Advice for Healthy Relationships

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Healthy relationships are built on solid ground. There is respect and consideration for one another as individuals. There is trust and understanding, and each one supports the other, boosting confidence and self esteem.

Here’s some advice for building healthy, positive, partnerships and avoiding codependency - which many consider a 'relationship addiction'. However codependency and relationship addiction has it's differences

1) Before you can love anyone else, you have to accept the person you are. You have to feel that you’re worthy of being loved. When you like the person you are, in spite of all your shortcomings, you feel confident and secure within yourself. You can then share a partnership joyfully, and appreciate the other person for who they are rather than ‘need’ the other to ‘survive’. This type of behavior is co-dependent and based on low self-esteem.

If you’ve been in abusive or bad relationships in the past, it’s worth working through this with a counselor, because the stronger you are the stronger and more equal your partnership will be.

2)You should like each other and be good friends. Falling in love is a wonderful feeling, but emotions come and go. If you respect and support each other as well as share your hopes and dreams, the partnership becomes stronger.

3)Prioritize your relationship. Spend quality time together without smothering and being over protective. As your lives become more complicated as a couple, it’s always important to remember to make time for each other.

4) Spend time listening as well as talking. This does not mean superficial talk, it’s about sharing your feelings – and there should be no judgment.

5)Arguments are normal in a healthy relationship. You are two different people and you’re bound not to agree on everything. An argument can be positive. It’s an opportunity to share your feelings and discuss them. Both of you may be right about your points of view. The goal is to come to an arrangement that works for both of you.

6) Physical contact is important in healthy relationships. Being caressed lowers blood pressure, releasing natural opiates in the brain as well as the chemical oxytocin, an essential ingredient for human pair bonding. Your sex life may have dry periods, but your need for affection doesn’t change.

7)Keep the partnership alive. As life changes it provides opportunities for growth and intimacy, but change also means letting go of past behaviors.

Happy partners learn to adapt and change. Arguments are normal but there’s no condemnation or neediness. There’s positive energy, concern and continuous respect.

Keep practicing this advice and your partnership will only get stronger.
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