6 Guidelines for Healthy Relationships

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 Relationships have always been hard. With the advent of social media, it can at times feel like it's only getting worse. The good news is that you possess the tools to maintaining a healthy and functioning relationship. Using the Guidelines below when interacting with people close to you (be it platonic, familial, or romantic), you can make a good relationship better.

Keep your Secrets - You have your secrets, it's no shame. It's important to remember that everyone else has them too. Learn to respect them,  both in yourself and others, and to expect the same from anyone else. Privacy is precious and our right. Approaching your domestic partnership with this understanding will help lay the groundwork for personal independence and mutual respect. 

Deal Breakers - Know what your deal breakers are. Everyone has those things that simply can't be tolerated within a relationship. Figure out yours, and don't make exceptions. This can sound harsh, but these issues (minor as they might seem in the beginning) tend to compound over time. If there is something that feels morally compromising to you, then leave it behind. 

Goals  -   Like with secrets, we all also have goals in life. Keep that in mind when you bring someone in. Within the confines of a healthy relationship, by practicing respect of each others goals fosters trust and support as a whole. 

Communication -  This one may in fact be the most important thing to think of as a whole. Communicating with honesty and accountability is a must. This means admitting when you're wrong, and being open and truthful even when it's hard to do. 

Negotiate, not compromise -  Compromise means people aren't getting what they want. Negotiation means people come to terms with how to get what they want. When you Compromise, you are willing to accept standards lower than your desires. Negotiation lets you keep your standards, while coming to mutual agreement on how you get them. It can be very tempting to give a little, but doing so risks building resentment down the road. 

Avoiding Over statement - As Andrea Brandt Ph.D. states here, you shouldn't use "You always/You never" statements. They're rarely accurate, and only serve to undermine the efforts of the person they are being used on. It tells them they are permanently wrong in your eyes and shows no sign of improvement. It can also lead to heated escalation which is never where you want to be. Taking the moment to put thought into your words can save an awful lot of heartache.

These are all just some ways to prepare yourself for a healthy relationship, though they are by no means the only things to consider. Many of the concepts above are touched upon by the Equality wheel (created by the DAIP), which can be found here. Every relationship is unique, and will require its own understanding by everyone involved. Keep your ears open, your heart in check, and your principles up front. 

By the way, if you need any support regarding you as an individual or with your relationship, feel free to contact us today to learn how we can help.