In the New Year, so many of us make new resolutions that we hope will improve the quality of our lives. Often these adjustments or realignment involve our relationships... Many people search for that fairytale spark, but what determines whether a relationship is actually healthy and good for you?
A healthy relationship seems like it should come easily, but often that’s not the case. Too frequently, people get sucked into the trap of what their significant other should be like or what they should do for you, and these expectations are unrealistic, unfair and simply not sustainable.
So, what are the qualities or factors that make up a healthy relationship? Although relationships are not one-size-fits-all, healthy relationships share these common must-have traits: self-love, honesty, communication, intimacy, growth, and most importantly trust. Luckily, these qualities can be developed and cultivated over time if they do not come naturally to you.
Self-Love: If you are looking to find a long-term committed relationship, the first rule of relationships is to start with you. Learning to love yourself and take care of yourself is not as easy for some people as others, but it is the most vital step in order for a healthy relationship to flourish. Hold yourself to a high standard and embrace what makes you special, and you will naturally attract a partner who does the same.
Honesty: You must always strive be honest with yourself and with your partner. Life can throw curve balls any moment, and your partner is supposed to be an active supporting member. So don’t avoid conflicts when they come, share what is going on, and be true to yourself and others. It helps your partner know they can believe your promises and commitments.
Communication, Intimacy, and Growth: Though I’m sure you’ve heard this before, communication truly can make or break any relationship. In the healthiest of relationships, this means both sharing and, more importantly, listening. This is how you learn about each other.
In a perfect world, we would all be mind-readers and not need to say a word! But this is sadly not an option. So communicating your needs clearly is a challenge but absolutely imperative in any relationship. Be compassionate with yourself and your partner by doing your best to always express your concerns and feelings, and allow time to grow together.
Trust: Trust is one of the cornerstones of any relationship—without it, two people cannot be comfortable with each other and the relationship will lack stability. It will be challenging for a relationship to ever thrive without it.
Seek to keep your relationship on solid ground. Trust that your partner will be there for you, be loyal to you, and that your partner's love is strong. Trust doesn’t happen overnight, and it does take time to build. But with patience and communication, you will get there.
So, here’s to your healthy relationships in 2021! Yes, it is something you must nurture consistently. No matter how long you and your partner have been together, relationships do require constant effort and commitment every day. But for the right person, it’s worth the work!!
For more healthy relationship and dating advice, check out my book, “Don't Eat the Scraps: and Other Powerful Jules' Rules for Success in Any New Relationship.”