How to keep your relationship healthy

There are many things you can do to keep your relationship healthy. Here are some of the basic steps to follow:

Communicate – Don’t expect your partner to be a mind reader. If something is bothering you, you need to talk to them about it. Be honest about your feelings, and propose a resolution wherever possible. Never lie to your partner, and be forthright about things that might affect your relationship. It’s better your partner hears bad news directly from you than someplace else.

Fight constructively – You aren’t going to agree on everything and that’s okay. Learn how to disagree with your partner without belittling their opinion. If things are getting heated, learn to step away and come back when you are both able to discuss things calmly. Listen to what they have to stay and try to understand things from their point of view. Figure out where you can compromise so that you are both happy with a situation.

Treat your partner like your friends – Don’t ward unrealistic expectations over your partner’s head. You wouldn’t freak out on your best friend if they forgot to call you back, so why are you losing it on your partner? Your boyfriend or girlfriend should be your friend first.

Keep dating – Once the honeymoon phase is over, it is too easy to fall into a familiar pattern with your partner. Go out on regular dates with your partner and mix it up from time to time. Having fun together will prevent you from taking your partner for granted and keep your relationship alive.

Apologize and forgive – Own up to your mistakes and apologize for them. Avoid following up your apology with an “if” statement; it makes your apology sound insincere. We all make mistakes, so learn to truly forgive your partner when you believe they are sincere about a mistake that you can get over together as a couple.

Space – While it is nice to be able to share your life with your partner, you should still maintain separate friendships and hobbies. Give yourselves the time and space to miss each other’s company.

Accept your partner for who they are – You should never try to treat your partner like a ‘fix it’ project. The only person you can change is yourself. Appreciate the things that makes your partner unique.

Ask open ended questions – Stop asking your partner how their day was when they get home, and instead ask them questions that warrant an answer that is more than one word. Try asking them what made them smile today instead. Instead of an automated response, you’ll be opening a conversation that will help you develop intimacy with your partner on a daily basis.