8 Real Ways to Keep a Committed Relationship Healthy
As you and your partner become more serious and transition from newly dating into a more long term committed relationship, your relationship will likely experience some changes. A more long term relationship comes with lots of benefits like becoming closer and more comfortable around each other, but it also comes with more difficulties as you navigate life as a couple. Keeping a committed relationship exciting and viable often involves work – but it doesn't have to be complicated. Focusing on establishing healthy habits for yourself, encouraging these things in your partner and creating healthy standards for your relationship will keep your committed relationship going!
Learning to establish healthy habits early on will help your relationship prosper in the future, but it’s never too late to start introducing healthy habits. Start now and reap the benefits long afterward. Here are a few real ways to keep a committed relationship healthy.
1. Engage in self growth
Even while you are in a relationship, it’s important to focus on self growth and personal goals. A lot of people fall into the trap of dedicating all their emotional energy to their partner and the relationship, forgetting to prioritize their own wants and needs. And while this can work in the short run, it’s not a good long term solution, pushing your needs to the wayside will eventually catch up with you, and it won’t be pretty... Ignoring your needs will ultimately take a toll on your relationship. One way to make a committed relationship healthy is to recognize your needs in the relationship and act on those needs. Focusing on self care, self love and actualizing your goals will help you feel fulfilled in your personal life, which will let you feel more comfortable and happy in your relationship.
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2. Encourage self growth in your partner
Just like it’s important to focus on your personal self growth in a relationship, you should encourage your partner to focus on their growth and goals. Making this a priority for yourself can inspire your partner to do the same. But this can also mean actively pushing your partner to try new things, or take steps to move towards accomplishing their goals. Sometimes when people are in a relationship they get lulled into a state of inaction, which can stunt their own goals as well as the relationship. Encouraging your partner to learn, explore, and even fail will keep them in a growth mindset that will benefit themselves and your relationship.
Okay this is not a revolutionary piece of advice by any means, but focusing on communication is a key way to keep a committed relationship healthy. Communication based in honesty will increase the trust in your relationship and allow both partners to feel safe and supported. Real, deep, effective communication can be difficult and exhausting, especially if you are conflict averse or prone to people pleasing. But learning to voice your true opinion, stand-up for yourself if you have been hurt, call your partner out on unacceptable behavior and learn to articulate your boundaries will help keep your relationship healthy. Good communication also entails praising your partner and recognizing/vocalizing all the things you are grateful for in the relationship. Afterall, not all deep communication should be negative! Learning to communicate all these things early on, and continuing to communicate them as things change and the relationship evolves will help create a healthy, respectful and supportive relationship.
Boundaries, whether they are physical, emotional, electronic, sexual, etc., are an important part of every relationship. When you are in a committed relationship, it is important to communicate your boundaries with your partner. Because you have been together for so long, they may assume that certain things are acceptable when in fact they are not. Perhaps you let certain things slide at the beginning of the relationship, because you did not have the confidence to talk about your boundaries. Or perhaps your views on certain things have changed. Even if you have been in a relationship for a long time, it’s important to talk about your boundaries with your partner on a regular basis (or at least if something has changed) so that you feel respected and supported in the relationship. Establishing and respecting boundaries will help keep your committed relationship healthy.
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5. Appreciate your differences
It is important to recognize that you and your partner are both different people with unique pasts, paths and perspectives. These differences are probably what make you a great couple in the first place. Even if you aren’t an ‘opposites attract’ type of couple, you and your partner definitely have some differences that can lead to friction in the relationship. Accepting your partner for who they are, including their differences will help keep your committed relationship healthy. You should not try to change your partner! Whether it’s the little things they do that drive you crazy or larger things that you think need to change. Accepting your partner as they are, and even learning to appreciate their differences and flaws will make your relationship a safe and healthy space for you both to grow. If there are things that really need to be addressed, promoting self growth (like we talked about above) will encourage your partner to make changes for the better, on their own volition. In the meantime, focusing on appreciating your differences and being grateful for your partner as they are.
6. Keep your sex life interesting
After you’ve been in a relationship for a long time, it’s common for your sex life to start to feel stale, or atleast routine. This can lead to discontent feelings in your relationship that can affect your intimate connection and (in the worst case scenario) lead to things like infidelity. It’s important that you are in tune with your partner’s sexual needs and that you are keeping your sex life fun and interesting. And that you are having sex! First things first, you and your partner should be having sex on a regular basis. Maintaining an emotional, physical and sexual connection is a real way to keep your committed relationship healthy. In addition to having sex frequently, you should try and keep things exciting! Try changing up when and where you have sex. Normally have sex before bed? Try in the morning! Normally keep things in the bedroom? Try experimenting with having sex in other rooms of the house, or even more adventurous places if you are feeling up for it. Staying sexually curious and explorative will help your relationship stay fresh in the long run. In long term relationships, it’s also important to be cognisant of how your bodies are changing with age. Aging might require you to try out new things in the bedroom to make sure that things are fun and pleasurable. Again, staying curious and open-minded will help keep your sex life interesting and your relationship happy and healthy.
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7. Focus on intimacy
Real intimacy is about much more than just your sex life (though that is an importnat part of an intimate relationship). Intimacy is about an emotional and physical closeness between you and your partner that fosters trust. When you are in a long term committed relationship, it can be easy to forget about the importance of intimacy. As we get more and more comfortable around our partner, we sometimes forget to show our affection and love. It can feel silly or unnecessary to remind them that you love them, or to be lovey dovey affectionate when you have been together for a significant amount of time. But no one gets tired of hearing ‘I love you’, and reminding your partner of these things will show them that you still care and are attracted to them. It’s important to embrace tenderness and intimacy throughout the course of your relationship to show to your partner that you are happy and committed to the relationship. Focusing on intimacy can mean different things to different people. But focusing on physical closeness through snuggling, hugging, messages and emotional intimacy through deep conversations are good places to start.
Sometimes things in a relationship can go awry and you and your partner might need to rely on professional help to get your relationship back on track. And other times, even if things haven’t gone awry, you might still be looking for advice on how to improve your relationship and make it more healthy. If you’re in this boat, you should consider downloading Relish. Relish is a relationship coaching app that helps you and your partner evaluate the current status of your relationship and identify ways to improve your relationship so that you can reach your #realtionshipgoals. The professional relationship coaches at Relish can help you with a variety of different relationship struggles, including (but not limited to) creating more healthy patterns in your relationship.
Relish offers achievable goals and follows up with you so that you are able to make progress towards your ideal relationship even if you have a busy schedule. The app holds you accountable so that you are actually able to achieve a better, more healthy relationship. Ready to get started?