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Being in a Healthy Relationship

Updated on August 30, 2016

There is no struggle that is ultimately more fulfilling than the struggle of maintaining a healthy relationship. The fascinating thing about them is they constantly require more and more work, and they should. In my opinion, if you are in a relationship that doesn’t need work, then you don’t really care, or you have been together for fifty years. That’s not to say your relationship isn’t healthy or strong, just that you will need to work on it at some point, regardless.

There are a lot of things that go into a relationship that I don’t think people usually remember, or they don’t know how to apply it. It’s not for lack of trying, but honestly, some are just not as good at these topics as others, and that is okay! We all have to have a strength and a weakness, and at no point should you doubt yourself because of these. If you need help with them, reach out to someone, and just ask. I know I am happy to help others in any way I can, and I hope this is a good place to start doing that.

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COMMUNICATION

This is a biggy. Communication is key in any relationship. Romantic, business, familial, friends, it is a cornerstone that without, any relationship can quickly fall apart. On a romantic level, communication is what lets you and your partner know what is going on. What is bothering you? What have you been thinking about? Where are your relationships strengths and weaknesses?

A clear channel of communication between you and your lover is a main start to keeping your love roots happy, healthy, and strong. I know that a lot of people say this, but it really is true. If you notice even the slightest thing different, positive or negative, about your lover, mention it. The worst that will happen is it will start a conversation between you two, and you can find more out about each other and where you are at that way.

My fiancé and I have only been together as long as we have, with maybe three fights over the past six years, because we have a strong communication line. At least once every two months, one of us will start a ‘check in’. It is usually on nights where we eat dinner and are just relaxing after. Find a time to start one, it shows how much you care and it lets you know what you both need to work on. Ours usually consist of these questions between each other:

  • How are you lately? Are you stressed/tired/happy/content/lustful…etc.
  • Where are you with what you are doing (school/work/etc)?
  • How are you feeling about our relationship? Are you still happy? Are you getting bored? (this is a tough question, but it definitely helps you know what to work on together and it is important to have all those feelings on the table for you both)
  • (If you are sexually active) How do you like our sex life? (We are in a very progressive time people. Sex is about enjoyment, pleasure, and a deep connection. Embrace it! Within reason of course.)
  • What are some things that you have been wanting to do outside of school/work that we haven’t?

These are the questions that work well for my fiancé and I, and we are very open and honest, because we know if there is a chance to crumble, it’s in our communication.

SIMILARITIES

Every strong relationship needs to be completed with some sort of similarities. Do you both like to go hiking? Do you both like video games? Are you both movie fans? That sort of thing. It is imperative that if you don’t feel you have anything in common, you communicate with each other about that. Dig into topics you haven’t thought to talk about yet, and really see where there may be a spark.

If you find that you do everything together and are running out of things to talk about (which has happened to me recently), know that there is a healthy amount of space that should be added in. Call up an old friend who may just want to see you, give your lover a kiss then head out! Spend a night or two out of the house, keeping in touch off and on, but not overly so. When you come back, you’ll have plenty to talk about because you both weren’t doing the same thing! If there is any resentment or anxiousness about the space, that is something that needs to be talked about too, as that leads into mistrust and a deeper routed fear. Don’t let these things destroy a relationship, instead, when they come up, talk about them honestly. There are too many hidden things in the world today, being upfront with someone who you care for should not be one of them.

Sex is a healthy expression of love and trust with your partner.
Sex is a healthy expression of love and trust with your partner. | Source

SEX

Like I mentioned above, sex is something in today’s society that is important for a healthy adult relationship. We all have what works for ourselves, and we should try to find someone to be with that also wants that. The biggest part about sexuality is this: DO NOT HIDE IT. If it is healthy, and doesn’t involve harm to yourself or the other person in any way, why not enjoy your sex life? If you don’t like the normal stuff, try to find someone to be with romantically who is also into that.

