What makes for a healthy romantic relationship differs from couple to couple. Forming a trusting and positive partnership takes effort and time. And unfortunately, it doesn’t just happen overnight. For any relationship to grow strong and stay strong, you need to put in some work.
Every successful relationship that stands the test of time is built upon a strong foundation of essential ingredients. These ingredients help support the relationship through its ups and downs. Strong loving relationships are of course first and foremost built upon shared values, beliefs and goals. These three ingredients hold the keys that help couples make mutually supportive decisions that move their relationship forward. Strong loving relationships do however also need the ingredients of trust, dependability, respect, honesty, patience and loyalty. In combination these ingredients form the bedrock of all successful relationships.
See your partner for who he or she really is.
The romantic tragedy occurs when you view the person you are in love with as a symbol of what they have come to represent, the idea of them. When you realize that more often than not you don’t really know your partner, you begin to discover who they are and how they change and evolve.
After the fairy-dust start of a relationship ends, we discover ordinariness, and we often do everything we can to avoid it. The trick is to see that ordinariness can become the real “juice” of intimacy. The day-to-day loveliness of sharing life with a partner can, and does, become extraordinary.
Practice acceptance and appreciation. Recognize that all relationships have their ups and downs.
Just as you can’t expect to be happy all the time, you shouldn’t expect your relationship to be at a continuous high. When you make a long-term commitment to someone you have to be willing to ride the highs, as well as the lows, together.
Respect partner privacy
Spending time together with your partner is important. But just as important is spending time apart. Being able to do your own things and remain independent is vital. When couples spend too much time together, it can create an unhealthy co-dependence. Maintaining healthy boundaries and some autonomy will make for a long-lasting partnership.
Keep the playfulness alive.
We all love to play, regardless of our age. Do the following: have fun together; do something ridiculous together; and just let go. In addition, the next time that your partner says something that bothers you, try responding with a joke instead of getting defensive.
Separate the facts from the feelings.
What beliefs and feeling triggered in you during conflicts? Ask yourself: Is there something from my past that is influencing how I’m seeing the situation now? The critical question you want to ask: Is this about him or her, or is it really about me? What’s the real truth?
Once you’re able to differentiate facts from feelings, you’ll see your partner more clearly and be able to resolve conflicts from clarity.
Intimacy and sex
Let’s also talk about how important it is in cultivating a flourishing relationship. Sex is simple. The more you have it, the more you want it. The other side of that is true as well. The less you have it, the less you want it — and, unfortunately, the less you’ll feel connected to your partner. Keep your sex life alive and interesting. “Spicing it up” is not just meant for the kitchen