14 Tips to Live By in Healthy Relationships

What is the goal of a long-term romantic relationship? Hopefully for “long-term” to become “until death do us part.” However, successful relationships take time, effort, and patience. Fortunately, if the two of you work on building healthy habits in your day-to-day interactions, there’s no reason why you can’t live happily ever after. If you are eager to create an atmosphere of trust, here are 14 tips for both of you to live by.

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Don’t rush things

This is especially true at the beginning of the relationship. We know you’re eager to introduce them to your friends and family. Or perhaps you want to discuss moving in together after the third date. But be warned: They might think you’re desperate or otherwise question your motives. Slow down and focus on the present, not the future.

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Address the issues

Does he or she have certain habits that concern you? We don’t mean the little annoying things, like keeping the toilet seat up. Perhaps they drink a bit too much. Or they have a short fuse. If there are serious problems that could add complications to the relationship, you will need to nip them in the bud right away.

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Be open to new ideas

Although one of the keys to a happy relationship is having a lot of commonalities, the fact remains that you are two distinct human beings. You will have your differences about things. But instead of outright rejecting everything they suggest, give new ideas a try and definitely be open to compromise.

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Keep an open line of communication

Building trust is all about being transparent and discussing things face-to-face whenever possible. When they know they can be frank with you and not hold anything back (and vice versa), it decreases the odds that you’ll be hit by surprises in the future. It will also help the relationship achieve stability.

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Don’t be judgmental

Your partner isn’t going to be perfect, that’s for sure! But neither are you. When you’re in a relationship, you have to accept them for what they are, warts and all. If they do things their own way and it has no bearing on your life, let them be. If you feel the sincere need to criticize them, make it constructive; don’t simply nitpick over every little thing.

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Don’t be overly jealous

A small amount of jealousy isn’t a bad thing. He/she is your partner and you’re not too keen on other folks coming between the two of you. On the other hand, you shouldn’t get carried away. In other words, let them get beers with their friends and colleagues in peace without you constantly texting them.

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Talk finances

One of the leading causes of divorce is poor money management. This is why it is essential that you discuss your spending habits as soon as the relationship becomes serious. Set a budget and carefully decide who is responsible for what. Create separate bank accounts plus a joint account that you both contribute to.

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Let go of expectations

This tip is most important during the first few dates. You might be seeking someone who dresses a certain way or has a worldview that is perfectly aligned with yours. While you might indeed find a guy/girl with these characteristics, don’t let a potentially beautiful relationship be determined by a set of strict “guidelines.”

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Upfront about your feelings

Are you upset about or uncomfortable with something they’ve done? Instead of keeping it bottled up out of fear of offending them or acting in a passive-aggressive manner when they sense something is amiss, the only fair approach is to tell them what’s going on. They can’t help solve problems if you aren’t willing to address them.

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Set boundaries

Are you someone who needs alone time? Would you prefer your significant other not to share certain details about your relationship with others? Is his/her mother offering more advice than is welcome? Speak out and set some ground rules that you both must abide by.

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Don’t take them for granted

If they are doing amazing things for you, show them some appreciation. Let them know through your words and actions that they mean so much to you. Surprise them with little gifts. Make plans for a weekend getaway for just the two of you. And, of course, reciprocate! If they are making you breakfast in bed, do the same for them from time to time.

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Model trustworthiness

It goes without saying that the trust you give is the trust you will get in return. Demonstrate to them that you can be counted on for every occasion. When they see that you keep your word, it gives them an incentive to do likewise.

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Be supportive

If they had a difficult day at work, don’t downplay their anxieties or stresses by “reminding them” that at least they have a job and that others have it even worse. Be an ear that is willing to listen to them and help them through their challenges.

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Don’t take everything personally

If they don’t want to tag along when you go shopping, it’s because wandering around the shopping mall is not their thing. If you’ve got a pair of tickets to the baseball game, and they aren’t interested, it’s probably because they find the sport boring. Remember: Not every rejection is about you.