Perhaps you’ve recently hit a few roadblocks in your love life and want to create a healthier relationship. Most of us desire a stress-free, happy romantic life full of kindness and empathy. But things don’t always work that way.
Life comes with many problems and challenges we must navigate, including in our relationships. However, we can learn to fortify our relationships, so external stressors don’t affect them as much.
7 Habits to Build a Healthier Relationship
Below, we’ll review a few essential habits that ensure a more fulfilling relationship–one filled with empathy for each other and compassion.
1. Practice Mindfulness With Your Partner.
To have a healthier relationship, you and your partner need quality time for each other. This isn’t always easy to accomplish with life’s pressures and demands. However, no relationship can survive if couples don’t try connecting and listening to one another. Being mindful means shutting out distractions so that your full attention goes to your partner.
So, to create a healthier relationship, turn off the TV, smartphones, and other devices in your partner’s company. This shows them that nothing will come between your time together. Your company email or Facebook feed will still be there later, but your partner needs your empathy now.
You don’t have to plan an elaborate date to enjoy each other’s company. Just sitting and talking with them could help you reconnect. In today’s world, many relationships have fallen victim to the digital revolution, with more people distracted than ever. However, we can begin restoring our relationships by being present for one another.
2. Allow Time For Fun Activities.
You may feel restless or bored if you’ve been with your partner for many years. Daily life is an endless cycle of commuting, working, making meals, and doing chores. Any relationship will lose its luster after a while, so making time for fun is essential.
Some studies indicate that even planning an exciting activity with your partner can spice things up. Doing something spontaneous, like taking a last-minute weekend trip, could reignite the spark you’ve been missing.
So, to build a healthier relationship, put aside work and chores for a while and have some fun! Go to a theme park, plan a trip to an exotic country, or even try a new restaurant in town. This will help you feel more satisfied in the relationship and let go of worries for a while.
3. Practice Active Listening and Respond With Empathy.
Sadly, many people today don’t make time to listen to one another truly. We have become human doings rather than beings, rushing from one place to the next. We have forgotten the art of slowing down, telling stories, and showing empathy for one another. You can see this in almost every interaction, not just romantic relationships.
So, if you want to repair communication with your partner, set down the devices and practice active listening. This involves looking your partner in the eyes when they speak and turning your full attention to them. It means not interjecting and listening until they have finished speaking. In essence, it means listening to understand rather than reply. When you respond, do so with empathy and kindness to convey the depth of your love.
People need to feel heard and seen to find happiness in relationships. So, show your authentic self and share your deepest thoughts with your partner. And give them the space and permission to do the same with you.
4. Approach Problems In the Relationship as a Team.
Many people would have healthier relationships if they had a team mentality. When problems arise, most people in relationships naturally go on the defense and get into arguments. They’re seeing issues from a “me vs. you” mindset instead of approaching them as a couple. However, finding a solution that benefits you both will strengthen the relationship.
5. Express Gratitude For Your Partner.
How often do you tell your partner “thank you” for something they’ve done? If you want a healthier relationship, it’s important to remind your SO of everything you love about them. You may not say it enough if you’ve been with them for many years. However, expressing gratitude about minor things, such as making coffee or washing your car, can make them feel appreciated.
5. Have a Nighttime Routine Together.
This one might seem strange, but having a nightly routine could help build a healthier relationship. If you have to do chores anyway, why not make it more fun by getting your partner involved?
It also offers bonding time, especially if you’ve both been at work all day. Brushing your teeth or making tea together may not sound all that exciting, but it’s another opportunity to connect.
Going to bed simultaneously can also benefit couples, as studies have shown it can boost REM sleep. So, to create a happier relationship, make time to unwind with your partner at night.
6. Turn the Negatives Into a Positive.
Every couple gets under each other’s skin at some point, but fighting over petty matters creates tension. For example, perhaps your boyfriend or husband isn’t pulling his weight regarding household chores. You may feel resentful or passive-aggressive if his behavior continues and he seems indifferent about it. However, instead of lashing out, take a more constructive approach by expressing your needs clearly and calmly. Rather than getting upset at them for their behavior, explain what would make you happy. They’ll be more receptive if you express what you want rather than what you hate about their behavior.
7. Speak Your Relationship Partner’s Love Language.
Love language refers to the ways your partner expresses and receives love. Marriage counselor Dr. Gary Chapman came up with five love languages that describe how couples experience love. These include acts of service, words of affirmation, gift giving, quality time, and physical touch.
Some people respond more strongly to kind words or affirmations of love, while others would rather receive love through actions. To know your partner’s love language, ask them directly how they prefer experiencing love. Understanding your SO’s needs will help build a healthier relationship.
Final Thoughts on What Creates a Healthier Relationship
In today’s world, we’ve overcomplicated relationships and perhaps expected too much from our partners. At the end of the day, we’re all imperfect humans just trying to make it in life.
Our relationships can provide comfort and happiness, but problems will always arise. It’s how we approach them and weather the storms that determine the outcome of our relationships, though. So, if you want a healthier relationship, remember to look at it as a team effort and have realistic expectations.