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Components of a Healthy Relationship

Healthy couple relationships have some important components.  If you want your relationship to thrive, focus on developing your relationship in these areas.  

Shared Interests-  Couples need to have some interests that are shared.  Interests such as sports, being outdoors, reading, shared faith, and similar views all help couples feel connected to each other.  All interests don't have to be the same, but there needs to be enough shared interest to build a common bond. 

Transparency-  It is important that couples are honest and straightforward with one another.  It is important to feel that anything can be, "on the table" for viewing or discussion.  

Good Communication-  Couples often struggle with communication.  Healthy couples listen to each other and try to understand each other.  Most of the time, they listen to understand, not to rebuttal their argument about why they are right and the other is wrong. Even in healthy relationships, there can be occasional conflicts.  Healthy couples make progress in their communication during conflicts so that there is a better understanding or compromise.  

Date Nights-  Healthy couples find time to be together just the two of them.  This allows time for face to face contact and conversation.  Healthy intimacy begins with a sense of being close as friends and confidants, as well as doing fun things together. 

Lovemaking-  Finding time for intimacy is important.   With a busy life and that may include career, travel, or kids, it can be difficult to make time for closeness.  Healthy couples find time to be alone together. 

Shared Responsibility-  Sharing the responsibility for life's demands is important.  Finding ways to share the household tasks, parenting responsibilities, and grocery shopping helps couples feel that there is fairness in their relationship.  

Mutual Respect-  When couples respect one another there is a sense of care and concern for each other.  Respect also involves regarding the other person highly or admiring who they are and what they do.  

Patience-  All of us have faults and annoying habits.  It's important for couples to be patient and kind to each other even when annoying habits surface.  Confronting habits that are harmful to the relationship might be needed sometimes, but patience is also required since all of us have faults.  

Humor- When couples are happy they are playful. Lightheartedness and laughter is important in a thriving relationship.  

Trust-  Trust involves knowing that the other person is reliable, honest, and truthful a majority of the time.  Trust is foundational for a relationship to grow and be sustained over time.  Couples who trust each other feel at ease in the relationship. 

Non-sexual Affection-  Happy couples hold hands, sit close, give shoulder rubs and kisses.  There is a sense of warmth and a feeling of fondness for each other. 

Time apart-  It is important to be able to enjoy time apart from one another.  It is vital to allow one another time to spend with friends or to do hobbies.  Healthy couples feels secure when apart from one another on occasion. 

Fairness-  When couples feel that they are treated fairly their relationship will remain strong.  Whether on a tight budget or not, if couples feel that there is fairness in how money or time is spent, then it will help with an overall sense of satisfaction in the relationship.  

Some have said that the ideal praise to criticism ratio is 5 to 6 positive statements to every 1-2 negative statements to help relationships flourish.  If a relationship tips over to too much negativity it will start to crumble.  Try to point out things you are grateful for in your partner so that they feel appreciated and valued.  Say it out loud to let them know you see their efforts to keep the relationship strong.  

Blessings to you in your relationships-  Gretchen

by Gretchen Flores