Along with trust, communication is the cornerstone of every great relationship. Of course, the ability to communicate openly and honestly is indicative of trust. Someone in a healthy relationship won’t feel the need to shrug annoyances off and declare those ill-fated words: I’m fine! No, they will sit down and discuss their feelings, wants, needs, and wishes with the other person in a respectful and constructive manner.
Something that often kills relationships of all sorts is the inability to make time for each other, this is especially challenging for romances. If you can’t make time in your schedule for a chat or a catch-up, then what’s the point? It isn’t just any time, though, it’s quality time. So, put away distractions and turn off the television because this is one-on-one time that allows you to truly hang out and connect.
- Mutual Respect
You don’t have to agree on everything, though hopefully, your core values align with your romantic partners, the key is in being able to respect their views. If you don’t have respect for the other person then how can you be on the same team? When differences arise, they prey on your mind, fueling doubt and driving a wedge between you. No matter what you disagree on, if you don’t have basic respect your relationship is doomed. Learning how to communicate constructively is a big part of accepting differing opinions (http://www.loveisrespect.org/content/respect-in-healthy-relationships/).
- No Comparisons
It doesn’t really matter what other people are doing – you are only seeing one part of the picture. Social media especially helps people paint a glamorous picture of their life that is rarely the truth. Have you ever noticed that couples who post most frequently about how much they love each other and how much fun they have are the ones who break up the quickest? Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself with other couples, other friendships, or other families – healthy relationships know the focus belongs on them.
- The Rumor Mill
As tempting as it to have a good whine about someone, the sign of a healthy relationship is not bashing someone. While it may seem great to offload to your mother about what your partner did this time or to tell your best-friend about how a mutual friend treated you recently, all you are doing is clouding their view of the other person. It may feel good in the moment, but it will usually come back to bite you. If you wouldn’t want the other person in the relationship talking negatively about you to someone else then afford him or her the same respect, that’s how healthy relationships operate.
We’re all guilty of taking the people in our lives for granted, and we can all fall into that trap of believing the grass is greener elsewhere (but that is rarely the case). We are often told that we should treat others exactly how we wish to be treated, but the key to a healthy relationship is instead treating others how they wish to be treated. The only way to get that right is by laying a strong foundation of trust, communication, and learning how to listen and act. Relationships don’t need to be as complicated as we often make them.