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Healthy Relationships and Maintaining Them

Updated on August 13, 2017

What Defines a Healthy Relationship?

In a healthy relationship, be it platonic or romantic, it is mandatory for there to be mutual respect between those in the relationship. Now, all people are different; People of different cultures, or who were raised a specific way, handle things differently compared to anyone else. Everyone has their own way of doing things, that is no secret, so it's only logical for relationships to be handled differently, as well. But no matter the background of the people, there are a few characteristics to be had in every healthy relationship. These would be: respect, love, compassion, patience, active listening, and expressing gratitude.

How To: Friendship

The definition of platonic, by the dictionary, is, "Intimate and affectionate, but not sexual." A fine example of a platonic relationship would be you and your best friend. You share secrets, go places together, might even hold hands in public, give kisses on the cheek, link arms, but perform nothing inherently sexual. This might not be completely accurate to all, but platonic love relates to friendship or even may be something you share with your really close family members.

A good way to keep up friendships, is to regularly communicate with them. Tell them about your day, tell them how you feel, make sure to keep that communication going. Alongside that, try to see your friends regularly. From personal experience, if you go long whiles without seeing certain friends, they might start to feel as if the 'friendship is fading', even if you don't feel that way. On that note, you should also ask your friends about their opinions on things and how they feel. Return the favor. Just as they make sure you're okay, you should also be making sure that they're doing alright, as well. To bring this portion to a close, it's okay to love your friends and show them that, without feeling anything sexual or romantic.

Holding hands is one way to show your affection for your friends or lovers.
Holding hands is one way to show your affection for your friends or lovers.

Advice on Romantic Relationships

The answer for this section is rather a lot more complicated than the previous one. Friendship and romantic relationships share some similarities in the way that they involve compatibility. Believe it or not, opposites don't always attract. Not only that, but sometimes when you have too much in common with your partner, you might find it to be boring or that there's nothing 'new' in the relationship.

Something to consider is that people have gone through different experiences, be them good or bad, and showing compassion and tolerance is an important thing to do towards your partner, or anyone else for that matter. That being said, you also shouldn't have to babysit your partner. You aren't their parent, you're their partner. You should be working together to accomplish things together that benefit the both of you. In any sort of relationship, selfishness shouldn't have any place in your relationship because when you vow to be with somebody, you vow to share your worldly objects and your space with them.

To bring this section to a close, we come to communication. Just like in any friendship, communication is a must have for any relationship to work. If something is on your mind, speak it! There should be no need for you to keep things hidden for the person you intend on spending your life with. This also goes for if you do something wrong. It's understandable to be hesitant to tell someone if you've done wrong because it's human nature to not want to own up to our own wrong doings. No matter how hard it may be, it's good to tell your partner of the things you do wrong because just admitting it is an act of vulnerability. It's okay to be vulnerable around the ones you love.

A couple cuddling. Cuddling is a way to show affection to those you love.
A couple cuddling. Cuddling is a way to show affection to those you love.

Things Not To Do

It should go without saying that you need to respect those around you in order to be treated the same way. You need to allow those around you to speak your mind just as they allow you to. Some things not to do are:

  • Interrupt those who are speaking. It's extremely belittling.
  • Don't laugh at things that other people enjoy. If they genuinely enjoy it and it doesn't hurt anyone, let them enjoy it.
  • Don't plan something and then cancel last minute just because you don't want to.
  • Don't show up late to plans without a good reason. Try to be on time.
  • Not returning calls or texts.
  • And lastly, just say please and thank you.

A couple enjoying a date with one another.
A couple enjoying a date with one another.

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