Healthy relationships art

(Photo Illustration by James Joslyn)

If done right, romantic relationships can be helpful in boosting a person’s mental well-being, but can do the opposite if done wrong.

It has been long established that relationships have the power to improve both physical and mental health, according to the American Psychological Association.

Communication is the foundation that will make or break a relationship. A lack of dialogue can cause suppressed emotions that can negatively impact mental health and lead to conflict within the relationship. Having solid communication can address conflict in a productive manner and help the connections between people, according to Behavioral Health Evolution. 

Having someone you can share your thoughts and feelings with can be therapeutic, but communication isn’t just about talking. Listening is just as important. You must actively listen to your partner. People want to be heard and feel like what they say matters. It’s important to give all of your attention to your partner when they are speaking and take time away from everyday life to not only listen to your partner, but actively participate in the conversations that they introduce. 

One of the most important purposes of communication in a relationship is to solve conflict. Repetitive conflict creates stress that can negatively affect the health and well-being of both you and your partner, according to Verywell Mind. Conflict is inevitable in every relationship, but there are healthy ways to deal with conflict in a respectful manner to achieve a positive outcome. 

Arguments are also a normal part of any relationship, but sometimes someone can get worked up to the point where you use words to hurt their partner rather than to fix the issue.

When in the midst of an argument, it’s important to be honest with yourself and decide whether your comments are tailored toward resolving the conflict or if they are hurtful, according to WebMD. If you are blaming the other person or trying to be purposely hurtful with your comments, WebMD suggests to take a deep breath, and then change your strategy. 

In some cases, productive conflict can actually be healthy for relationships. If done right, a resolved conflict will create a new understanding between partners. However, it is important to be empathetic toward your partner's feelings in order to achieve this. Even if you feel that your partner is wrong, it is important to listen and try to understand their point of view.

Even if you don’t agree with your partner at first, listening to their argument can open the door for new understandings and more insight into their emotional well-being. 

Finding balance is essential to happiness and mental well-being. This also applies to relationships. You don’t want a relationship to consume your life to the point where you lose your sense of self. According to Psychology Today, a healthy relationship has individuality and boundaries, and “it's important that each partner is given the freedom to still live their own life, especially in terms of friendships, professional goals and hobbies.” A person's individuality should be celebrated in a relationship. To have a healthy balance in a relationship, partners must be able to depend on each other for mutual support without losing their individuality. 

One of the best ways to maintain a healthy relationship is by setting boundaries. Healthy boundaries can help enhance your mental health and emotional well-being, build self esteem and gain a greater sense of identity, according to WebMD. It can be taxing on one’s mental health to constantly do things they are uncomfortable with. Setting boundaries that are respected by your partner can ease stress and help maintain a healthy balance in a relationship.

Maintaining a healthy relationship is not easy to do as it requires hard work from both partners, but the payoff can yield invaluable results for one’s mental well-being. Healthy relationships help improve lifespan, deal with stress better and have healthier habits, according to PsychAlive. Every relationship will have its hardships, but as long as you continue to work together to improve, a healthy relationship and all of its benefits is achievable for anyone. 

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