We can see the physical results of going to the gym every week, eating healthy, taking vitamins and managing stress. We do this to maintain strong healthy bodies. From an early age, we’re taught at home, through the media and in school, the benefits of healthy eating and how to take care of our bodies and the value of a healthy lifestyle. We are rarely taught, however, the fundamentals of healthy relationships. The majority of what we know comes to us by example. Either we grew up with healthy relationships or we didn’t. Take some basic advice from professionals on how to establish a healthy relationship.
Each relationship needs at least three anchors to be successful and sustainable. The number one is kindness. Are you kind to your partner? Kindness is being considerate, polite and protective. Treat your partner with care. Words and actions can be tender and endearing or razor sharp. Body language speaks as loudly as words, either positive or negative. What did you do today to make your partner’s day better?
Communication skills are the second anchor of a strong relationship. Do you really, really listen to your partner? Do you hear only what you want to hear? Do you listen only to formulate your response? We should be honest in our communication but not to the degree that it causes pain. Be calm, careful and gently when conveying negative information. Personal attacks will never grow relationships but they will leave scars. Learn how to disagree in a healthy way – this will draw you closer, not further apart. If your feelings are not protected when you’re vulnerable and sharing, chances are you’ll shut down emotionally with your partner. That then begins the start of an unhealthy relationship. You must make one another feel safe and secure in sharing feelings.
Finally, it’s so important to forgive. We all make mistakes. No one has perfect judgement, communication and reactions all the time. We’re human. Depending on the severity of the infraction, learn to forgive. If a pattern develops, rethink what’s causing it – that’s when forgiveness might be an enabling tool for your partner. Good luck in developing a long, slow and lasting relationship.
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