A strong, close relationship should provide a safe place for you to be vulnerable, express yourself, voice your concerns and find encouragement from the person you love. However, when your relationship lacks some of the key characteristics of a healthy, intimate relationship, you and your loved one may feel dissatisfied. When you take the time to communicate and work together, you forge a stronger, better relationship that can bring you both more satisfaction.
Learn to Communicate Effectively
Simply talking to your partner every day is an important part of forging a better relationship. The Counseling Services Center at Kansas State University recommends that the time you spend with your significant other be filled with genuine listening, limited interruptions and plenty of questions back and forth as you learn about each other and work to understand what your partner feels and thinks on important issues. Communication is the foundation of a satisfying relationship and if you are not genuinely present in your interactions, your bond will suffer because neither of you will feel heard by the other person.
Maintain Your Sense of Self
Making the decision to maintain your identity apart from your relationship will help you forge a better bond with your partner. The Hall Health Center at the University of Washington School of Medicine reports that if you are in a healthy relationship, you will be able to respect and maintain each other's individuality, maintain relationships with family and friends and continue to have good self-esteem apart from your relationship. If you neglect yourself, your relationship has the potential to become draining and unhealthy because you lose your sense of self and can forget what you bring to the relationship as an individual.
Romance Your Partner
Although you might feel embarrassed to make romance a central part of your relationship, pushing aside your pride and putting your partner first will help you create and maintain emotional intimacy with your partner. Neil Rosenthal, licensed marriage and family therapist in Denver and Boulder, Colorado, states on "Heart Relationships" that you can be romantic by giving your partner a massage, setting up a romantic dinner, getting her flowers or leaving a surprise note for her when you go to work. Furthermore, being romantic with each other on an ongoing basis is an important part of creating and maintaining a satisfying relationship because you and your partner both feel desired and more invested in the emotional aspects of your relationship.
Encourage an Atmosphere of Trust
If your partner does not feel like he can trust you, your relationship will suffer and potentially fall apart. The Palo Alto Medical Foundation reports that trust is key to healthy relationships. You create trust through consistency. When you follow through on commitments and are consistently open and honest, you demonstrate your reliability and trustworthiness to your partner. Trust encourages healthy boundaries in the bond you have with your partner, it allows both of you to share what you are feeling without fear of judgment or criticism and it helps you to rely on each other, which strengthens your relationship and connection to each other.
- University of Maryland: Qualities of a Healthy Marriage
- Dr. Alan Zimmerman's Tuesday Tip: Healthy Relationships Have These Characteristics
- Why You Do the Things You Do: The Secret to Healthy Relationships; Tim Clinton
- Boundaries in Dating: How Healthy Choices Grow Healthy Relationships; Henry Cloud
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