Relationships are complicated, unique and personal. It doesn’t matter if your closest relationship is with a spouse, friend or relative, they can all be strong allies in your commitment to living a healthy life. Here are a few tips to creating and maintaining healthy bonds.
Agree to Disagree. This is a cliche because it is the absolute truth. No matter how compatible you may be, it’s inevitable that you won’t agree on every single idea. If you choose your battles wisely and state your disputes with love and respect, it’s hard to lose a disagreement.
Communication. Honesty does not have to be hurtful. As long as it is presented with kindness and some tact, it is a key ingredient to a healthy, long-lasting relationship. Good communication can defend against passive aggression, assumptions and fear of the unknown. Try communicating the things you want or believe, as opposed to what you don’t want or don’t believe.
Quality Time. Mealtime has not only become the status quo for bonding, but it’s considered a past time! However, you can change this. Make activity dates where you go for a hike or ride your bikes to a park. Fresh air, people watching and heart pumping will inspire new conversations and create new memories.
Individuality. Alone time, separate interests and time spent with others keeps you sturdy in yourself, the person who your partner fell for, in the first place. That identity and individuality will keep things fresh.
Don’t Correct, Just Support. It can be difficult to watch loved ones take on unhealthy habits. While we don’t want to enable this behavior, it’s important not to project criticism or superiority. Instead, talk about the underlining issues and if it seems right, suggest healthy alternatives – without judgement.
The Grass is NOT Greener. Living against the social media backdrop, it’s nearly impossible not to compare your life to Instagram posts on Facebook feeds. Rest assured, no one’s life is perfect and no one’s significant other is perfect. Focus on the things you love about your loved one.