keys to a healthy relationship

9 Keys to a Healthy Relationship

All of us strive for having healthy relationships with our partners, friends, family members, and anyone else around us. But what are the keys to a healthy relationship?

Unfortunately, I have to tell you that there is no secret magic formula that works for everyone. This is because we are all different. We have different needs and values. However, some components are present in most healthy relationships. And, of course, having strong healthy relationships is an important component to living a life that you love.

Today, we will dive into these key components and I will also give you some useful tips for building a healthy relationship. Let’s get started!

My own story about relationships…

I find this topic fascinating as someone that never put much thought into relationships growing up and as a young adult. Gratefully, I managed to be raised in a good home, find good friends, and live a low drama and happy life through most of my 20s. Yet, I’ll admit I never went out of my way to nurture my relationships with my parents, brothers, close friends, and boyfriend.

But then I planned to move onto my “adult” life with my serious boyfriend and I could no longer skate around big issues we needed to face head on. My head was rapidly pulled from the clouds as I realized I needed to do some major work on myself and be more mindful with my relationships if I wanted to keep the love of my life around. Thankfully, we were able to find common ground and build the wonderful yet challenging life we now have together!

9 keys to a healthy relationship

When it comes to relationships, keep in mind that a relationship doesn’t need to be all sunshine and rainbows. Every relationship has its own struggles, good periods, and bad times. But it’s all completely fine as long as you both keep your focus on improving the relationship. Building a healthy relationship may take some work but it’s totally worth the effort!

In the following, you can read some healthy relationship tips that can be applied to all kinds of relationships: romantic partnerships, friendships, family, and work relationships.

1. Have realistic expectations

Many people tend to keep their expectations too high and unrealistic towards the other person. Or they may want the other one to be someone else who they are not.

If you are also constantly trying to change your partner, friend, or colleague, think about how you would react if someone else did this to you. I bet you would not be happy! Thus, try to accept others how they are and don’t try to change them. It’s okay to want more for your loved one, but forcing your ideals upon them won’t be productive.

However, you can still express your feelings but always keep your expectations realistic.

Related read: 12 Characteristics of Unhealthy Relationships

keys to a healthy relationship

2. Flexibility

There might be a lot of changes in a relationship. This is because our personalities change over time, we get a new job, or we have to face new challenges. Although sometimes you may feel uneasy about these changes, you need to be flexible and allow your partner or friend to change and grow.

Sometimes is all about trusting in the process of life, no matter what it throws at you. Seeing life’s challenges are a way to grow together can be a total game changer too.

3. Communication

Most relationship experts agree that communication is one of the most essential keys to a healthy relationship. It’s not only about how often you talk with each other but how well you can communicate in the relationship.

When you talk with the other person, you need to genuinely listen to what they have to say. Don’t try to interrupt, or keep thinking about what you are going to say once they stop talking. Show empathy and try to understand their perspective as well. Plus, be honest (but constructive) with your partner about any concerns you have rather than just ignoring them until they become a bigger problem.

Besides that, be present in the communication and show your interest. Ask questions to understand them better, ask about their feelings, experiences, or opinions. Also, depending on the situation, share some information with them about you. For example, what’s going on in your life, what your feelings are, and more.

Related read: Healthy Relationship Boundaries Everyone Needs

4. Dependability

Dependability is vital in any kind of relationship. If you make some plans with someone, or you promise something to do, then keep your word and do it. Be trustworthy!

Trust is one of the primary foundations of any relationship- and it’s defnitely a two way street!

healthy relationship tips

5. Balance

In a healthy relationship, people respect each other’s needs. This is why you should not force your partner to be with you 24/7. Both of you may need some room for some hobbies and other activities that you can do apart from each other. Spending less time together doesn’t necessarily mean that you love each other less! In fact- it usually means the opposite.

After all, how can you appreciate someone when you don’t get any time away from them to reflect and miss them? 🙂

Related read: Simple Self-Care Strategies that Work

6. Healthy conflict resolution

As I mentioned earlier, having some struggles, conflicts, and disagreements in a relationship is normal and common. The important thing is how you manage these conflicts. Here are a few tips for better conflict resolution:

  • Try to calm down before getting into a conversation to prevent unnecessary reactivity. You don’t want to get in a heated fight where you say hurtful things to each other that most likely you will regret later. This way, the communication between you will be more productive as well.
  • Focus on the current problem. Don’t bring up old stories that have nothing to do with the current issue (SO common in arguments that just leads to unnecessary anger).
  • Instead of blaming the other person, talk about the problem itself. Explain how you feel with “I statements”.
  • Admit your mistakes. There’s always two sides to the argument/conflict, whether you’re always willing to admit it or not. Apologize if you have made a mistake.

Related read: Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

happy couple

7. Positivity

I think we can all agree that being positive is one of the key elements of living a happy life. It’s also true when it comes to having a happy, healthy relationship. According to John Gottman, a well-known relationship researcher, more positive actions and feelings can result in a happier and more connected relationship. The magic ratio here is 5 to 1 which means that for every negative interaction or feeling, you must have at least 5 positive interactions or feelings. This is why you need to keep the atmosphere in your relationship as positive as possible.

Building a positive mindset is just like any habit, it will take time to change. Try scheduling positive activities when you’re together, taking time for conversation, doing affirmations together, etc. It will become easier over time!

Related read: 19 Positive Quotes to Inspire Healthy Habits and Make Your Life Wonderful

8. Generosity and gratitude

Regardless of the type of relationship, the best is to be generous and show your appreciation (another habit you can build over time!).

You can do that by spending time with the other person (your mom, dad, another family member, partner, friend, or colleague), expressing your feelings towards them, and having positive and supportive words. Don’t just assume they know how you’re feeling! It’s nice to validate you’re feeling out loud and make sure they know they are appreciated.

On the other hand, show your gratitude when someone does these things for you.

keys to a healthy relationship

9. Commitment

The last one on my list is commitment. When you are truly committed to your partner or best friend, it means that you stay by their sides during both good and bad times. You don’t give up on each other at the first hardship. Rather try to work for a well-working relationship together. Make each other and your relationship a top priority. Thus, you will be one step closer to having a long-lasting, healthy relationship.

The bottom line? Having these types of deeply committed relationships feel good and help you feel grounded in the craziness that is life.

Related read: 7 Ways to Raise Your Health Consciousness

Building a healthy relationship is a long process

Some people have a healthy relationship right from the beginning. They are the lucky ones (although they probably worked hard at it)! However, it doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong later. Maintaining a good relationship requires constant care and attentiveness.

Also, there are others who may need to work hard from the start to build a healthy relationship. Ultimately, all relationships are different, aren’t they?

While the process of developing a successful relationship may be long, fortunately, you can save some time, disappointment, and suffering for yourself by keeping in mind the above-mentioned keys to a healthy relationship. 🙂

Do you have something else to add to this list? What else do you find necessary to a healthy, long-lasting relationship? Let me know in the comments.

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