How To Establish Healthy Habits To Create A Successful Relationship

Love, Self

6 Ways to Establish a Healthy & Successful Relationship

Often, my clients and I use words such as "healthy" or "successful" when describing goals within their treatment. Many of my clients initially start their process with describing their conflicts and frustrations. It’s not uncommon to hear, “The way we argue is unhealthy. We desperately need help communicating so we can have a successful relationship.”

So how do we establish healthy habits to create a "successful relationship?" Here are a 6 ways to start exploring it:

1. Reframe Your Thoughts

A "successful relationship" does not have a finish line or have an end goal. It is not a destination, a milestone, but rather a journey that cultivates a deep sense of security.  This is something "successful couples" work toward constantly.

2. Commit to Understanding Yourself 

Creating a successful relationship is more about knowing yourself well enough to acknowledge when you’re reacting in a way that is pushing your partner away. It’s forcing yourself to be vulnerable no matter how terrifying it may be. It’s committing to your own self-development just as much as it’s committing loyalty to your partner.

3. Be Vulnerable & Transparent 

This journey begins when two people know and understand themselves (or are consistently open to trying to). The evolution of creating a "successful relationship" happens when two people push their own boundaries to jeopardize their emotional safety with each other. They take the necessary risks to build their trust in one another and are transparent. They say what they mean and work through struggles together. This creates vulnerability, acceptance and validation, which inspires natural relational growth and security.

4. Scrap the Idea that "Perfection" Exists 

Being in a "successful relationship" does not void you or your partner of struggle, nor does it mean you are an expert communicator at all times. Be mindful of your expectations of one another and your relationship. 

5. De-Escalate 

Part of understanding yourselves is knowing when you've reached an extreme emotional place that is built up from defensiveness. When you are in this place, whether it looks like you shutting down or feeling panicked, you have to de-escalate to be in a space to repair any conflict or issue. 

6. Be Objective 

Part of "successful" communication is being able to hear each other out. Maybe there isn't a solution to a problem. Maybe the "solution" to the problem is validating each other objectively. It's saying, "I can put myself in your shoes and see how you could have felt that way. I could see how my behavior impacted your experience even though that was not my intention." 

I encourage you to reflect on your own behaviors and find any possible incongruence with your thoughts, actions and emotions. Especially before you are quick to blame your partner or your lack of partners when you’re feeling really misunderstood or alone. Building understanding within yourself is essential to promoting long term success in your relationship(s). Check your patterns, your beliefs, your insecurities. Check your behaviors and your defenses. Understand what you need and why you need it. Be honest and vulnerable with yourself and it will take you and your relationship in a whole new direction. It’s terrifying, but it’s worth it!

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This article was originally published at Modern Love Counseling . Reprinted with permission from the author.

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