What are they?
Initiating and developing healthy relationships are important for maintaining your mental health. Healthy relationships can help you grow individually, as well as, connect with another in a close and meaningful way.
Resources that can help with fostering healthy relationships:
What Do Healthy Relationships Look Like?
There Are 5 Types of Relationships. Which One Is Yours?
GVSU's Center for Women and Gender Equity
Is your relationship healthy?
Below are some characteristics of healthy relationships that may help you develop closeness with others and assess the quality of your current relationships.
- Healthy Communication – Being able to be open and honest in a relationship is very important. It is important to communicate needs and expectations in the relationship. This should avoid personal attacks, name-calling, or ultimatums. It is important that you are communicating in a way that allows the relationship to grow and communicates respect.
- Trust and Respect – Both are important for a healthy relationship and developed over time. Developing mutual trust is achieved when each person is consistent and supportive. Respect within the relationship comes with developing trust that each person will listen to each other’s needs and show a genuine interest in personal boundaries.
- Boundaries – Each person should be able to express what they are and are not comfortable with. This includes allowing each other to spend time with others, such as friends or family members. Healthy boundaries also include consent related to things each person feels comfortable doing. It is important that boundaries are understood and respected by everyone in the relationship.
Things you can do to have a healthy relationship:
Conflict is a normal aspect of any relationship, but it can become a barrier to developing or maintaining a healthy relationship. Below are some tips to consider when trying to address an area of conflict in your relationship:
- Find a good time to talk about it. Try to avoid having difficult conversations when you are very mad or tired.
- Avoid criticizing. Nothing spirals a conversation out of control more than attacking another person. Open the talk with “I” statements and try to avoid “You” statements. Remember, healthy relationships tackle problems together!
- Avoid jumping into other problems. Stay focused on the issue at hand. Conversations can quickly escalate into an argument by bringing up everything that bothers you. Focus on one thing at a time.
- Admit when you are wrong. Saying, “I’m sorry” goes a long way to making things right again.
- Avoid assuming things. When we know someone very well it can be easy to think we know how the other person thinks or feels. Healthy relationships don’t assume, they check things out first.
- Don’t be afraid to take a time-out. Take the time when you need to calm down and come back to the conversation later. Yelling and screaming is a good sign that a time-out is needed.
- Things may not be resolved. Sometimes we need to compromise or disagree about things. Healthy relationships respect differences and don’t demand conformity.
- After a difficult or heated conversation, take time to express what you appreciate about one another. Use this time to focus on what brings you together.
An app to help:
- LoveNudge: This fun app provides you an opportunity to focus on developing healthy habits and goals for your romantic relationship.
- Web | App Store | Google Play
- Web | App Store | Google Play