Think about the most positive relationship you’ve ever had with someone. What made that relationship so good? The five essential relationships to any healthy relationship involve communication, respect, boundaries, trust, and support. If you are looking for ways to improve your relationship or any of these essentials, read down below for some tips. There’s always room for growth and improvement in your relationship!
As you may know, any healthy relationship involves lots of communication. Having a healthy communication style helps you and your partner resolve conflicts, find a deeper understanding for one another, and builds a stronger relationship overall. This goes beyond talking to one another and also extends to nonverbal communication and listening, as well. You can improve your relationship with your partner by thinking about what you want to say before you say it, using “I” statements to talk about what you want, need, and feel, and sharing positive feelings with your partner about what you appreciate about them. To improve your nonverbal cues, try to keep a comfortable level of eye contact, face the other person, and show genuine interest and attention.
Respect in a relationship is all about how you and your partner treat each other on a day in and day out basis. You should be able to respect each other’s opinions, even when you disagree. Signs of disrespect in a relationship include not prioritizing you, not listening to you, flirting with others, being deceitful, and more. If this is the case, communicate this to your partner and look to outside support for your next steps. In addition to respecting your partner and having them respect you, self-respect is also crucial. Self-respect is about accepting yourself, holding yourself to your own standards, and taking care of both your body and mind. As the saying goes, how can you love someone else if you don’t even love yourself? If you are finding it hard to respect yourself, it might be time to take a step back from your relationship. Work on yourself and focus on loving yourself again and then you will notice all of the relationships in your life taking a turn for the better.
Boundaries are agreements you keep with yourself to voice your needs and make choices.Think of them as drawing a line within a relationship. They help you to feel comfortable and can improve your relationship in the long run. If you don’t honor your own needs and limitations, you might feel dissatisfied or uncomfortable with the relationship later on. It’s also important to respect your partner’s boundaries as you would hope they respect yours- it is a two way street. Establishing healthy boundaries can be done in four steps. First, identify your needs and limitations. Then, make requests rather than demands. This lessens the thought of a power dynamic and reassures your partner that you are on the same team. It’s also important to use I-statements to show that you are not faulting your partner. Lastly, always maintain respect for your partner- which circles back to our five essentials for a healthy relationship. You can learn more about boundaries here.
Having trust in someone can mean different things to different people. For the most part, trust means that you can rely on someone, feel secure around them, and feel a sense of loyalty with each other. Trust in relationships is important because it promotes positivity, reduces conflict, and increases closeness. If you’re looking to build trust in a relationship, the best way to start is to communicate and be open with one another. Be consistent and follow through on your commitments. A lack of trust can turn into distress, fear, and resentment between one another.
Getting and giving emotional support in a relationship can come in many different formats. You can ask your partner questions, validate their feelings, provide physical touch, give small gifts, and more. It’s important to show your partner that you are there for them, even in the darker times. If you feel that your relationship is struggling, outside support might also be necessary. Life Balance Therapy offers Professional online therapy solutions and in-person therapy in San Antonio for relationship counseling. Click here to learn more.