Everyone’s relationship is unique and people come together for many different reasons. But there are some things that good relationships have in common. Knowing the basic principles of healthy relationships helps keep them meaningful, fulfilling and exciting in both happy times and sad:
- Stay Involved: Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence, but without truly relating to each other and working together. While it may seem stable on the surface, lack of involvement and communication increases distance. When you need to talk about something important, the connection and understanding may no longer be there.
- Dealing With Conflict: Some couples talk things out quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. The key in a strong relationship, though, is not to be fearful of conflict. You need to be safe to express things that bother you without fear of retaliation, and be able to resolve conflict without humiliation, degradation, or insisting on being right.
- Keep The Spark Alive: No one person can meet all of our needs, and expecting too much from someone can put a lot of unhealthy pressure on a relationship. Having friends and outside interests not only strengthens your social network, but brings new insights and stimulation to the relationship.
- Honesty All The Way: When both people feel comfortable expressing their needs, fears, and desires, trust is strengthened. Nonverbal cues like eye contact, leaning forward or away, or touching someone’s arm—are critical to communication.