A healthy relationship is an outcome and not an effort. It is the coming together of two individuals who set out to live, celebrate and tolerate life as they move ahead. To assess the health of a relationship, one must not zero in on the individuals, rather on the relationship itself and the interplay between the two partners. Quoting the most common analogy, how a motorbike can’t run with a single wheel, similarly, a relationship in a dual affair is not one partner’s responsibility. The most important factor is for both the partners to be on the same page. Hiccups are inevitable since every individual is now more evolved and independent than before, but at the end of the day it all comes down to what kind of approach is used to deal with those hiccups. Consider asking the following questions.
Are you able to upkeep an emotional connection with each other?
You make each other feel loved and fulfilled emotionally. Being loved and feeling loved are two different things. When you're loved, you feel welcomed and cherished by your partner, as if they actually understand you. Some relationships become caught in a state of calm cohabitation without the parties emotionally engaging with each other. While the relationship may appear to be stable on the surface, a lack of continuing commitment and emotional connection simply contributes to widening the gap between two people.
Does a difference of opinion or disagreement turn ugly?
Some couples communicate in hushed tones, while others may raise their voices and argue vehemently. However, in order to have a strong relationship, you must not be afraid of disputes. You must be able to communicate your concerns without fear of retaliation, and you must be able to resolve conflicts without humiliation, degradation, or insistence on being right.
Are your individual interests and life outside the relationship intact?
Despite what romantic novels or movies may promise, no single person can fulfill all of your wants. Expecting too much from your partner, in fact, can put undue strain on a relationship. Maintaining your own identity outside of the relationship, maintaining relationships with family and friends, and maintaining your hobbies and interests are all key ways to stimulate and deepen your love partnership.
Do you talk to talk or talk to understand?
It can't be stressed enough how important communication is in maintaining strong relationships. Take the time you need but make sure that you are present in the moment.
Take the time to truly listen. Interrupting or planning what you're going to say next is not a good idea. Make an effort to comprehend your partner’s viewpoint. Show interest by asking questions. Demonstrate your enthusiasm. Inquire about their past experiences, feelings, thoughts, and passions.
Are you being sensible while arguing?
Before you speak, take a few moments to relax. If you have the chat after your emotions have calmed down a bit, you will be less likely to say anything you may later regret. Without assigning blame or reasons, express how you feel and what you desire. Maintain a distinct and specific tone in the way you speak. Avoid criticism and judgment by describing the behavior that has disturbed you in a factual manner. Attack the issue, not the individual. Accept responsibility for your errors. If you are the one who has made the mistake, don’t feel led down in going and apologizing. At that moment, it might look like a herculean task but will prove to be very beneficial in the long term.
Are you able to understand what your partner does not say?
What we don't say transmits a great deal of our communication. Eye contact, tone of voice, posture, and gestures like leaning forward, crossing your arms, or touching someone's hand express far more than words.
You'll be able to tell how your partner actually feels and behaves appropriately if you can pick up on their nonverbal indications or ‘body language’. To have a successful relationship, each person must be aware of their own and their partner's nonverbal clues. Your partner's reactions may differ from your own. Say you are in a social gathering along with your partner. There is something said that your partner does not really appreciate but agrees to due to societal pressure. Are you able to second guess that? This understanding develops over a period of time as you spend time with your partner.
Is the physical intimacy alive in your relationship?
Touch is an essential aspect of human life. Affectionate contact raises oxytocin levels in the body, a hormone that impacts attachment and bonding. While sex is frequently a cornerstone of committed relationships, it should not be the main means of physical closeness. Touch that is frequent and affectionate—holding hands, embracing, kissing—is also essential. It's critical to pay attention to your partner's preferences. Unwanted touching or inappropriate approaches can make the other person tense up and withdraw, which is the opposite of what you want. This, like so many other facets of a successful relationship, might come down to how well you and your partner express your wants and goals.
Even if you have a busy schedule or small children, you can assist to keep physical intimacy alive by scheduling regular couple time, whether it's a date night or simply an hour at the end of the day when you can sit and talk or hold hands.
The two most important pillars of a sustainable relationship are trust and respect. As cliche as it may sound, this fact has stood the test of time. Love is a byproduct! It happens, flourishes, and stays. At the same time, if you feel that you are having to make efforts towards the relationship, don’t ridicule yourself. You want it to work and that’s the reason you are making the efforts. It becomes worrisome when you begin to feel nonchalant. See if any of these can help.
Develop shared interests
Discover hobbies and interests you and your partner can enjoy together. This could be a great place to spend some quality time with them. These can range from working out together, taking up a sport, trying new restaurants and cuisines to even reading together.
Envision a future (life) together
Plan your life goals, your finances, your aspirations, and even travel destinations. Such discussions help to make both the partners believe that they are in this for the long haul. Individually include your partner in these future plans.
Keep gadgets and other technological devices away
When it comes to making eye contact, turning off the television or computer every now and then is a terrific approach to give your significant other your undivided focus. There's no disputing how distracting technology can be, so plan time for you and your partner to disconnect from it. Make a no-cell phone rule for date night, or leave the devices in the other room as you share a cup of coffee together in the morning. Spending time with your partner without the obtrusive distraction of technology allows you to give each other the care and consideration you both need.
Talk about the crests and troughs of life
Life will be smooth, said nobody. You are bound to experience highs and lows as you grow up. Share these with your partner. Confide in them. The relationship is a non-judgemental zone where you can be yourself without any false makeup. Try to make decisions together when time gets tough because it is going to impact both the stakeholders in the relationship. Even when it is time to celebrate, do it together.
Be mutually exclusive to each other
Reserve some portions of your life and existence only for your partner. No one should have access to you the way your partner does. Some things, thoughts, experiences, insecurities, and fears should only be shared with your partner. You both are a team up against the whole world outside.
Rise and shine together
Till you get bound in a relationship, your career decisions are yours alone. But on the other side, every professional choice you make will affect your relationship. Don’t be selfish and don’t think about your success alone. See what works best for the two of you. Inspire each other and align your professional preferences with each other. One partner’s progress should not prove to be detrimental for the other one.
Keep it going, always
You've worked hard to figure out how to have a happy relationship and have arrived at a satisfactory conclusion. Now you can move forward, leading by example and fostering a healthy, loving relationship at all times. Whatever life throws at you, you always have options. You can either take what comes, process it, learn from it, and find out how to apply that lesson to your life, or you can take what comes, process it, learn from it, and figure out how to apply that lesson to your life. The bottom line is that no matter how long you and your partner have been together, you must nurture and maintain a healthy connection.