You know what they say about assuming… But seriously, it’s easy to jump to conclusions about what your partner is thinking or feeling during those inevitable arguments. Successful couples can focus on the context of the discussion rather than making assumptions. To understand and respect their partner, healthy couples ask. Rather than assuming their partner’s feelings, they are curious and ask them. Doing so encourages open dialogue.
The next step is to be sure to be prepared to listen without judgment. Jumping to assumptions can lead to resentment, anger, and frustration. It’s critical to ask your partner how they’re feeling and how you can help, rather than assuming. That’s when it’s important to exercise those listening skills we’ve tried drilling into you throughout this article. It’s so much more important than you realize in the moment. You’re not enemies or else you wouldn’t be together. So treat each other like allies.
4. Healthy couples know how to balance “me” time and “we” time.
Couples who are in it for the long term understand the need for together time and individual time. It’s crucial in a relationship to continue doing the hobbies that each individual enjoys. Although healthy couples value and appreciate their independence, they aren’t afraid to lean on each other for support. Healthy relationships can balance separateness and togetherness. Allowing each other to have time to partake in hobbies or spend time with their family and friends helps them appreciate and value the time spent together. Maintaining healthy boundaries and some autonomy will make for a long-lasting relationship. It’s critical for a successful relationship also to maintain the connections you had prior.
If the “me” time swings too far the other way, it’s normal to feel ignored. Striking that perfect balance is going to be key here. If you have a partner caught up in video games (for younger generations) and you feel like it’s crushing quality time together, definitely speak up about that. Remember that your thoughts and feelings don’t need to be accusatory. “I feel ignored.” sets the stage for you to take accountability for your feelings. If you go to them saying “You never spend time with me.” then they are going to feel defensive off the bat. If you open with your feelings, hopefully they will question how their actions are making you feel that way.
Showing respect to your partner is a habit worth creating for a happy, healthy, and long-lasting connection. Respecting your partner comes in many forms. When you express respect, you are showing your love, acceptance, and warmth. It allows your partner to feel confident in the relationship and tells them that you support them. Failing to show disrespect to your partner communicates that you don’t accept your partner. Respecting your partner allows for the two of you to feel connected, loved, and accepted. The relationship can grow, and the bond will continue to strengthen. Even when there are different outlooks, healthy couples always respect their partner, including their differences.
For example, an extreme circumstance of disrespect is trash talking behind their back. It’s hard to build trust and respect if you are telling your friends that your partner is lazy or useless. You may not realize that you are setting yourself up to not see them with the respect that every human deserves. But this type of habit can solidify these feelings in your mind and make you treat them with less respect than they deserve.
2. Express your love by speaking your partner’s love language every day.
Healthy couples recognize their love language and that their partner may have a different love language. There are five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Understanding how you feel love and also how your partner feels love is vital to a healthy relationship. It’s important to note that how you interpret love may not be the same as your partner. When you express your partner’s love language, they feel loved and valued. Creating the habit of speaking your partner’s love language daily establishes love, affection, and warmth for a long-lasting relationship.
There are five love languages that deal with how your partner perceives or expresses love. Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. All of these are pretty self explanatory. But if you aren’t sure about which love language you are, take the quiz here! Once you know what your and your partner’s love language are, you can start integrating those into your daily lives.
It’s unlikely to see a healthy relationship that lacks boundaries. Healthy couples openly talk about and respect each other’s boundaries to ensure their needs are being met and as a way to feel safe in the relationship. Limitations include emotional, physical, and even digital. When couples establish healthy boundaries, they know what is expected of them and can also communicate their needs to their partner. This can include discussing how much time is spent together, how often to check-in, and what public displays of affection they are comfortable with.
Going back to another habit, you should never assume your partner has the exact boundaries you do. Always make sure your partner feels validated and heard. You guys may have different ideas on boundaries, but it is important to discuss that. Compromise is always going to be a part of a relationship, just make sure you both feel like you’re on even footing in the compromises.