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12 Influential Ways To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

12 Influential Ways To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

The upkeep on a fresh and healthy relationship might seem like a daunting task to manage some days, but thankfully it’s not hard. Check out these 12 influential ways to keep your relationship healthy. You’ll see what a difference it can make, and you might be inspired to come up with some other tips on your own!

1. Be open and honest with each other.

Honesty should come naturally in a serious, committed relationship – but sometimes that’s when it’s the hardest! Make sure you and your partner have a strong foundation of trust that allows you to tell each other anything. Being up front about anything on your mind or that has happened during your day will make you feel more connected to each other, which in turn will make your relationship more loving and healthy.

2. Encourage each other.

Being in a relationship means you have your own built-in cheerleader. You should be excited to come home from a good day at work and share what amazing things happened to you. Your partner will be there to cheer you on, congratulate you, and pump you up for the next step. Encourage each other to do everything, from anything as small as asking for a new project at work, to something as major as applying for a daunting dream job. Knowing you get that degree of support from your partner will help your relationship grow strong.

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    3. Stay fun and flirty!

    Just because you’re in a committed relationship doesn’t mean you can’t flirt! Be playful with your partner! Smile and bat your eyelashes from across the room, hold hands while grocery shopping, bump hips and fall into a kiss while cooking dinner. Everything doesn’t have to be efficient business-as-usual just because you’ve been together for a long time. In fact, keeping things light and fun will help your relationship feel fresh and new, and last longer!

    4. Try something new.

    A lot of couples have date nights, where they leave the daily grind of their home lives behind and go out to have fun together. Try to implement this with your partner, but make sure to try new things on these dates. Don’t go to the same restaurant every week, or always sit in the same seats at the movie theater. Try that hip new club downtown, or go to a restaurant on opening day.

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    5. Give each other space.

    You and your partner are in a committed relationship, and sometimes that can seem like too much. You don’t always have to be together. Give each other a night off, where he can go run errands on his own, or she can go out with friends. Even if you want to spend all of your free time together, you can still give each other space. One person can watch a movie in the den while the other reads in the bedroom. Give it a try and see what works best to foster your relationship!

    6. Don’t be afraid to show your emotions.

    Just like being honest, it’s sometimes really hard to show emotions in a relationship. You want to be understood as strong and independent, not someone who needs the other too much. Acting this way, however, will create a barrier between you and your partner. If you seem too independent or closed off, the relationship can suffer. Don’t be an overly emotional wreck, but if you feel something, make sure your partner knows. They can help you through things, and you need to work together in order to keep your relationship working.

    7. Learn how to resolve conflicts.

    It’s too easy to fight until you’re tired, and then just let it go. Don’t do this! You have to resolve the issue when you’re fighting, otherwise it will keep coming up and causing trouble for you both. No matter how exhausted you are, how many tears have been shed, make sure to resolve a fight before you drop it. This goes beyond the old “never go to bed angry” adage – if it takes time, let the fight stretch over a day or two. The resolution is the healthiest, and most important part – not how quickly you come to it.

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    8. Be open to changes.

    Being committed to someone else means you have to roll with the punches. You have to be ready for changes that occur in his life to affect your life as well. These changes might not always be positive, and they might not always fit into the plan you mapped out, but you have to be open to them. Being willing and able to change with your partner makes the difference between a relationship that seems rocky, and one that will stand the test of time.

    9. Understand each other.

    You don’t have to finish each others’ sentences, but understanding your partner on a deep level is a healthy foundation to have. Understand how he thinks, how he approaches issues, comprehend him, and problem solve. Know that his silence doesn’t mean he’s angry, just thinking. And make sure your partner understands you. Even if this doesn’t come naturally to either of you, take time to sit together and talk it out so you can understand each other in the future.

    10. Break up the routine.

    Date nights, trying something new, making dinner together, making dinner for each other – whatever you can do to break up the routine, try it! Don’t just get up, go to work, and come home to each other. Go shopping together, or go for a walk when you get home. Even if the activity isn’t exciting, the fact that you’re doing something different – together! – will make a huge difference in the day and how you feel about each other.

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    11. Be social outside the relationship.

    Just like needing time and space to yourselves, make sure you keep up relationships with people other than your partner. You need to nurture friendships you had before you became part of a couple, and you shouldn’t turn away new friends you might encounter once you’re happily paired off. Having people outside the relationship helps keep you both grounded, gives you sounding boards, and gives you things to talk about besides your life together.

    12. Look your best.

    This sounds contrary, right? Being able to look like a slob is one of the best parts of being in a committed relationship. Knowing someone will love you even though you’re wearing sweatpants is one of the warmest feelings ever. And it can stay that way! But it’s equally important to take time to look good for your partner. Get dressed up for her, brush your hair, try a new cologne. Looking good doesn’t mean you’re trying to impress someone else, but it will show your partner that you appreciate her still, and don’t take her for granted.

    Featured photo credit: Marley Cook via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

    “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

    Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

    You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

    Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

    1. Take a step back and evaluate

    When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the problem?
    2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
    3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
    4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
    5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

    Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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    2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

    If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

    At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

    Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

    3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

    Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

    4. Process your thoughts/emotions

    Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

    1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
    2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
    3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
    4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

    5. Acknowledge your thoughts

    Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

    By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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    Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

    6. Give yourself a break

    If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

    7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

    A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

    Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

    After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

    8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

    As Helen Keller once said,

    “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

    Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

    9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

    In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

    1. What’s the situation?
    2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
    3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
    4. Take action on your next steps!

    After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

    10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

    A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

    Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

    For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

    11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

    No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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    12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

    No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

    13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

    There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

    After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

    Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

    Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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