Wed. Nov 25th, 2020

Relationships: 10 tips on how to keep a healthy love spark

It’s been tough over lockdown to have a healthy relationship, but these 10 key skills will help you and your partner keep your bond strong.

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These are the relationship skills you and your partner need to have to keep the love alive.

Although a healthy relationship may be something most people desire, many of us may never have had a chance to learn what this actually entails.

A healthy relationship consists of many factors and qualities but they all share one thing: fundamental skills.

Practising these 10 skills daily will help you to develop habits and patterns to create and maintain that loving bond.

1. Love yourself first

You may have heard the phrase “you have to love yourself first” countless times, but only begin to take it seriously once you meet that special someone.

According to psychologytoday.com, “entering a relationship should not require you to be a certain person or at a certain place in your life”.

When you know who are as a person it’s easier to be in a relationship. You know who you are and what you need and deserve.

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Image: Everton Vila, Unsplash

2. Communicate efficiently

“In relationships, communication allows to you explain to someone else what you are experiencing and what your needs are,” says the Better Health Channel.

Overall, most couples need effective communication. Your partner does not expect you to be a mind reader, but does expect you to speak up and, just as important, to listen to what they have to say.

And remember: Respectful communication can deepen your connection.

3. Get creative about time together

While dinner and a movie might be everyone’s go-to-date idea, try searching “cheap date ideas” on the internet and see what pops up. Watch how a little novelty can truly rejuvenate your relationship.

The verywellmind website provides a very useful trick, which may be harder to do than you realise.

“When you’re with your partner, you put down the cellphone, turn off the tablet, and focus on them,” it advises.

4. Be honest in a kind way

Being honest with yourself and your partner, as well as having courage, is key for a healthy relationship.

However, says psychologytoday.com: “Honesty is not just about telling the truth, either. It is also about telling the truth in a way that your partner will hear it and benefit from it.”

It is also a vital element to have in conflict resolution – but it needs to be tempered with kindness.

5. Keep expectations realistic

Although no one can truly be everything we might want them to be, healthy relationships require accepting your partner as they are.

This includes not trying to change them, and having realistic expectations.

As Dr Chloe Carmichael notes in an interview with Women’s Health Magazine: “You have to remember that your partner is also a separate person with separate strengths and separate weaknesses, and they want to be accepted for their whole self, too.”

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Image: Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash

6. Make your apology count

While apologising may be considered a good thing, it only makes an impact if you mean it.

Even if you do not necessarily agree that your actions were wrong, you need to accept that your partner felt hurt. It is also important not to repeat the behaviour that was hurtful in the first place. It will be meaningless if you make the same mistake again.

“A sincere apology allows you to let people know you’re not proud of what you did and won’t be repeating the behaviour,” says verywellmind.com.

7. Redefine intimacy

Intimacy is not always about the big physical moments, but also about the smaller everyday acts.

For example, you may be at the corner shop and decide to buy your partner their favourite chocolate (without them asking you to). Or you may do a chore that your partner normally would do, just to make their day easier.

The betterhelp website notes: “Sex is a vital part of intimacy, but it goes beyond sexual and physical relations; it’s how familiar you are with your partner on a mental and an emotional level”.

Yes, keeping the spark alive takes work, but it will be appreciated.

8. Grow together

The road ahead may be tough and full of unexpected challenges, so take it as an opportunity to push forward and grow together with your partner.

Growth is often known for being a product of uncertainty but discomfort can sometimes be a good thing. If you are in it together, let’s hope you can come out of it together as well.

As theodysseyonline.com says: “You should make each other better people. You should be each other’s cheerleaders and confidants, no matter what.”

9. Develop trust

Alongside honesty, trust is one of the key elements to a solid foundation for your relationship.

“To trust someone means that you can rely on them and are comfortable confiding in them because you feel safe with them,” says momjunction.com.

From trust springs respect, which is necessary for growth. It’s good to have someone you trust, who can be a safe haven in the storm.

10. Do the things you did for your partner the first year you started dating

Whether you are ready to admit it or not as weeks, months and years pass by we tend to get lazy in our relationships.

Take a moment to reflect on the first year of your relationship. Write down all the things you used to do for your partner and start doing them again.

As Sanjana Lagudu from momjunction.com says: “In a relationship, both the partners should give and take to keep the love alive”.

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