Merely having a relationship with a person does not guarantee happiness, and being happy together for a while does not guarantee a healthy relationship in the long term. Keeping a relationship alive and open is a challenge, but is worth the effort. Here are some useful tips on how to maintain a healthy open relationship with your partner, family member, friend or co-worker:
- Communication is one of the most essential ingredients in a relationship. Without communication, it results to misunderstandings, arguments based on hearsay, insecurities based on imagined thoughts, and so on. So in maintaining a healthy, open relationship, communication is the key. However, merely communicating your thoughts and your feelings might not do. You have to learn to convey your thoughts in a gentle, loving manner, especially when it is a criticism or a negative opinion that you have to share. Remember that no matter how harsh the message, there I always a kinder way to say it.
- Acceptance is another key to a lasting relationship. There are some behavior and point of view that we might not agree with, but we can learn to respect and accept the person despite our differences. A harmonious and healthy relationship is based on mutual respect, and with respect comes acceptance and understanding. If you know that your partner, friend or family respects you and accepts you for who you are, then you become more open and comfortable because you do not fear being judged wrongly. This results to an even more open communication since you do not feel the need to pretend or hide.
- Trusting the other person gives him the confidence that he is trustworthy, therefore he gives you the same level of trust. Trusting also results to the other person to be more open, and when he makes mistakes or breaks a promise, he bravely admits it for the sake of maintaining your trust. This is a good indication that you are having a healthy open relationship because he does not find a need to lie and hide his mistakes. In the same way, you become more honest with each other and this helps both of you to always choose what is right when you need to make a choice.
- Support each other’s endeavors. Avoid becoming too envious of the other person’s success that you become bitter. Become your partner’s biggest fan, your friend’s cheerleader, or your family’s supporter. Sharing in someone’s good fortune brings more satisfaction, and it encourages your partner, friend and family member to do even better. When a person achieves success and satisfaction in one area of his life, this success tends to trickle down to other areas of his life, including his relationships. This will benefit you, too, in the long run.
- Be yourself. There is no use in pretending to be someone you are not if you fear that you will not be accepted. You can only learn to accept others if you start with yourself. You may have some past issues and hurts, and it is understandable that you have some reservations in showing the real you. But also note that it becomes easier if you share your true self with someone who is capable of accepting you for who you are. Being yourself at all times helps in maintaining healthy relationships with your partner, friends and family members.