There are some components that contribute to a long-lasting and healthy relationship. As a psychologist, I'm happy to share with you my tips for a healthy relationship. You can use this article to see which factors apply to your relationship. That way you'll know which areas you can still work on.
1. Honest, effective communication
A central aspect of healthy relationships is open, honest communication. This means that you both feel comfortable talking about your feelings, needs and desires. It's the only way both of you can know how the other is feeling. Also, it's the only way you'll get your needs met in the relationship.
2. Constructive conflicts
Conflicts are addressed openly in good, healthy relationships. This means that the partners have learned effective communication. Moreover, they can deal with conflicts with an appreciative, non-accusatory attitude. If something bothers one, it is addressed. The partners do not blame each other, but speak of their feelings and needs that have not been met. They also feel comfortable wishing their partner would behave differently.
In any relationship, you will sometimes feel hurt and sad and hurt your partner. It is important that both partners apologize for hurting the other. They also make an effort to behave differently in the future. They can forgive and are not resentful.
4. Similar attitude in important topics/values
It is important for a long, healthy relationship to have similar attitudes on some basic issues. These topics can be, for example, family planning, or whether you want to move in together. But they also include other values that are essential to you. This unity leads to less conflict around basic issues.
5. Mutual appreciation and support
In order to be comfortable in the relationship, it is necessary to value the partner for the person he/she is. In addition, couples in healthy relationships support each other in personal growth and development.
Happy couples trust their partner and know that he supports them and wants only the best for them. When you trust your partner, you assume that they are telling you the truth and that you can count on them.
7. Accepting differences and being tolerant
Every person is unique. There are certainly qualities that bother you about your partner. However, it is important for a healthy relationship not to constantly emphasize the other person's weaknesses. Instead, accept each other's differences. After all, there is no perfect partner!
8. Shared activities
In healthy relationships, partners enjoy time together. Time together is prioritized, and couples like to do things that they both enjoy. After all, relationships are also enlivened by experiencing fun and adventure together.
9. Balance of closeness and autonomy
Every person has an individual need for closeness and time alone. In good relationships, this balance is achieved and the needs for closeness and autonomy are largely similar. This leads to the fact that no one feels too alone or distant, but can still take time alone.
10. Fulfilling sex life
For most people, a fulfilling sex life is part of a happy relationship. What exactly the sex life looks like is different for every couple. It is important that sexual desires or dissatisfactions are openly discussed with the partner.
11. Willingness to work on the relationship and oneself
Every relationship consists of ups and downs. Therefore, in order to be happy in the long run, it is important to regularly check if the relationship still fits as it is or if adjustments are necessary. It is important that you regularly talk about how you feel about the relationship. It will also help you to understand and work through common conflicts. It also helps if you know what triggers each other.
12. Common vision of the future
It is helpful if you have goals for your relationship. This helps to strengthen your team spirit and to envision a future together. Also, if you are in a crisis, it can remind you of what great things you have planned together.
13. Be able to tolerate crises
In every long-term relationship, there will be phases when things don't go so well. It happens to every couple. The important thing is not to give up as soon as the first major conflicts arise. Instead, you can learn from these times and appreciate the good times more again.
14. Understanding the relationship as a team
Finally, it is also important that you see your relationship as a team. This may sound less romantic, but it is important. After all, as a couple you are also close friends. This means that you pull together, negotiate conflicts and compromises, and support each other.
Conclusion on tips for a healthy relationship
There are several factors that make it more likely that you will feel happy and thriving in your relationship in the long run. However, you can work on these factors! After all, you can learn how to be appreciative of each other, or how to resolve conflicts constructively.
Want to learn even more about what defines good relationships? Then I can also recommend the couple therapist Esther Perel to you. Here, you can find her website.
Do you want to work on your relationship? I am happy to accompany you!
I look forward to hearing from you about what you think about the tips for a happy relationship and what you consider important factors for your relationship satisfaction. Feel free to leave me a comment!