Relationships are a source of immense happiness in our lives. However, toxic relationships can just as well be a source of great pain. That’s why it is essential to learn how to develop healthy relationships that improve the quality of our lives and motivate us to become better versions of ourselves.
Building and maintaining happy and healthy relationships usually requires consistent and mutual effort, and it is completely normal to make mistakes from time to time. Still, the effort is definitely worth it in the end.
So, how can you develop healthy relationships?
I will focus on some of the most important tips, referring mainly to romantic relationships. However, most of these principles are applicable for other types of relationships as well.
1. Communicate Openly
They say communication is key, and that’s true for most relationships.
It is essential to be able to communicate well with your partner, as it fosters trust and connection. You should be able to share everything with each other, from success to failure. However, it’s not easy to open up to someone else, so you need to learn to communicate effectively in order to encourage open communication.
How can you do that?
To begin with, you should seek to understand the other person, even if you don’t agree with them. Otherwise, any contradictory discussion risks turning into an argument. Therefore, instead of trying to prove your point, try to look at things from their perspective. You don’t have to agree upon every aspect of your lives, but it is essential to accept that you have different opinions and to try to understand why you have different opinions.
Secondly, learn how to truly listen to the other person. Instead of waiting for your turn to feel, try to actually process and understand everything that your partner is saying. This will make them feel supported and valued. Plus, taking the time to get to know how they feel will significantly improve your relationship.
Another aspect that is sometimes overlooked is asking for what you want. We often expect others to know our desires without us talking about this subject. Don’t leave your partner guessing. Instead, talk openly about your desires or concerns.
2. Spend Quality Time Together
Making time for each other is essential for keeping a healthy relationship.
No matter how busy you are, you should commit to spending time together on a regular basis. Also, try to make things fun by planning activities you both enjoy, instead of doing the same thing every time. Studies show that couples who do recreational activities together have happier relationships. That’s because the brain releases oxytocin during these activities.
Try to offer your partner your full attention when you are doing something together. Avoid using your phone too much or thinking about things that are not related to your relationships.
3. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries is an important step for every couple and it is better if you do this in the early stages of the relationship.
Healthy boundaries allow partners to develop their relationship and connect with each other while also having their much-needed personal space.
While many people believe that setting boundaries will push others away, that’s completely wrong. On the contrary, what drives people away is crossing the line or invading their personal space. Plus, boundaries actually improve our relationships and self-esteem.
Therefore, it’s best if you openly talk with your partners about your limits, vulnerabilities, and desires. This way, you might be able to avoid many conflicts, as you will know a lot more things about each other.
For more advice on how to set healthy boundaries in your relationships, check out this article.
4. Learn to Give and Accept Feedback
Receiving and providing constructive feedback is a great way to grow. However, many people experience negative emotions such as anger or shame when receiving negative feedback.
While you should not be concerned about what everyone thinks about you, it’s important to listen, from time to time, to the opinion of your close ones. But, to do that, you need to learn to accept feedback, whether it is negative or positive. This is especially important if this feedback comes from your partner and it is related to your relationship. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you need to change based on the feedback you receive. It’s up to you to analyze it and decide if it’s worth considering or not.
At the same time, it’s also essential to learn to provide feedback. Talk openly with your partner about the things you don’t like, but do it with kindness. Provide your feedback as friendly advice. Try to show the other person your perspective and explain to them why you think certain things should change.
Don’t forget to also provide positive feedback, as showing appreciation is a great way to support your partner. This aspect is more important than you think. In fact, studies show that one of the main reasons couples split is because one of the partners no longer shows support and affection.
Learning to talk openly about your likes and dislikes is an important step in every relationship. However, it’s a great way to learn from each other and to become better versions of yourselves.
While all relationships go through ups and downs, it’s important to make sure that you develop healthy relationships that help you grow and make your life more fulfilling. I hope these tips will help you improve your existing relationship or prepare you for a future one.
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