Each relationship is unique in its own way, but a common theme to a happy relationship stems from a healthy foundation of learning and growing with and from one another. Building this foundation can take time and patience with ourselves and with our partners. Learning to navigate challenges in a relationship can be just as fulfilling as enjoying all of the positives that come from being in a relationship. Take a look at some tips to forming healthy relationship habits that are sure to help navigate any challenges.
1. Take Time For Self-Care
Practicing self-care can be extremely healthy not only for the individual but also for the couple. Self-care’s role in relationships cannot be understated, it creates healthy habits in prioritizing our own physical and mental health so we can be our best selves. Taking time for our own individual needs can also empower us to show up for those around us and help us to be more present in our relationships. Lastly, practicing self-care individually can create healthy limits with our loved ones, which can help to eliminate unhealthy codependent behaviors. Some ideas for good self-care activities include:
Keep a journal to reflect on your day or set goals for yourself
Do activities that involve one of your senses, such as listening to music or aromatherapy
Participate in a physical activity like walking or yoga
2. Make Quality Time For One Another
Making time for one another can produce healthy benefits for couples. Creating time to prioritize uninterrupted space for just you and your partner can help facilitate the healthy development of the relationship. During this time, it could be helpful to limit distractions such as social media or work, and instead create a space to try new activities that you’ve been hoping to do together or learn something new about each other. Something as simple as playing a game or catching each other up on daily events is all it takes, what’s important is to make a ritual out of it. Whatever activity is chosen, the important piece is prioritizing time for one another.
Bonus Tip: designate a time in the week and mark it in a joint calendar. Downloading a relationship wellness app like coBlossom is a great way to find and engage in different activities with one another.
3. Practice Good Communication
Communication is an integral part of a relationship and it can create the foundation of how experiences are viewed and perceived within the couple. Communication also takes practice, as conversations can get off track if couples do things like engage in conversation to respond but not to listen or focus on who is right or wrong in the discussion. Creating healthy communication focuses more on how we are seen, heard, and understood and less on who is right.
Utilizing practices such as “I” statements or reflective listening skills can allow more space to hear one another and work towards growing as a couple. Changing the language from something like “you made me so mad when...” to “I felt hurt when...” can change the outcome of a disagreement. It has the ability to draw-back defenses and allow space for vulnerability. Although expressing vulnerability can be scary and intimidating in a relationship, it can lead to more open conversations with your partner reciprocating the vulnerability. The key here is practice, practice, practice.
4. Set Boundaries
Boundary setting is an important practice within a relationship as it allows each person in the relationship to share their needs and limitations. Boundary setting can be uncomfortable and difficult, often stemming from unearned guilt or the desire to please people . However, boundaries are essential in creating healthy habits because they allow the ability to prioritize and express self needs. Boundaries can exemplify what we are comfortable with in a relationship, and what expectations can look like in a relationship. An example of boundary setting is establishing boundaries around how we would like to be treated or supported by our partner and vice versa.
5. Never Stop Learning
Finally, take some time to learn more with your partner. Learning how your partner ticks is deeper than knowing how they take their coffee. In a relationship, it can be very helpful to learn your partner’s attachment style, communication style, triggers, etc. This process can take time and patience as you observe how each other operates, but the benefits can be very rewarding. Taking the time to learn where these certain styles stem from can help navigate disagreements and challenges that may arise within the relationship. For example, knowing that your partner deals with stress using humor can explain why it might appear as though they are joking around in a difficult situation. An important piece of learning from your partner can come from educating oneself around different attachment and communication styles. Knowing more about these areas is helpful to continue evolving as a couple. Helpful reading material for further education include:
There is no single trick to building a healthy relationship, it takes work in a lot of different areas ranging from communication to understanding more about how your partner operates. The important thing is to practice these areas often enough until they become habits. As mentioned at the beginning, each relationship is unique, but one commonality among healthy relationships is a concerted effort at making good relationship habits such as the ones listed above. If you’re already making an effort to turn healthy relationship practices into habits, then you’re well on your way to a happy relationship.
Looking for an exciting way to continue growing your relationship? Busy but want some quick date ideas or activities that you can do with your partner? coBlossom is a new, fun app for couples that offers flexible minigames designed for busy couples, providing positive boosts to your relationship each day. Couples will benefit from building healthy relationship habits to achieve their couple goals!