A happy couple is not the one that never fights or has no differences whatsoever, but a happy couple is the one that is willing to work on the differences. A healthy relationship requires effort from both the partners and the commitment to go through changes, adjust, grow and evolve together as a team. One trait that all healthy relationships largely share is adaptability or the ability to adapt to circumstances and accept the fact that you and your partner are going to go through different phases of life and change. You work together, support each other and have each other’s back.
What makes a relationship healthy differs and depends on the particular couple. Creating a positive partnership and building trust is a slow process and does not just happen overnight. It is easy to hold your partner’s hand and watch sunsets together, but what matters is how you deal with conflicts. Certain habits do have a positive and powerful impact when it comes to building a healthy relationship. Certain traits don’t exactly fit in the traditional narrative for love but in reality, help you in building a strong and healthy relationship.
Here is a list of 7 such habits that couples should consider working on.
One of the deepest human desires is the need to be accepted as they are. It often happens that we try to carve out the image of our significant others as someone we want them to be. We want to mould them into people we think we love, want, or desire. These perceptions usually are against reality, against our benefit and theirs, and because they do not really fit, they often end up in disappointment.
By wanting your partner to perfectly mould themselves according to you, you are not only disappointing them but also making them feel insecure and worthless. The beauty of a healthy relationship is to let your partner be unapologetically themselves and watch them evolve into their best version without trying to change them. Give them your support, and be there for them as they grow.
Communication is the key to a lot of your relationship problems. It is important to address your issues instead of sweeping them under the mat, and it is just as important to vocalise your love for one another. To grow and move forward, you and your partner need to be able to talk about your feelings honestly, no matter how uncomfortable and awkward it feels.
Talk about things outside your relationship, successes, failures, and everything in between like everyday life, work, stress, mental and emotional health check-ins, etc. Listening to each other without judgment and making them feel comfortable enough to share their perspective even if it is different than you is what makes a relationship fulfilling and long-lasting.
3. Mutual Appreciation
We often forget to appreciate the important people in our lives and take them for granted over some time. Sometimes, we think about it but don’t remember to show it. This also happens in our romantic relationships. Try to express how much your partner means to you and how much you appreciate them. Tell them every day how important they are to you and how much you love them. It could be through words, small gestures like leaving them a note, bringing flowers for them, getting their favourite dessert without them asking, or how you are comfortable in expressing. Make it a habit to show appreciation to your partner whenever you can.
One habit that all couples must work on is showing respect to their partner. When you express respect towards your partner, you are expressing warmth, love, and acceptance. Respecting each other means valuing each other for who they are, including differences. You may have a different outlook about a lot of things, but you should be able to respect your partner’s perspective instead of putting them down. It is very important to show respect for each other’s differences especially when you disagree. Respecting your partner comes in many forms, and you and your partner should work towards it.
5. Separate Identity
Healthy and strong relationships are best described as interdependent, which means relying on each other for mutual support while maintaining your identity. Your relationship should be balanced, and you shouldn’t have to compromise the relationship you have with yourself to be with your partner. You should know that you have their love and approval, but your self-esteem should not depend on your partner.
You and your partner should not depend on each other to get all of your needs met even though you are there for each other. For a healthy relationship, you must have your hobbies, pursue your solo interests, work on self-growth and spend time with your friends or yourself.
6. Physical Intimacy
No, physical intimacy does not only mean sex. Yes, sex is important, but not everyone wants or enjoys sex. Physical intimacy is much more than it. A relationship can be just as healthy without it as long as you and your partner are on the same page about getting your needs met. Apart from sex, physical intimacy can be in form of cuddling, kissing, hugging, etc.
Whatever form of intimacy you and your partner comfortably share, physically bonding and connecting is important. Healthy physical intimacy also includes respecting each other’s sexual boundaries and being able to positively handle rejection.
7. Resolving Conflicts
How you approach, and address conflicts are very important for any healthy relationship. Occasionally disagreeing and feeling frustrated or angry because of your partner is normal and happens even in a healthy relationship. But the way you and your partner resolve conflicts is what matters. For a healthy relationship, you must approach their perspective with respect and without any judgments or contempt. It’s not you against your partner and who will come out as a winner. It’s the two of you against the problem and how you will find the middle ground.