Healthy happy relationships don’t just happen on their own. They take a lot of work and commitment from both parties.
Six tips to get you started toward a positive relationship
1. Commit to having a positive attitude
Our attitude toward our partner can have a huge impact on the health of our relationship and the satisfaction both people feel. Practicing a ‘good attitude’ fosters a happy relationship, because we tend to see more of what we look for. If you acknowledge your partner’s good qualities regularly, you will begin to notice them more and more.
2. Spend quality time together
It may sound obvious, but after being together for a while, it can be easy to slip into a routine and start treating our partner like they are part of the furniture. Carving out time to give one another our ‘best’ rather than just our post-work, post-gym selves helps both people to be reminded of the things they love about the other, and facilitates bonding through shared experiences.
3. Understand each other’s relationship needs
Everyone has different needs in a relationship. Start by understanding each of your attachment styles, what causes you each to feel anxious in the relationship, and discuss what would help you each to feel more secure or relaxed. Work to understand each of your love languages. Understanding the way you each show love, be it verbally, through physical affection or ‘doing things’ will help each partner to recognise these behaviours, cater more to their partner and help each partner to feel loved.
4. Make a point of forgiving
No one is perfect and one of the only certainties in life is that people stuff up and make mistakes. If you want to truly commit to your relationship, then you need to commit to its wellbeing, and forgiveness is a tool which can aid you in this. When your partner does something to annoy you or disappoint you, gently communicate this, but make a point of quickly letting go and moving on. If your partner has done something to deeply hurt or betray you, first decide if you want to stay with them or not. If you do, then you need to commit to forgiving them. This often takes a lot of work on your part, so consider getting help.
5. Foster intimacy
To have intimacy is to be completely open with someone and know that they won’t turn away from us. Fostering intimacy in a relationship usually begins with one person ‘taking a leap’ and sharing something which makes them feel vulnerable. Having intimacy in a relationship increases trust, feelings of closeness and security, all things which are essential to a positive, healthy relationship. If you want to foster intimacy with your partner or a person you’re dating, but you’re not sure what to say, perhaps start by sharing your dreams or fears.
6. Be supportive
Being supportive is integral to a healthy relationship. It means being your partner’s cheer squad, and being there for them, emotionally and physically when they need you to be. Being supportive when someone is going through a really hard time can be difficult especially if it impacts their mood and tolerance. However, it can often determine the direction of your relationship. Showing unwavering support during tough times can strengthen the bond and trust between you immeasurably.
*Acting out due to stress is one thing, but becoming abusive is another. If you’re unsure if you’re experiencing abuse in your relationship, call us on 1300 651 251.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, give our SuicideLine Victoria team a call anytime of the day 1300 651 251.
If it is an emergency, call 000.