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Build a Healthy Relationship

Psychologists on What's Most Important in Positive Relationships
  • 30 January 2024
  • 6min

Are you wondering what it takes to build a healthy, happy and enduring relationship? As psychologists with extensive experience in couples therapy we frequently meet couples who are facing challenges in their relationships. We also understand what research tells us about the positive factors in a relationship, how to build a healthy relationship that lasts. In this blog post we share our best tips for creating and maintaining a positive relationship.

5 signs of a positive relationship

Communication

In a positive relationship, there is open and honest communication between partners. They feel comfortable discussing their thoughts, feelings, and concerns with each other, and they actively listen and respond to each other's needs and perspectives.

Trust and respect

Trust and mutual respect are foundational in healthy relationships. Partners have confidence in each other's intentions and treat each other with kindness, consideration, and appreciation. They value each other's boundaries and consent.

Supportive and empathetic

In positive relationships, partners support each other's goals, dreams, and well-being. They show empathy and understanding when their partner faces challenges and are there to celebrate successes. They create a safe and nurturing environment for each other.

Equality and balance

A healthy relationship is built on equality, where both partners have an equal say in decision-making and responsibilities are shared fairly. There's a sense of balance and fairness in how tasks and responsibilities are handled.

Personal growth and independence

Positive relationships allow each partner to maintain their individuality and personal growth. They encourage and empower each other to pursue their own interests, hobbies, and personal development, recognizing that individual happiness contributes to the strength of the relationship.

Build a more healthy relationship - 7 tips

Here are 7 tips on key areas in a relationship and how you can enhance your relationship within these domains!


Accept each other for who you are

Long-lasting positive relationships are characterized by acceptance and understanding of each other's differences. You are unique individuals with distinct personalities and life experiences. This means that you won't always share the same opinions or react in the same way.

Trying to change each other won't help you move forward. However, understanding each other's differences and needs will help you provide more of what you both require. It also makes it easier to interpret each other's actions positively.

Stay curious and interested

It's easy to start taking each other for granted in a long-term relationship, assuming you know what your partner thinks, likes, and wants. However, both of you have likely undergone significant changes throughout your relationship's history.

Remaining curious about what's happening in each other's lives is essential. Ask questions of your partner, even when you think you know what the answer will be. Shifting to an exploratory mindset also gives you the opportunity to discover your partner's needs.

Work on your communication

Communication is fundamental in a relationship. "We have trouble with communication" is a common statement from the couples we meet in couples therapy.

Communication involves both speaking in a way the other person wants to listen and listening so the other person wants to continue speaking. Improve your ability to reduce destructive arguments and conflicts by using strategies that calm emotions rather than fuel them.

Be aware of your (and your partner's) emotions

Understanding your own emotional reactions when things get tough in the relationship is crucial. What triggers your emotions? What happens to your thoughts and actions? How does it affect your partner and the relationship as a whole? Understanding more about what triggers your emotions and how to behave differently in future situations is essential.

Keep acts of love alive

Being in a relationship is all about "making love," focusing on each other's well-being, and giving each other what you need. Small acts of love (a compliment, daily physical touch, listening to how the day went) are more important than grand gestures! Continue to support, encourage, and uplift each other.

Prioritize time together

It's essential to continue creating moments when you have fun together. Times when you put logistics on hold and engage in meaningful conversations or immerse yourselves in an activity together. Don't wait for spontaneity to strike; keep planning time together, even when you don't feel like it. Try new activities or revisit old ones you used to enjoy.

Take care of yourself

Your own well-being is also important. You need to take responsibility for your overall happiness in life. This may involve reducing stress, engaging in activities that bring you joy, and maintaining positive relationships with others.

Get started on building a stronger and closer relationship

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