Building a Love That Lasts: Keys to Developing a Healthy Relationship

Written by Dr. Hannah Yang

It’s only natural for all humans to crave a certain amount of love and attachment in their lives. But with so many distractions and challenges that each of us face on an individual basis, it can be hard to prioritize putting in the real work that’s necessary to establish and maintain healthy relationships.

However, by taking the time and care necessary to strengthen our personal attachments, we can create more purpose in our own lives and the lives of those around us.

The Importance of Quality Communication

We’ve all heard it before, but the foundation of every healthy relationship begins and ends with quality communication. However, communication can have different meanings for everyone and doesn’t always have to be representative of deep, thoughtful conversations.

Communication takes many different forms – verbal, visual, or even emotional. Regardless of how we or those around us prefer to communicate, it’s important that everyone’s personal perspectives or needs are met. But in order to know what these are, there needs to be mutual willingness to share without fear of judgment.

This is why it’s important to set the right pace when it comes to communication. But this doesn’t mean being the first one to speak – it often means being the first one to listen. You want to focus on creating a safe space for those in a relationship with you – whether they’re a partner or spouse or a close family member, and this all begins with active listening.

Trust is the Glue That Holds Everything Together

Being in a relationship can put many people in a state of feeling vulnerable. But while many people immediately view this as a sign that something’s wrong, it could also be a very natural transition of suddenly going from relying on yourself to entrusting that responsibility to someone else.

Trust isn’t always easy to develop with another person, so it’s only natural for many new relationships to start off slow, with each individual maintaining certain walls (or boundaries) with the other person. However, for a relationship to grow, at some point, you will need to extend a certain level of trust with the other person and vice versa.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t trust your instincts when it comes to who or when you should trust. Still, it’s important to actively work toward establishing mutual trust and respect in a relationship and never undervalue the trust you’re also getting back.

Having Shared Values

Being able to have shared values is another important part of establishing healthy relationships. Values are what give each of us purpose in life and often define the type of person we’re striving to be in life.

It’s important for individuals to establish relationships with others whose values are in close alignment. This will often help to reduce major disagreements or toxic behavior that can add anxiety to your life and negatively influence how you treat others.

The type of values you have can be relevant to just about every area of life, including your family, finances, religion, honesty, or goals in life. While not all of your values will align perfectly with another individual (because you’re unique), the most important relationships in your life should complement who you are as a person, not create unneeded tension.

Nurturing All Forms of Intimacy

When most people think of being intimate, they most likely think that it relates to being physically close to someone or showing a sexual interest in their partner. But while these are both examples of intimacy in a relationship, there is a much deeper connection that it can create.

Showing emotional intimacy is an equally important component of showing love and appreciation in your relationship. Rather than just physical expressions, emotional intimacy involves sharing your deepest fears or vulnerabilities with one another. This can be a vulnerable position, which makes this form of intimacy so powerful.

Nurturing intimacy in a relationship isn’t something that can be forced or passively attained. It takes real work to ensure your partner’s, and your own needs, are met, and this means focusing the time and attention you need to share your feelings while listening to the needs of others.

Willingness to Grow and Adapt

Life has a way of throwing curve balls at all of us. But it’s not these experiences nor our relationships that define us – it’s how we respond to them.

In most relationships there are often major events that take place that can either strengthen or weaken its strength. In order to persevere in these situations and help our relationships grow stronger, it is important to be accepting of different levels of change.

Most people aren’t in love with the idea of change, and this can be especially the case when we’re used to a certain norm in our relationships that takes a sudden turn. This could be a change in certain behaviors, evolving perspectives on life or politics, or when coping with the loss of a loved one or a change in career.

Rather than looking at change as a bad thing in your relationships, look at it as an opportunity to grow and learn from one another. Be flexible enough to adjust to changing circumstances and remember that even difficult moments that we experience in life are temporary and can be worked through with the love and support of our relationships. 

Mastering Conflict Resolution

Conflicts in your relationships are only natural. This is especially the case with those we’re the closest with, including friends, family, and partners. However, while conflict is normal in relationships, it should never make up the bulk of your interactions.

In many cases, you may need to be the first person in the room to actively work toward conflict resolution. It’s very rarely easy to take the high road when disagreements occur, especially if you feel like the other person instigated the situation. However, when you show the other person how you want to move forward, they’re much more likely to follow suit.

It’s important to remember that conflict isn’t always a bad thing. It often helps you to learn and grow with each other in a relationship. When you learn to settle disagreements amicably and in a timely manner, the bond with you and the other person will only continue to strengthen over time.

Start Creating Stronger Relationships

Building healthy, sustainable relationships isn’t something that happens by accident. It takes real effort to keep your relationships strong and something you can depend on for long-lasting support. By following the guidelines provided, you can start to create more meaningful relationships in your life that bring you greater happiness and inspire those around you.

Visionary and healthcare entrepreneur by passion, Licensed Psychologist by training, Dr. Hannah Yang loves creating new possibilities in the world of mental health and wellness. Dr. Yang established Balanced Awakening in 2015 as a niche psychotherapy practice for women. As Balanced Awakening flourishes in Chicago, and soon Miami, she also loves to tap into her passion for design and Feng Shui to create fabulous environments for herself, her team, and clients.

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