How to Foster a Healthy Adult Relationship

As an adult, relationships look and feel very different than when we were younger. Navigating the complexities of adult relationships can be overwhelming – but with a better understanding of healthy communication practices and how to create meaningful connections, it is possible to make these relationships a source of growth rather than frustration. In this blog post, we’ll explore approaches to build strong healthy adult relationships that are based in mutual respect, open dialogue and compromise.

Fostering a Healthy Adult Relationship. Couple seated on a couch together smiling.

Understand that good healthy relationships take effort.

Effective relationships require ongoing effort and commitment from both parties. Nothing of value is free: no relationship can thrive without dedication and effort. As time passes, we must be willing to continually adapt our approach to ensure both individuals in the relationship feel satisfied and nurtured. Otherwise, we risk becoming complacent, causing the relationship to become stagnant over time. Ultimately, if we are willing to take an active role in our relationships, we can achieve a mutual understanding that lasts beyond any one situation or moment in time; this is the key to building fulfilling relationships which stand the test of time.

Be honest and open about your feelings – don’t be afraid to bring up difficult conversations.

Honesty and openness are essential to establishing strong and healthy relationships, as well as maintaining them. When we feel something that upsets us or makes us uncomfortable, it is essential for our mental health to express this openly, honestly, and respectfully. We must never fear expressing ourselves, even if it is a difficult conversation. The simple act of being honest and open can prevent misunderstandings and resentment that could eventually lead to more extreme measures such as avoidance, blowups, or separation. It is often difficult to talk about uncomfortable issues, but those conversations can be important resources in re-establishing trust and loyalty between two people. It is through the honest exchange of feelings that true understanding becomes possible, strengthening any relationship regardless of its nature. Strategies to bring up these difficult conversations, such as the Gottman’s Gentle Start Up, is a great step to bring these issues to a satisfying resolution. 

Independently pursue things that you’re passionate about. 

While maintaining a strong relationship is important, it can also be extremely beneficial to spend time apart from each other and pursue independent activities. Taking breaks from the relationship allows individuals to build their autonomy while experiencing something new or brushing up on skills for an existing activity. From developing a newfound passion to learning more about unique hobbies, an individual focusing on their own pursuits can bring another layer of enrichment into the relationship when reunited. Many couples find that rekindling with each other after being apart provides entirely new conversations, stories and emotional depths. Spending even just mere minutes in solitude allows both parties to go within themselves, considering how their ideas or thoughts have changed over time. This ultimately helps keep up mutual respect and interest, leading to further nourishment of the relationship over time.

Be patient with each other when times get tough – remember it’s normal for relationships to have ups and downs.

In today’s world where we often feel immense pressure and high expectations from society, it can be easy to become impatient with those close to us. However, it is important to remind ourselves that having empathy, respect, and understanding for each other in difficult times, whether it be an argument or just a bad day, is essential for a successful relationship. It is normal for relationships to go through highs and lows – all that matters is how we react and handle the difficult moments together. Treating your partner with respect, love, and patience is key when stress is high. You are on the same team. Remembering this standing principle will make all the difference when times get tough.

Listen to your partner to understand their point of view, even if you don’t agree with it at first.

Developing an understanding of someone else’s viewpoint isn’t always easy, but it is a valuable skill to cultivate.  Taking the time to truly listen, ask questions, and validate emotions can help move beyond initial disagreement and lead to a deeper understanding of the other person’s position. Engaging in this type of dialogue can open pathways for both parties to learn more about one another and sometimes reach consensus in spite of their original differences.

Don’t be afraid to apologize if you make mistakes – we all do!

Making mistakes and owning up to them is an important part of personal growth and development. Taking responsibility for our errors can be challenging, but it’s essential that we do so in order to create a stronger sense of trust between ourselves and the people we interact with. Apologies facilitate the repair of relationships, reduce feelings of resentment, and help restore intimacy in otherwise strained connections. Not only this, but apologizing also benefits our self-esteem by showing us that we care about others’ feelings just as much as our own — plus, it keeps us from repeating mistakes in the future! Ultimately, having the courage to apologize and learning from our blunders will enable us to be healthier individuals and better contributors to society.

Conclusion – How to Foster a Healthy Adult Relationship

Maintaining a good relationship takes effort and commitment from both parties. Relationships need to be nurtured over time to ensure they stay strong and healthy. It isn’t always easy, but if both people are willing to put in the work it is worth it in the end. Let go of any preconceived notions you may have about relationships and keep an open mind. Don’t be afraid of honest and open communication between the two of you. Listen to each other’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions without judgment. Last but not least, don’t forget to make time for yourself – spending some quality time on your own may help give you perspective when times get tough! With these tips in mind, we hope that your relationship will continue to grow and thrive for years to come!

If you need help navigating your personal relationship with your partner and significant other we can help! At Incentive Counselling we specialize in couples counselling and online counselling and are always there to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and we will be in touch!