20 Essential Elements of a Healthy Relationship

1. Like and accept yourself and your partner. Acceptance is a powerful relationship strengthener.
2. Be honest with yourself and with each other. Broken trust, although not irreparable, does contribute a lot of relationship struggles.
3. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. As difficult as it may be to take down the walls, your relationship will be healthier when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. There is no intimacy without vulnerability.
4. Set you own boundaries and respect each other’s personal boundaries. Just as good fences make good neighbors, healthy personal boundaries will strengthen your relationship.
5. Allow yourself to get in touch with and express a full range of emotions, including anger. Just remember when expressing anger to do so respectfully.
6. Recognize when you are feeling resentful and talk to your partner so that you can constructively deal with the issue. Be willing to admit your own weaknesses, be willing to apologize and admit when you are wrong.
7. Feel and express love, admiration and respect for your partner. Remember that loving feelings follow loving thoughts and actions more often than the other way around. Don’t wait to feeling loving to act loving.
8. Build your self-esteem. When you feel good about yourself, it will be so much easier to see what is good about your partner and your relationship. When you respect yourself, others will respect you also.
9. Regularly communicate from the depths of your soul. Heart to heart discussions should not end when courting ends, they should continue throughout your relationship.
10. Continually bond with your partner by spending time together, creating rituals and reminiscing. Daily rituals like a hug and kiss for good-bye and hello contribute to the richness of your relationship.
11. Play together. Continue having fun and laughing together. Don’t let the day-to-day grind push all the fun out of your life. Find ways to play and enjoy being together.
12. Have intensely emotional sex. These experiences will bond you together like nothing else can. Don’t settle for just routine sex all the time; find ways to really connect with each other before, during and after sex.
13. Be willing to address issues and negotiate solutions. Facing up to your problems in a mature way makes it possible to find ways to meet both of your needs.
14. Take responsibility for your own life and be supportive of your partner. You alone are responsible for your thoughts, feelings and actions.
15. Try new things together and on your own. This helps to add variety and interest to your life. Keep growing and learning as individuals and together.
16. Live in such a way that you make your relationship a great place to be. Be the kind of person that would have the kind of relationship you want.
17. Be committed to your relationship and to each other. Commitment helps you to work together to weather the storms in your relationship. It is about how can we make this work, not should we get out.
18. Assume the best rather than the worst about your partner. Giving each other the benefit of the doubt can speed up the resolution of difficulties.
19. Choose to think win-win, rather than having to prove that you are right and your partner is wrong. Understand that everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions, thoughts and feelings.
20. Continually remind each other of your love. Let each other know through your words and actions that you do love each other.

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