you love yourself, it's hard for you to believe that anyone else
is important for a healthy relationship. When you truly like yourself,
in spite of any failings and weaknesses you may have, you'll feel
confident. And when you feel confident and secure within yourself,
you can enjoy being with your partner for the joy they bring to
your life, not because you feel you need them to survive. For
tips on building confidence see the Improving confidence site.
you've had bad experiences in the past, it's worth working through
these issues with a trusted friend or counsellor. It can be tempting
to lean on your partner and rely on them for reassurance, but
the stronger you are as an individual, the stronger and more equal
your relationship will be.
2. Like your partner
Healthy relationships happen between two people who really
like each other. It may be more romantic to talk about love, but
it's important to remember that love is an emotion that comes
you genuinely like each other, enjoy being together, agree with
how each other thinks and behaves, and share the same dreams in
life, then loving feelings will never be too far away.
important to tell your partner you like them, too. Warm words
of encouragement and support build trust and respect. Add the
odd compliment as well and you'll be helping to boost their self-esteem.
3. Make quality time
The importance of things can be measured by the amount of
time we're willing to give them. When a couple first gets together,
they instinctively prioritise their relationship. But as time
goes by and life gets busier with work and children, time together
often slips down the list of priorities.
you don't spend regular quality time together, chances are you'll
drift apart. Making such time for each other may mean sacrificing
other activities, but remember it's an investment in your future
Good communication is essential for a healthy relationship.
It's the only way you can tell your partner who you are, what
you want and why you behave the way you do. Talking is the way
we let each other into our private worlds.
better is about learning to say openly and honestly exactly what
you think and feel. It also means listening to your partner without
judgement. For more see Talk and listen.
5. Argue well
It's important to accept that arguments are a normal part
of a relationship. We're all unique and so we're bound to have
who argue well don't have to worry about not always agreeing.
A good argument is an opportunity to share your feelings and strengthen
your bond by reaching a decision you're both happy with. It can
be an experience that leaves you both feeling more confident about
your relationship and brings you closer together.
6. Touch every day
Touching is a vital human need. Studies have shown that without
touching, many animals - including humans - will die in childhood.
Being caressed also lowers blood pressure and releases natural
opiates in the brain, as well as the chemical oxytocin, which
is essential for human pair-bonding. For more, see Sensual touching.
has the power to comfort and support, to protect and encourage,
to relax and, of course, to arouse. Every couple knows their sex
life may have dry periods, but our need for physical affection
7. Accept change
People change over the years and it's these changes that can
keep a relationship alive. Life changes too - and not always in
ways that we want.
can provide opportunities for growth and intimacy, but it can
also be painful. It may mean adjusting to a new way of thinking
or a new way of life. It may also mean letting go of things that
have been familiar and safe.
successful relationships, couples learn to adapt and change together.
They accept that change is an inevitable part of human life and
support each other, for better for worse.
all seven principles going isn't easy, but the more you can manage
on a regular basis, the stronger your relationships will be.