6 Tips To Help Keep Your Relationship Strong
People talk a lot about happiness. How to find it, how to maintain it, how to cause it in others, etc. As a life coach, I prefer to talk about thriving. When someone is thriving, they may not always be smiling or laughing or having the most fun time ever--they might not even feel "happy," per se--but they are operating at or very near their maximum potential. There may be fear and pain anxiety, but there's zero regret.
The same term can and should be applied to relationships. A healthy relationship isn't always happy, but it is always thriving. The following is a list of five signs that your relationship is thriving. If you have someone in your life currently, how many apply to you?
1. You trust each other, and deserve each other's trust.
People in thriving relationships care about their partner's feelings, and know that their partner cares just as much about theirs. While nobody is perfect and even the purest individual can be tempted, people in these relationships never seriously consider infidelity or other relationship-threatening behaviors because they know they'd have to lie. People in thriving relationships are uncomfortable lying to each other--they may have tried it on occasion before but always found that every lie, no matter how big or small, created a barrier to intimacy and respect that won't be dismantled until the truth comes out. The longer they are together, people in thriving couples find that being honest to each other and to themselves is far easier and far more rewarding than being dishonest.
2. You laugh with each other.
Laughter is a release of tension that occurs in the body, often when a truth is revealed and we realize we are not alone in our thoughts. This is why people say, "It's funny because it's true!" A couple who laughs together is a couple that can look realistically at life in all its absurdity and share the same viewpoint, who can connect in a real, meaningful way. Especially if you're in it for the long haul, a sense of humor is one of the biggest factors in the success of any relationship.
3. Your sex life is fulfilling for both parties.
The media often gives us crazy notions and expectations about what a healthy sex life looks, feels, even sounds like. But the truth is there's no magic number or measurement. Individuals in a thriving relationship either intuit or discover what satisfies their partner and they are driven to fulfill that specific need. As long as this is going both ways, you're in good shape!
4. You are proud of each others' accomplishments, and supportive during moments of weakness.
Competition is natural, especially if you work in the same field as your significant other. But those in thriving relationships can't help but share in their lovers' successes and disappointments. In general, there's no room for power plays or mind games or score keeping. Both partners are equally able to console and be consoled.
5. You are able to spend time away from each other.
A big test of whether or not a relationship is co-dependent or not, is the ability of the partners to spend time apart from each other. While it's natural to miss your lover, and to lean on him or her when things are hard, having your own experiences to bring to the table is vital part of being a team. People in thriving relationships understand and appreciate the value of a little "me time" every now and then.
6. You never go to bed angry.
Communication is king. Arguments are natural and necessary. When two people meet and decide they want to spend huge amounts of time together (the rest of their lives maybe?), there are going to have to be negotiations and compromises. People in thriving relationships trust the relationship enough to be open about things that bother them, and they respect their partner's input enough to do their problem solving out in the open. Thriving couples may argue as much or even more than non-thriving couples. But the difference is they don't end the argument until the issue is resolved and they are comfortable falling asleep that night in their lover's embrace.