5 Habits of Healthy Romantic Relationships

February is known for many as the month of love with Valentine’s Day at the center. For many young adults, we are never formally taught how to foster healthy habits // relationships — there’s no class in school that teaches us how to be in relationships that betters ourselves. While being in a relationship can bring so much joy + positivity into our lives, unfortunately, unhealthy relationships patterns have become commonplace in the dating world.

Even worse, pop culture + societal norms have normalized unhealthy relationship patterns, so it can be incredibly hard to evaluate your own relationships to know when you are in them. Even when you are in a healthy relationship, coming back to these core habits will help to strengthen your relationship + make it the best it can be. We’re breaking down our top tips to help build healthy romantic relationships in your life + are sharing resources to go to if you think you are in an unhealthy relationship —

Having your own set of friends + hobbies

As much as you may love to spend time with your significant other, it is so important to have friends + hobbies that you do separately. Having your own set of friends allows you to get new perspectives, develop a strong support system, ++ even just to have fun. Friends help you understand situations differently than your partner may + sometimes, we all need to vent a little. Spending time with others + having your own hobbies will give you more to talk to your partner about at the end of the day ++ will allow you to grow as your own person, while you are growing in your relationship as well.

Trust + Privacy

Believing that your partner has the best intentions + won’t do anything to hurt you or the relationship is a huge piece of a healthy relationship. For many people, it can be hard to trust fully in a relationship, especially if you’ve been hurt in the past. Being honest with your partner about how you are feeling is crucial.

Your partner should also trust you + allow you to have your own level of privacy. Letting your partner have their own space + privacy is important to build trust ++ keep some things personal to yourselves. You can learn more about trust in a relationship on the National Dating Violence’s website.

Open Communication

Always have serious conversations in person, whenever possible. Text messages can easily be misinterpreted + phone calls don’t have the ability to read facial expressions. Allow yourself time to think through what you want to say too before a serious conversation to avoid arguing or saying things you’ll later regret.

Using the “I” rule is also helpful when addressing your feelings. When having a serious conversation, start your sentences with “I feel like…” instead of “you have been…” This will help your partner to not feel like you are attacking him//her but instead, sharing your feelings + having an honest conversation. In a relationship, it is important to feel comfortable addressing things that are bothering you + not bottling them up for later.

Communication also means establishing clear boundaries that are respected. You should never feel pressured to do something you do not want to do or be forced to do something that makes you uncomfortable. You + him//her should always respect each other’s right to say no.

Self-Growth + Encouragement

At the end of the day, your relationship should be helping you to bloom into a better version of yourself. Does your partner help you to be more caring? More confident? More selfless + giving? One of the joys of a relationship is that they can help us to become more self-aware + grow as people. Healthy relationship partners should encourage each other to reach new achievements, develop new skills + achieve their personal goals.

If you think something might be not right in your relationship or want more information on healthy relationships, visit the National Domestic Violence website + their hotline is 1-800-799-7233.

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