When you’re in the honeymoon stage of your relationship, keeping the flame ablaze is effortless. The mere sight of the person you love is enough to send butterflies to your stomach. However, love is just the cherry on top of the cake if you want a healthy long-lasting relationship. It takes time and effort to build a lasting relationship.
Therefore, if you believe the person you’re dating is an end game for you, work on building a healthy relationship. We’ve shared 12 tips on how to keep your relationship strong and healthy. Let’s dive right in.
Stay Connected Through Communication
Ability to communicate effectively is one of the indicators of healthy relationships that have the potential to last. You and your partner need to learn how to have uncomfortable conversations. This way, when conflict arises, you’re in a position to learn from it and address each other’s concerns.
However, don’t prioritize healthy communication in times of conflict alone. It’s crucial to foster good communication habits even when you’re not facing any challenges. Find out about each other’s day, check in on each other, and listen when one of you is sharing about experiences.
Also, make it a habit to keep phones and other distractions aside when you want to talk. This will make you more present, and you’ll be able to listen to each other.
Spend Quality Time Together
Building strong relationships also requires an investment of time. You need to spend time with your significant other to get to know them better. Besides, the more time you spend together, the closer you get.
To spice things up, consider taking vacations together. It can be the two of you or a couples’ group vacation. Doing so takes you out of your usual environment and allows you to have fun together. Besides, it gives you an opportunity to learn new things and make new memories. All these factors make your relationship healthy and strong as days go by.
If you’ve had many failed relationships, it’s only natural to expect the other shoe to drop in your new relationship. With this mentality, it can be challenging to build a healthy, lasting connection with your partner.
If you believe the relationship has hope for success, the healthy thing to do is to forget your past experiences. Enter the relationship with a positive mindset. You should focus on the good things about your relationship and what makes you want to work on it. With this mindset, you’ll notice you enjoy your relationship more and you’re ready to weather any storms that come.
Support Your Partner in Self-Growth
Anyone in a relationship wants their partner to be their greatest cheerleader. When you achieve something significant, they’re the first person you want to call. In most cases, this behavior is inevitable at the beginning of a relationship because the experience is new.
However, if your goal is to have a healthy long-term relationship, you need to keep this up. You should support your partner when they’re venturing into something new and encourage them. And when things don’t go as planned, be the shoulder to cry on and the person they trust to vent to.
Accept That Some Problems Cannot Be Solved
If you want a lasting relationship, you have to accept that there will be times you and your partner don’t agree. In such cases, it doesn’t help to argue about it. You’ll raise your voice to get the other person to accept your point of view but it won’t work.
When you face this challenge in a relationship, the best thing you can do is to agree to disagree. Allow your partner to hold a different opinion and agree not to bring it up again. They should also do the same. This way, you’ll prevent unnecessary arguments and build a healthy connection.
Give Your Partner Space
When you’re trying to build a healthy connection, it may seem like you need to spend more time with your partner. While spending time together is crucial for any relationship to last, you need to strike a balance. Have time together but also prioritize giving each other space.
If you never have time apart, there’s a high likelihood that one of you will start feeling suffocated. Even worse, the person may feel like they’re losing their individuality and getting lost in their partner’s life. This isn’t healthy and you don’t want it to happen. Therefore, have individual hobbies and a life outside your relationship.
Have Healthy Conflicts
It doesn’t matter how healthy your relationship is, at some point, you’ll have to deal with conflict. However, how you deal with the conflict is what determines if your relationship will last or not.
To build healthy and better relationships even in the midst of conflict:
- Leave room for each of you to express your emotions freely without fear of abandonment or judgment.
- Allow each other to express their opinions and feelings without fear that the other will retaliate.
- Always end the conflict by coming up with a solution on how to do things differently and don’t bring up old conflicts.
A healthy romantic relationship also understands the need for compromise. You and your partner are individuals before you’re a couple. Therefore, there will be times you disagree on certain things and can’t always have your way.
If your goal is to build a healthy, lasting relationship, don’t be afraid to compromise once in a while. Take the trip your partner wants, don’t focus on winning, and prioritize what’s important for them. Such a healthy approach will encourage your partner to do the same and will ultimately make your relationship stronger.
Show Each Other Daily Physical Affection
When you’ve been dating for a while, affection dwindles. You find that you call your partner less, you forget to say “I love you” and other things you used to do. This isn’t healthy for your relationship. You don’t have to stop showing affection just because you’re comfortable with where the relationship is.
To build a healthy connection that lasts, make the effort. Remind them how much they mean to you, call them, and wish them a good day in the morning. These little gestures go a long way in building healthy connections that survive even when you face challenges.
Acknowledge Each Other’s Strengths and Weaknesses
A healthy connection doesn’t mean your partner has to be perfect. Both of you have strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, most relationships end because couples expect perfection from each other. As a result, everything becomes about winning. The mere thought of being real and showing your weakness makes you fear losing your partner.
It shouldn’t be like this. You should both be willing and brave to accept each other’s flaws and work around them. This way, you’re both encouraged to do better and improve in the areas you’re struggling with because it’s a safe space. It may also help to have conversations about it to ease each other’s mind and assure each other that perfection isn’t a requirement.
Remember the Small Things
Most people believe building better relationships is all about big romantic gestures. This couldn’t be further from the truth. You can have a healthy, strong connection that doesn’t involve numerous big gestures. A healthy connection is based on the small things, and these are the things you should focus on.
Remember the days when your partner went out of their way to make you comfortable or happier. These moments come in handy when you’re struggling to stay positive in the relationship. Besides, it informs you of their strengths.
Keep the Novelty Alive
The beauty of a long term relationship is that you get to know more about each other. The disadvantage is that novelty slowly dies. If you want to build a healthy, exciting, and long-lasting relationship, you have to keep the novelty alive.
Try new things together to keep the suspense and excitement of new activities alive. Date your partner with excitement as you did when you first met. Don’t be afraid to shower them with love even when you’re certain they know how you feel about them. It never gets old and it’s perhaps the secret to building a healthy, exciting relationship.
When to See a Professional
Most couples see a therapist when there’s trouble in paradise. But it doesn’t have to get to that. If you’re happy and you want to learn how to build a healthy lasting connection, a counselor can help. They’ll teach you how to have healthy conversations, resolve conflicts, and show up for each other even when it’s hard.
Besides, you get to address uncomfortable topics in a healthy manner and in a safe space. This is a key ingredient for building a healthy connection. So, if you’re committed to building a healthy, long-lasting relationship, it may be a good idea to seek professional help. However, talk to your partner before scheduling an appointment so that you are on the same page about it.
Kate has a B.S. in Psychology and M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine University and has worked in healthcare since 2017. She primarily treated depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, and grief, as well as identity, relationship and adjustment issues. Her clinical experience has focused on individual and group counseling, emergency counseling and outreach.Read more