But simply having a significant other is not enough to enjoy the benefits of a relationship. Just like other fundamentals of health, relationships require consistent nurturing and maintenance in order to thrive.
Here are 5 fundamental practices for cultivating a healthy relationship:
1. Seek out positive experiences.
As opposed to only aiming to avoid conflict in your relationship, it’s important to also make an effort to promote positive exchanges with your partner. Couples who prioritize positive experiences tend to be more resilient and happier overall.
Playfulness, touch, kind gestures, and affirming statements are just a few examples of positive exchanges that can help to nourish your relationship.
2. Try something new together.
Shared experiences can be an excellent way to promote closeness and connection with your partner. Trying something new together can help you break out of your routine to bring a fresh perspective to the relationship. New experiences don’t have to be expensive or elaborate; maybe you try a new board game, a new TV series, a new hiking route, or a new recipe to cook together.
3. Don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Being a good partner isn’t all about sacrifice and giving. Taking care of yourself is important for your own health as well as the health of your relationship.
4. Learn effective communication strategies.
The measure of health in a relationship is not by the absence of conflict but rather how effectively couples can move through conflict productively and without compromising trust and security. Even strong couples will inevitably bump up against conflict. Learning and implementing effective communication strategies is one of the most effective ways to improve the health of your relationship. Check out our blog on 3 tips for managing conflict in your relationship.
5. If you’re struggling, get help.
These strategies can be difficult to put in place, especially during times of conflict or tension. Relationship distress can feel extremely isolating. Who can you talk to when you feel disconnected from your partner? You might feel shame for having relationship troubles, and you might hesitate to confide in others about your concerns.
Talking to a therapist, whether it’s alone or with your partner, can be an invaluable outlet.
It’s undeniable that our relationships are worth taking care of: good relationships make us healthier and happier overall. Seeking professional help for your relationship can be life-changing.
Click here to learn more about our in-person and online couples counseling services.