Developing an understanding of how to have a healthy relationship means that you need to be open to changing yourself. You can’t control how your partner behaves, but you can control your behavior. Maintaining a healthy relationship requires hard work and dedication. Here are 10 key tips:

1. Accept Responsibility for Your Part of the Problems

In any partnership, both people share responsibility for success and failures. When problems arise, spend more time focusing on how you contributed to the problem, rather than accusing your partner of causing it. Acknowledge and accept your share of the responsibility before pointing fingers at your partner.

2. Avoid Reacting on Emotion Only

People make the best decisions when they use a combination of logic and emotion. Avoid reacting impulsively based on how you feel in the moment. Otherwise, you’re likely to say and do things that can damage the relationship. Instead, wait until you are calm and rational before attempting to address or resolve a problem.

3. Develop Healthy Boundaries

A lot of people wonder how to have a healthy relationship when they’ve got meddling in-laws or nosy neighbors. It’s important to protect your relationship by developing healthy boundaries with others. This means maintaining privacy, not allowing other people to come between you, and protecting your relationship. Poor boundaries can lead to serious relationship trouble.

4. Be a Companion, Not a Clone

Focus on being your partner’s companion by behaving in a complementary way. Don’t constantly seek approval for everything you say and do. It’s healthy to have differences of opinion and it can lead to a healthy balance in relationships.

5. Practice Self-Care

The healthiest people make the best partners. So, take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that you can offer your partner your very best. Make self-care a priority in your life.

6. Look for the Positive

Remind yourself of your partner’s good qualities. Look at the best in others and don’t assume that your partner intentionally set out to hurt you. Instead, consider your partner’s good intentions and focus on what is working well in your relationship.

7. Focus on Quality over Quantity of Time

A lot of people wonder how to have a healthy relationship when they don’t have enough time to spend together. Focus on ensuring that the time you spend together is quality time. Turn off the technological devices, give one another your undivided attention, and engage in meaningful conversation. Schedule regular date nights and try to plan a weekend get-away at least once a year.

8. Treat Love as a Verb, Not an Emotion

It’s normal for loving feelings to come and go as your relationship changes. However, you shouldn’t base your relationship on how you feel. Instead, treat love as a verb.

Behave lovingly, even when you don’t feel like it. Show your love through your actions. Focus on making your partner feel loved and it can make a big difference in the health of your relationship.

9. Focus on What You’re Giving, Not What You’re Getting

If you’re not getting what you need out of the relationship, it’s likely your partner isn’t either. Instead of demanding that things need to change, focus on what you’re giving to the relationship. When you start ensuring your partner’s needs are getting met, you’ll likely find that your needs will be met as well.

10. Remember What Drew You Together in the First Place

Understanding how to have a healthy relationship that stands the test of time requires you to recall what attracted you to your partner in the first place. You picked your partner for a reason; however, those reasons can sometimes get lost due the busyness of life. Take time to recall the reason that you chose to be with your partner and keep that in the forefront of your mind as you go through tough times together.

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Featured photo credit: happy young couple in love outdoor in autumn via Shutterstock

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