Who doesn’t want to be in a healthy, loving relationship? While we all desire it, sometimes we need assistance to get there. In order for a relationship to survive and thrive, it requires reciprocity. That means give and take from both partners. The good thing is that a healthy relationship is absolutely within your reach if you and your partner are willing to do the work. One of the biggest things your relationship will need is strong communication which is a key part of building strong relationships. Being able to effectively talk with your partner can either make or break the success of your relationship. Having the right conversations are imperative to making things work. If you are looking to enrich invigorate, or rescue your relationship, it’s imperative that you know these things. Here are seven things all relationships require.
Knowing Your Partner's Definition of Love
Throughout our lives, we compile a picture of what we think real love should like. As we grow older, we often imagine finding a soul-mate, that perfect person who we were destined to spend the rest of our lives with. The trouble is that the reality of love is not quite as simple as the fantasy picture we create in our heads. Love isn’t generic. It’s not a one size fits all. It looks different to different people and is expressed in different ways. It’s important that you know what your partner’s definition of love is and that you honor their views. Your ultimate expression of affection may not be the same for your partner. Simply knowing how they define love can help you love the person you’re with better.
Being Able to Deal With Conflict
Conflict is a scary word for any relationship. Yet, all relationships have it. Maybe you or your partner gets loud during arguments but as soon as one of you has time to cool off, you’re fine. There are also some people who get quiet or become closed off when they get angry and neither one realizes they’ve entered dangerous territory. If you want a healthy relationship, it’s important to talk about how you deal with conflict. It’s not the conflicts that cause problems in relationships – they’re inevitable. It’s how two people deal with conflict that can make or break the relationship. This requires you to be self-aware. If you know there’s something that you say that really gets your partner heated, choose to not take it there when arguments arise. If you don’t, you will run into conflict again and again.
Caring For Each Other
We all have trigger points. Many of us have been wounded from previous relationships and these wounds run deep. It’s important that you and your partner know each other’s sore spots. Your partner may have a certain level of sensitivity around flirting from a previous relationship that you should know about. They may have had poor experiences with money that make full financial disclosure a must. These are just two examples of things that couples may not talk about in their relationships but should. Most of these problems show up because they tend not to have these conversations. If your relationship is going great, but you still find yourself not feeling secure enough to trust your partner completely, it’s imperative that you find that security. It takes work, but when you’re able to get there, it will make all the difference.
Supporting Each Other
Encouraging your partner is one of the most important things you can do for your relationship. If you want a healthy relationship, it’s important that you stand by his or her side. They need you, not only physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Let them know what you appreciate about them. You should schedule out time for your partner so they know that you put the relationship first. Your relationship should never come off like it’s an afterthought. Start by doing a calendar review. If your job, friends or family gets in the way of time with your partner, your relationship will struggle tremendously. When you make your relationship a high priority, it will grow.
Avoiding Toxic Situations
When it comes to any important decision in your relationship, don’t just talk about whether it’s good for you or your spouse. Make it a point to talk about and think about whether it’s good for your relationship. You should always avoid situations that could be toxic and harmful because this can leave the relationship irreconcilably damaged. If you stop and think about it, the answer will generally come intuitively. This may come down to how much time something will take away from your time together, whether it will make things stressful between you, or if it involves people who in some way threaten your relationship (lunch with your ex is a great example of this). If you don’t even want to ask this question, that’s a red flag.
Discussing the Future
You should address the future when you have a good sense that things are progressing in your relationship. You don’t need to wait until the relationship is already serious but you don’t want it to show up right after the first date either. The closer you get with the person you’re with, the more imperative it becomes to talk about where you want things to go. This is a conversation you don’t need to force. Instead, let it happen naturally. You should know your partner’s desires – if they want to stay in the same career, if they want to be a renter or an owner, if they want children. The more effortlessly you can allow information to come out as part of your normal conversation, the less pressure your partner will feel.
Knowing Each Other’s Desires
You know you’ve found a good partner when they want to do everything they can to help you fulfill your desires. Knowing your partner’s hopes for the relationship will not only help you discover where your partner wants the relationship to go, but also what has most affected your partner’s life thus far. What happens in our past has a major impact on our future. Discover what your partner wishes for the two of you. Is it to be financially secure? Is it to maintain a solid friend? Find out where they see things going in the relationship. You may be surprised by their answers and where some of these wishes have the potential to take you two together.
These seven things lay the foundation for a solid relationship. If you’re already doing these things, your relationship is probably on the right track. Being able to effectively communicate with your partner is everything. Whether you’re asking each other simple questions about the past or understanding your partner’s likes and goals, having healthy conversation will bring you closer in the long run. The more you practice these things, the more your relationship will flourish.