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How to Develop Healthy Relationships With Women

by Stacey Elkins, studioD

You're dating and you want to develop a healthy relationship with the right woman. Relationships that are healthy are a very rewarding experience. Maintaining a happy and healthy relationship with a woman takes time and effort, but is worth the commitment.

Open and Honest Communication

When discussing an important issue or a touchy subject, use the word "I" instead of "you." Using "I" statements will enable you to discuss topics in a more positive way, generally minimizing any blaming "you" statements, says The University of Indianapolis Student Health Services in "Developing Healthy Relationships." Using "I" statements will allow you to take responsibility for what you say, minimizing the chance of a defensive girlfriend and an argument. For example, you might say, "I miss spending undistracted time with you in the evenings. Do you think we can leave the television off tonight?" This should lead to a positive discussion, while saying, "You're always watching television and don't spend time with me," most likely will put your girlfriend on the defensive. Listen to your girlfriend without interrupting and get to know her on a personal level. Keeping the lines of communication open should always be a priority.

Pay Attention to Each Other

The most essential component in a romantic relationship is how both partners give and receive attention, says Elly Prior, an accredited counselor and author of "The Secrets of a Happy Relationship and a Dream Marriage" on her website, Professional Counselling. Your girlfriend may like you to show her attention by hugging her, bringing her flowers or writing her a sweet note. Know how she likes to receive attention and give her the attention she craves. On the other hand, you may like to receive attention in a completely different way. You should be able to tell your girlfriend how you prefer to receive attention and she should be able to fulfill your needs.

Spend Time Together

Healthy relationships take time to develop and grow. It's important to set aside quality time together. This gives you a chance to get to know your girlfriend better and to maintain your relationship. Spend time together without distractions, such as the television. Pick an activity that you both enjoy; for example, hiking, watching the stars or cooking dinner together.

Know Who You Are

In a healthy relationship, each person maintains their own identity, says Alexandra Katehakis, a licensed therapist and author of "How Do You Create a Healthy Relationship?" on Psych Central. You should be aware of your personal needs and what you want out of your relationship. Each of you should still maintain an effort to pursue your own interests and spend time with your friends. It's important that each of you continue to grow on your own, as well as together.

About the Author

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.

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