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Relationships are complex and ever-changing. Sometimes they are great; sometimes not so much. But what is important is to see the relationship for what it truly is and let go of any unrealistic version or expectation of it. If you are at a crossroad, trying to decode how to build a healthy relationship, we’re here to help.
Often, we are sold on the idea of a fairytale romance – the kinds portrayed by movies and books. And so, we keep waiting for the ‘right’ person or keep finding the ‘wrong’ in the one we are with.
Arguments, misunderstandings and boundary violations can happen even in healthy relationships. The difference in healthy and unhealthy relationships is the way of communication, expression, conflict resolution and level of clarity. While it isn’t advisable to ignore the obvious red flags, it is imperative to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy patterns in order to build a healthy relationship.
Love and respect in a relationships is paramount. You can’t expect your partner to think and function like you at all times. That’s an unrealistic expectation. Honour the differences and embrace the connection for what it is. It’s okay to have different points of view about issues. Even the most romantic partner can’t agree with you on everything, or read your mind at all times. Be kind to your relationship by being realistic in your expectations. And laugh a little, because humour helps you bond.
If your objective is to ‘win’ every argument, you are heading towards trouble in a relationship. You may be right, but proving it won’t change the dynamics of the relationship. Instead, try to find a solution. Focus on connection and resolution, instead of victory. Find ways to change unhealthy patterns together as a team, instead of acting as opponents.
Don’t bottle up your emotions in order to keep harmony, hoping your partner will ‘understand’. Clarity and authentic communication are key drivers of a healthy relationship. Instead of assuming or judging, clarify the issue at hand. A lot of times, the other person is completely unaware of what’s bothering you and hence a clear communication helps in clearing the air and instilling strength in the relationship.
Don’t suppress, nor impulsively express your emotions. Try to process them. It is important to communicate from the space of awareness and acknowledgment of one’s own feelings as well as that of the other. Feelings are valid – not good or bad. Stop imposing your feelings on the other or denying your own as well. Be open and curious to listen and share in order to strengthen the emotional connection.
When you want your needs to be met, ask for it; communicate the same effectively. People are not mind-readers. Well, most aren’t. Being clear right from the beginning saves resentment and disappointment in future. Firstly identify what is it that you truly want and then let compassion be the foundation of your expression in order to witness a relationship you desire (and not just long for).
People rarely change, no matter how much we wish they could. We become unhappy in relationships when we expect our significant other to always be there for us and never let us down or hurt us. Just because that person is the most important person to you, doesn’t mean they are capable of always being there for you. Sometimes, even they need their space. Focus on the top values for you in your relationship and then identify how you can bring more of those into the relationship. Walk the talk. Treat your partner the way you would like to be treated, and you will unlock the key for how to build a healthy relationship.
If you’re not satisfied with your relationship and find it draining despite all efforts, then it may be wise to end it instead of prolonging the misery for both! In case you are still in the transition phase of finding out how to build a healthy relationship, appreciate all the good things in the relationship regularly.
When you truly understand what a healthy relationship means to you by setting your standards high and working towards it yourself, as well, is when you’d be able to truly appreciate all the good things that would come along your way! Remember, relationships don’t work out on their own. They require commitment from both partners.