Something to think about if you feel your relationship is failing is pushing some of those boundaries and opening up your ideas a little bit. Obviously, if you are not at all comfortable with an idea, say so and go for something a little more vanilla. There is no harm in that. Even if you just wanted to try some new position, it will help to give you a nice spark of excitement!

I could go on to say even adding in sex toys, videos, etc. but I feel that may push some boundaries here and that isn’t the focus of this article.

Some even say that if you invite in the occasional third (or more depending on your tastes), that can really give your love life a boost. Sexually or even if you wanted to try a polyamorous relationship.

IF YOU ARE IN AGREEMENT

The biggest thing to remember about with a relationship now a days is this: everyone involved in the relationship needs to be in agreement! If you do not agree on something, then it is not going to be best for the relationship and you need to communicate to figure out an alternative.

Remember that you are one part of a bigger equation and that you all need to fit into your desired spots without aggression and misunderstanding in order to make it smoothly transition into a relationship. Be the level headed, understanding adults that you are and work on this bigger goal together to find your ultimate happiness in a relationship.

ACCEPTANCE OF THE WHOLE

Be what you are and don’t budge on that, but keep in mind that you don’t want your lover to change, and they shouldn’t want you to change either. You should be in love for who you both are, and for who you fell in love with. There is no shame in knowing when to call a relationship, because over time people may change naturally, and falling out of love happens. Handling that through communication, understanding, and mutual effort, you should both know when to accept the process has run its course and move on to heal.

All in all, be strong for each other. Communicate, enjoy your life, know when to be stern and when to be playful, be on the same wavelength, and know when to ask for help if you think that isn’t happening the way it should, but keep a healthy mind of where your relationship is and what it needs. Don’t let it become a toxic environment in your life. If you are communicating well, being honest and upfront, having fun and relying on each other in a healthy and mutual sense; you should have a wonderful and long lasting relationship!

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    • Ben Yesland profile image
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      Benjamin 21 months ago from Spokane, WA

      Hi dashingscorpio!

      Thank you for your comment! Of course, what you mentioned is completely accurate. Maybe you really did find someone where you don't have to put in that work, where you get along just fine, your attitudes, interests, and feelings align perfectly. It is completely possible. The reason I said it like I did is I am a more cynical person by nature, and have found for myself in any event that you don't really know someone until you live with them, which for a lot of relationships is much later on.

      And it is very true, if you are with someone who is not wanting the same thing you will end up not working out, which ties into my final portion.

      And I agree completely with you saying "It shouldn't be that 'hard' to love and be loved in return." It really shouldn't! I am just hoping through my writing to give others an idea of things they can do/look out for in their own relationships that maybe they didn't otherwise think about.

      I appreciate other opinions, it is a beautiful thing to have. Thank you again for sharing!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 21 months ago

      " In my opinion, if you are in a relationship that doesn’t need work, then you don’t really care, or you have been together for fifty years." hmmm

      Or:

      Maybe you were lucky enough to find someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship that you do, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least there is a mutual depth of love and desire for one another!

      In (my opinion) the so called "hard work" is in FINDING the "right person" for yourself. Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

      There is no amount of "work" or "communication" that can overcome being with someone who just simply does NOT want what you want.

      If you're in a relationship where either of you has to "change" your core being to make it "work" then it means you're with the "wrong person".

      I've heard some people proclaim they'd be "bored" if they were with someone who naturally wanted what they wanted.

      One woman recently wrote she NEEDS a relationship to CHALLENGE her in order to help her grow. People like her find "harmony" and "serenity" so boring that they subconsciously pursue "toxic" and "unhealthy relationships" as a project. Some of these people mistake jealous/obsessive behavior as proof of love. If there's no fighting it means one or both people don't care.

      That's another luxury of youthful thinking!

      When a person gets into their late 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond they finally understand if you're in a relationship that requires a lot of work it just means you're with the "wrong person"!

      It shouldn't be that "hard" to love and be loved in return.

      There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships: We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.

      One man's opinion! :)

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