring new experiences together strengthens your bond and helps you build memories. In addition, you can improve the health of your relationship by staying playful.
Set Aside Time for Yourself
While it’s essential to spend time with your partner, people in the most robust relationships also take time for themselves. Time on your own allows you to pursue your interests, get closer to your friends, and further your personal growth.
Focus on Your Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy plays a significant role in maintaining healthy relationships. Many couples experience a period of intense sexual desire when they first begin dating and spending time together. Over time, the hormones that led to this heightened state of desire level out.
However, this doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to stop seeking physical intimacy with your partner. All forms of physical intimacy matter in a relationship, including more innocuous forms of affection, such as:
- Holding hands
However, the physical needs of each couple vary. There isn’t a proper amount of time to have sex or a set number of times to hug your partner every day. Instead, you work together to find a level of intimacy that satisfies the needs of everyone in the relationship.
Avoid unwanted touches to maintain a healthy relationship and take time to discuss any changes to your sexual health. Staying open and honest with your partner helps strengthen your relationship. For the best results in your relationship, counsellors often suggest:
- Discussing sexual intimacy outside of your bedroom
- Talking to your partner about things you want to try or do
- Setting aside time to have sex regularly
- Having fun in the bedroom
It’s also a good idea to focus on intimacy with yourself. Sometimes, it’s easier to find out what you like when there aren’t other people around.
Handle Conflict in a Healthy Way
All relationships experience conflict eventually. Avoiding conflict can end up causing you undue stress and allowing problems to fester below the surface of your relationship. However, handling conflict the wrong way can also lead to problems.
Maintaining healthy relationships requires you to take the proper steps to handle disagreements.
When you end up in an argument, you must treat your partner fairly. Avoid changing the subject or using disrespectful language. Try not to bring up past grudges to establish the other person’s blame.
Avoid Attacking Language
Some language choices generate feelings of aggression. For example, if you say, “You always make me feel bad,” it can make your partner defensive right away. So instead, try to use “I” statements.
In the above situation, you could say, “I feel bad when you act this way.”
Make Sure You’re Ready to Forgive
You cannot resolve a conflict with your partner if you aren’t willing to forgive them. A discussion too soon can make things worse. Consider your state of mind before you hash out an argument.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take a Break
Sometimes, tempers get too hot to continue a conversation. You aren’t a terrible person if you take a break and mutually step away from the discussion. Take some time to calm down and return when you feel ready to communicate calmly.
Consider Letting the Issue Go
The truth is that no one agrees about everything. Even if you love your partner immensely, you will see some subjects differently. In this situation, it’s alright to agree to disagree, moving on to other issues.
Don’t Sweat the Ups and Downs
Every relationship has high and low points. In many cases, outside events impact the state of your relationship. For example, you may both struggle after a:
- Death in the family
- Job loss
- Severe health problem
Handling stress takes effort and makes it harder to focus on the good parts of your relationship. However, you can take steps to address the more challenging portions of your relationship.
Make sure that you avoid taking your stress out directly on your partner. Snapping at your partner or venting results is poison to the relationship.
It’s important to share personal information and concerns with your partner but not to rely solely on your partner for the support to handle challenging periods. Sometimes, it’s much easier to handle these difficulties with outside help.
Warning Signs to Watch for in Your Relationship
Sometimes, no matter how much effort you put into a relationship, things go wrong. Some relationships come to a natural end over time. Other relationships develop deeper problems.
Keeping an eye out for warning signs allows you to protect yourself from partners who could engage in domestic violence or other forms of abuse. Consider taking steps to protect yourself if a partner:
- Tries to isolate you from your family members or friends
- Restricts your finances or ability to access money
- Puts you down
- Threatens your safety
- Makes you feel bad about sharing your opinion
These warning signs often serve as a precursor to more severe acts of abuse. Get help leaving a bad relationship before it gets worse. We’re here to help you if you notice any warning signs in your relationship.
Consider Counselling to Strengthen Your Relationship
Getting help from relationship professionals gives you the chance to strengthen your partnership. Our team at Energetics Institute provides comprehensive assistance to help you build intimacy and improve your understanding of your partner through relationship counselling.
Find out more about maintaining healthy relationships by calling our counsellors and psychotherapists on 0414 897024!