Romance isn’t just about a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day. A satisfying relationship can also make people feel happy and healthy. But keep in mind that successful relationships aren’t just about rainbows and butterflies; a healthy partnership requires communication, respect and plenty of good habits from both people.
So, when dating that special someone, avoid stalking his or her ex on Facebook, keeping feelings bottled up and splitting the double cheeseburger every night. These bad habits could make a great relationship take a turn for the worse.
Save the Spark — Your Action Plan:
- TRYING TO IMPROVE HIM/HER
Newsflash: There’s no such thing as a perfect person, so don’t expect unrealistic changes. Reminding he or she to make the bed is one thing, but trying to radically change shyness or anxiety is another — and could be ignoring the underlying causes for those issues in the first place.
- FINDING FAULTS WITH THE FAM
The rents may be harder to handle than your significant other. But even if there’s some clashing of heads, don’t focus on the family’s faults.
Getting criticism from family members can make people feel depressed and hostile, which means some tense holiday dinners. Besides, the situation can’t be worse than what Gaylord went through.
- FIGHTING IN PUBLIC
As if PDA weren’t bad enough. Arguing in public can embarrass the couple and make everyone around feel awkward, too. Talk it out in private, please.
- AVOIDING FIGHTING
Love isn’t all good, all the time. Disagreements are bound to happen, and arguments can be a healthy part of a relationship. Never having conflict may make compromise impossible.
Just don’t make fighting an all-day affair.
- NOT TALKING IT OUT
If something is wrong, the other person probably can’t read your mind. When a problem comes up, speak up at the right time.
One study suggests young couples are less stressed when they talk out their issues than when they keep their feelings bottled up. And don’t forget to say, “I love you.” Expressing emotions — positive and negative — can benefit that bond.
- FORGETTING TO FORGIVE
People make mistakes, and holding on to grudges may not only hurt a relationship, but also cause unwanted stress and anxiety. Sympathy may be easier to give if we realize it will benefit our health.
- TIMING DISCUSSIONS BADLY
Conversations about important issues, like relationship expectations and financial blunders, all have their time and place. Don’t bring up serious topics when someone’s stressed, like at the end of the workday or right before hosting a party.
Set up a time to talk when both people are relaxed.
- KEEPING SCORE
Sure, relationships should be about give and take, but don’t keep track of every little detail. (For example, “I paid for the last six dinners, and you only paid for five!”) It can cause unnecessary tension.
- BEING MELODRAMATIC
No relationship is perfect. So don’t create unnecessary drama in every scenario. If a mate forgets to take out the garbage, there’s no need for a scene. Take a few breaths and address the problem calmly.