Helping you get through tough times

Maintaining a happy relationship

Relationships can be a great way to have fun and create a really strong friendship, as well as learn a lot about yourself and others.

love heart bubbleYou might have a sense that a relationship is happy and going well when you:

  • can laugh and enjoy someone’s company
  • feel safe and supported
  • provide safety and support
  • share ideas and feelings
  • respect each other.

Every relationship is unique, and you may have your own way of knowing that a relationship is right for you.

Even when a relationship is going well, it’s important to still put effort into it and don’t take it for granted.

Aware of your needs

Be aware of what you need in a relationship as well as what other people need. This way, your relationships have the best chance of growing and continuing to be strong and healthy.

If you are in a situation where a relationship turns sour and you are being hurt or abused by someone it may be best to end or change the relationship.

Talk to someone you trust, if you are unsure of how to go about this.

Suggestions for keeping a relationship strong

Be honest and trusting

Learning to trust someone and being honest with someone may take time. It can also be an important ingredient in a healthy relationship.

As you spend more time with someone and start to share experiences together your level of trust may increase.

Keep communicating

It is a good idea to keep the lines of communication open. This may mean talking regularly about what is happening in your life and how you feel about it.

When people share their opinions and feelings they develop a greater understanding of each other’s likes and dislikes. It may also help to work out what each other are wanting from the relationship.

Talking about some things may be hard particularly if you are sad or angry about something or with someone. It may be helpful to write it down as a way of expressing yourself.

Check out telling someone big news or being angry and its effect on communication.

Try to be accepting of differences

It’s not uncommon to care about someone who has different ideas, interests, and opinions to your own. Sometimes it can be difficult managing differences.

Calmly discuss differences. Or work out when it’s appropriate to agree to disagree. Respecting someone else’s choices and opinions may help them to respect yours.

Respect each other’s space

Hanging out together is important in getting to know each other and it can also be great fun. Giving each other space from time to time is also important.

Enjoy the company of a number of people like your friends, and not just the person who you are having a relationship with.

This will help you expand your interests and give you lots of new things to share. It may also help your relationships continue to grow and be fun and interesting.

Spend time with yourself

Spending time with yourself can be fun. It can also help you understand yourself and help you to understand your relationships with others. If possible, spend time getting to know yourself.

This may feel a bit scary at first, but over time it can become less weird and more enjoyable. You may want to start by doing something you really enjoy.

You can spend time with yourself doing lots of things like being active, listening to music or reading. Being by yourself doesn’t mean you are alone, you are with yourself. You may want to think about what and where you want to go in life and whom you might want to take with you.

Manage arguments or difference of opinions

It is natural for people sometimes have differences of opinion. When we disagree with each other we may feel angry or frustrated.

Not letting someone know your opinion, not having your opinion heard or having to accept someone’s opinion without discussion may add to your frustrations. This may make a relationship difficult.

It’s a good idea to express your opinions. Let the other person know that you are listening to them and try to reach an understanding between the two of you.

In these cases you have some choices:

  • respect their right to an opinion but not accept their opinion
  • agree to disagree
  • see the other persons point of view
  • accept that your opinion needs to change.

It may be good to remember that we are all different and the world could be really boring if we were all the same!

Trying to accept differences, especially between the people we like and ourselves, can help make you and the relationship healthier and stronger.

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This article was last reviewed on 28 March 2017