You probably know a couple that just really seemed to “get” each other. They’ve been together for years and years, yet they still seemed so in love. They definitely have what you would consider a healthy romantic relationship.
You’ve also probably seen relationships that are volatile, unstable, and just plain drive people crazy. With these friends, you wonder how long the relationship will last and sometimes you’re tired of hearing about all the drama.
When it comes to your own life, you’d like to make sure you’re in a relationship that’s a lot like the first scenario. After all, when your goal is to live a healthy life that leads to long term well-being, relationships matter. They can make or break your wellness practice, create calm or chaos in your life, and challenge your mental and physical health if not carefully chosen.
All relationships have this potential, but romantic relationships even more so. Most people would like to have a life partner of some sort, to share the every day and grow with. Being in a romantic relationship is a vulnerable place to be, so choosing wisely is a smart way to go about it.
Benefits of a Healthy Romantic Relationship
Research shows that being in a long-term, committed relationship that is built on a healthy foundation can have several health benefits. These include perks such as:
- A longer lifespan
- Less experience of pain
- More happiness
- Less depression
- Lowered risk of substance abuse
- Better heart health
- Stronger immune systems
- More resilient bodies
- Healthier nutrition
- Lower blood pressure
- Heal more quickly
- Physically fit bodies
- Lower stress levels
- Better management of stress
Clearly, being in a healthy romantic relationship can have some serious benefits beyond just feeling great. So how do you create the foundation so you can find and keep a wonderfully healthy romantic relationship?
Ways to Create a Healthy Romantic Relationship
1. Fall in love with yourself.
Before we can truly love and give to another person, we first need to heal our own wounds and learn to love ourselves. Many people really struggle when they are alone. Often this is because not having the distraction of another person around forces them to deal with their own demons. If this is your situation, it might be time to do some deep healing.
Find an incredible therapist and commit to your own healing. Process old and new traumas so you can create space for beauty to come into your life. Commit to caring for yourself at last through developing a self-care practice. Learn how to say “no” and prioritize your needs. When you’ve finally fallen in love with yourself, you’ll, at last, attract a person who can be as mentally healthy as you are.
2. Establish healthy boundaries and honor them.
We’ve all been in a situation where we’ve said “yes” when we really wanted to say “no.” When it comes to healthy relationships, the best policy is just being honest and honoring yourself. From major issues like sexual consent to minor issues like your favorite flavor of ice cream, just express what you want.
Establishing healthy boundaries requires you to know yourself pretty well. Take the time to understand your preferences, interests, and values. When you have healthy boundaries, you don’t have to get yanked around in relationships and your self-esteem stays strong and vibrant.
3. Learn how to communicate in a healthy way.
Everyone loses their temper sometimes or gets impatient. But the majority of the time, it’s best to learn how to communicate from a positive perspective. Learn how to truly listen to the other person and give them the space to share their feelings. Be willing to be truthful and honest about your perspective and needs.
After both people have expressed themselves, hold a healthy discussion about how to compromise and find common ground. If you do lose your temper or don’t communicate well, learn how to apologize and try again. Good communication is the foundation of a healthy relationship.
4. Be positive and have fun.
We all know that person who complains non-stop about their partner. Don’t be that person. Approach your relationship from a positive perspective and break your addiction to drama (if that’s been a problem for you). Healthy relationships are built on positive support and mutual respect. When your partner does something wrong, first assume that they are coming from a place of good intent. Stay positive and keep the lines of communication open.
And don’t forget to have lots of fun together. Get silly, make each other laugh, work through your bucket lists together. Adulthood doesn’t have to be boring, especially when you have a best friend to share it with. Go have some fun together regularly.
5. Engage in healthy touch and admiration.
Sexual expression is an important part of a healthy relationship and you should always be working to create a better sexual relationship together. That said, non-sexual touch is equally important and worth increasing in your time together.
Research shows that couples who hug, kiss, snuggle, and gently touch frequently are happier overall. Humans crave healing touch and a romantic partner is an excellent person to share this type of intimate touch with. Don’t be afraid to intentionally create a relationship that values these kinds of healthy behaviors.
6. Embrace growth and value it over comfort.
Part of living a life committed to wellness is to always be engaged in personal growth. Sometimes in relationships that means that we grow apart or outgrow the other person (and they also might do the same). While it can be tempting to want to stay in comfort with a person we know well, we won’t be happy in that situation for long.
When these growing pains happen in your relationship, take the time to talk honestly with your partner. Sometimes, if you’ve chosen someone who is on a similar path that you are on, you can simply talk about the change and find new common ground. But sometimes these conversations help both people realize that for their own health and personal growth, it’s best to learn how to let go. Prioritize your health and well-being, trust your intuition, and lean into your own growth.
Choose a Healthy Romantic Relationship
No matter what popular culture and media portray about overly dramatic relationships, they just aren’t healthy or what we should emulate. Truly healthy, adult relationships value open communication, trust, positivity, compassion, support, and friendship. Take the time to heal yourself, fall in love with yourself, and then attract the kind of person who can be in a relationship like this with you. You’ll have a lifetime of health, joy, and the very best kind of well-being there is. You’re worth it.
If you’re feeling the call to support others in healing so they can find a healthy romantic relationship, it’s time to consider becoming a wellness coach. The IAWP’s accredited Holistic Health and Wellness Coach certification is a robust program that offers unparalleled support and systems to ensure you start your career strong. Contact an admissions advisor today to find out more.