Five Ways to Maintain a Healthy Romantic Relationship

Emily Lutai, Lion's Roar Staff

     Romantic relationships are extremely exciting, especially in the early teenage years. However, it is very easy to get lost in the thrill. Keeping track of the behavior and gestures happening in a relationship is a healthy way to make sure the connection is not going in a toxic direction. Some may not know when they are in a toxic relationship because they have never learned what the signs are. In addition to this, some youths do not know they are making the relationship head in a toxic direction because everything is so new to them and they are confused about how to act. This can happen to anyone, age does not matter, but it more commonly occurs in teens. These five factors are essential to maintain a healthy relationship.

     Showing affection is the first factor, a person can show affection, without being too clingy, so do not be frightened by being clingy, being affectionate is important. Affection does not need to be grand or over the top, simple and meaningful gestures will please partners. This is crucial because bonding is the leading element of any relationship, it is truly the way to show someone that they are cared about physically and emotionally. If individuals do not want to spend time together then maybe it’s a sign, it’s not meant to be. Research shows that the amount of affection there is in a partnership determines the commitment level and if the relationship will last in the future. Not only this, but the number of affection partners give each other also predicts the satisfaction one has in a relationship. There are numerous ways to show affection here are some of them, simply by listening to a partner, going on dates, surprising them with small gifts once in a while, and paying attention to even the smallest details about them. These are all amazing ways to show affection, without being clingy, in a relationship. 

     The second factor is trust, which is important to have in any relationship, but especially in romantic relationships. Most relationships automatically come with trust, when loving someone trust usually comes naturally, but this is not for all cases. Many couples have trouble in their relationship because of trust issues and jealousy. In fact, studies show that lack of trust is the fourth most common reason for relationship breakdowns. It is okay to be overprotective over a partner, but do not be pushy and do not start interrogating, unless an individual is sure something else is going on. Trusting also makes individuals feel less lonely, so not only does it help people, it helps their relationships as well. Some are unfamiliar with how to trust, but it is easy if there is a strong connection. First, always be open to communication, this is the first step when building one’s trust. The second step is to talk about commitment, this can lead to conversations that force them to open up and really gain their partners’ trust. The third is boundaries, these are super important because all partners need their own space, just because they are not with you, does not mean they are out cheating, they need their alone time too. If partners have trust, love and growth will surely come along the way. 

     Thirdly, Teamwork, being equal to a partner is extremely important, no one should be the superior in the relationship. There are many ways to demonstrate this, but let’s first start off with decision-making. Decisions should be made together, one person should not be making every decision in the relationship. Second, having each other’s back, partners’ goals do not have to be the same, they should have different dreams in life but supporting each other is what really matters. Always be supportive of each other’s goals, but still make room for their relationship in their lives. Third, teamwork helps partners really get to know each other and makes couples more comfortable with each other. Teamwork is essential because a relationship is not a one-person thing, both partners need to put in the effort. 

      Lastly, communication, two partners should be able to communicate freely, without the fear of being judged or being misunderstood. According to research statistics, the number one reason for breakups is that there is not enough communication, especially in new relationships. Most are scared to communicate because they are scared of what their partner’s reaction will look like. If this is the case, in order to make the relationship work, both partners need to step up, listen and accept each other’s troubles. Both partners’ careers are very important and couples should be able to communicate on this subject. A quote from a relationship expert, Guy Blaise, “Loving a person but not expressing it is like wrapping a gift without giving it”. This further explains the importance of communication and a relationship will go to waste and has no purpose if communication is not present.