The 7 keys to a healthy relationship
Sometimes it seems that relationships are too much work and become horribly complicated. But if we stop to think, we realize that having a healthy relationship is very simple as long as both partners are able to put aside their own insecurities and bad experiences from the past.
It is in relationships that the affective deficiencies and the irrational beliefs that each person has acquired throughout their life history are most evident. Inadequate patterns learned in childhood are replicated and often acted upon through a biased way of seeing the world.
A culture that does not promote healthy love relationships
From my point of view, the society in which we live does not exactly favour healthy relationships . Songs, films by Disney , television series and romantic novels show us a conception of love that is not real and favour a series of beliefs about relationships that do not help them to be maintained over time in a satisfactory way.
In this article I want to talk about the keys to having a healthy relationship , about the keys for two people, each one with his personality, with his experiences and with his way of seeing life, to be able to contribute to each other for a long time (sometimes, all their lives).
What are the 7 keys to maintaining a healthy relationship?
If I had to say one single indicator of whether a relationship should continue, it would be the following: Does your relationship add or subtract to you? Does it help you to be better and to develop as a person? Or does it limit you and be more of a source of discomfort than positive emotions?
Love always from freedom
Loving from freedom , means being clear that the other does not belong to you , that the other is a person who freely decides to maintain a relationship with you and is therefore free to leave at any time. To love from freedom means to accept that the other person has the right to make the decisions he/she wants, and to choose what he/she wants to do with his/her life.
It means that everyone should have their private space, their intimacy . To love from freedom means that we want to share our life with the other, but we don’t need it. It means accepting that we are two different people and not a pack two in one, it means putting our insecurities aside and getting the other person to be with us because he or she wants to be and not through manipulations that prevent him or her from finding someone better. It means that our partner knows thousands of people but still prefers us.
2.Learn to communicate
A good communication is one of the basic pillars of the couple, since the dialogue is what allows to create a project of life in common , where it is very important to negotiate, to yield and to reach agreements.
Proper communication can make discussions constructive and bring the couple closer together, instead of separating them and creating resentments. In addition, reserving a daily space to talk with our partner about anything is an excellent habit that will help to strengthen and maintain a satisfactory relationship.
The area in which inadequate communication is most problematic is that of discussions . We can learn to argue in a constructive way, in which we contribute our point of view with respect and explain how we are feeling, without having to enter into a vicious circle of reproaches and accusations in which we will most probably end up arguing about something that happened years ago, leaving aside the topic that started the discussion.
Here are some guidelines for learning to discuss constructively :
- Discuss only one topic at a time.
- Talk about how you feel, don’t accuse the other one.
- Avoid generalizations (always, never, everything, nothing) and talk about a concrete fact.
- Use a friendly tone and avoid discussing a topic when your anger level is very high.
- Ask for whatever you want, make the change (e.g. I would like the next time we go to my mother’s house before lunch and not in the middle of the afternoon).
- Don’t reproach the other person and ignore if he attacks you or changes the subject (e.g.: We can talk about that subject if you want to at another time, I’m trying to tell you that…).
- Finish the review with something good (e.g.: I thank you for listening to me and I hope this issue will be solved as I love being nice to you).
- Practice assertive communication.
I know that doing this is really complicated, and that sometimes what you feel like doing is yelling at your partner and throwing objects around the house , but I assure you that if you take a deep breath and wait for your activation level to drop and use these guidelines you will get much better results.
3.Learn to think green
Each person has had different experiences and a different previous learning history so they have a different personality and see the world in a different way than you do .
If you put on blue glasses and I ask you what color you see the world, you’ll say blue, right? And surely, no matter how hard I try to show you that it is yellow, and that you are not seeing it in the right way, it will be impossible for you to agree with me, because your world is really blue.
Our learning history makes us see the world in one color or another, and for us the world will simply be that color because we see it that way. The problem is when for one of the partners the world is blue and for the other one it is yellow, this is the moment to think in green .
You don’t always have to agree on what your partner thinks, I think we get too caught up in being right, when the ultimate goal is to solve the conflict.
When you detect that you both have completely different points of view, instead of continuing to argue about being right and getting your way, propose intermediate solutions that include both points of view . Neither blue, nor yellow, Green!
4.Share quality time with your partner
Sharing quality time with your partner is a key element in keeping the relationship from getting into a rut. I understand that sometimes we get to have a very busy life and practically live it on autopilot without realising what is happening around us, but setting aside some time to share with your partner should be among your priorities if your goal is to maintain a healthy relationship.
Going out for dinner, a weekend getaway, your favorite movie with popcorn, etc…
5.Never stop caring about the relationship
At the beginning of the relationship we usually show our best to the other person, we are detail-oriented, we say compliments, etc… However as time goes by these gestures usually decrease until sometimes they disappear. Relationships are like plants, if you don’t water them, they die. So if you want to keep your relationship fresh and colourful never stop watering it.
Something as simple as telling the other person how handsome he is today , giving him flowers, inviting him to dinner, taking him to the place where you met, etc… can keep the relationship in an excellent state for a long time.
6.When you want the other to change, you change
I think we spend too much time trying to change people, most of the time without getting any results. People only change when they want to change, or when their environment changes.
Therefore, if we want our partner to change, the best thing we can do is change ourselves .
If we want him to stop going out so much with his friends, it’s probably better to thank him for staying with you all afternoon than to reproach him every time he goes out, if we want him to be more affectionate.
7.Respect and trust
Without respect and trust there is no chance of a healthy couple. To love is to respect and trust , and without respect and trust there is simply no love.
Relationships based on jealousy and disrespect are bound to fail. Not to mention cases of marital infidelity.
In summary, although we could add a few more points, from my point of view these are the seven key points for a couple’s relationship to work in the long term and be satisfactory for both members of the couple.