Happy Valentine’s Day! As everyone is focusing on love right now, I thought it would be best to look at what it takes to have a healthy relationship.
I am thankful to say that my husband and I have been married for over 17 years and have a great relationship, but we’ve had over 21 years of a roller coaster of learning to get us here that have not been easy. We have learned so much about God’s desire for our marriage and what love really means on the journey.
Having a healthy relationship does not mean that you don’t struggle. It’s actually the exact opposite….it’s how you deal with the struggles in a relationship that makes it healthy or unhealthy. All relationships have struggles, it’s what you do before, during, and after that will make a relationship healthy or not.
If you are longing for a healthy relationship, here are the ABC’s of what healthy relationships look like.
Do you admire your mate? This means you see the positive in them, and hold them in high regard because of it. It always feels good when someone says, “I’m proud of you.” Give this gift to your partner when you feel this way.
You cannot have a healthy relationship without boundaries. This means you teach each other about what you need and don’t need. Boundaries guide each other like a blue print to having love, trust, and respect in a healthy relationship.
Healthy relationships need good communication. Consider it to be the fuel that keeps it going. If you don’t communicate, eventually your relationship will run out of gas. Don’t leave your relationship stranded on the side of the road…make healthy communication a priority.
Being dedicated and committed to each other are a big part of relationship health. This helps each person to feel secure, valuable and loved.
Connecting with each others emotions is a KEY part of healthy relationships. Empathy helps you understand your mate and creates a feeling of safety between the two of you.
This one goes without saying, but being in a healthy relationship means you are only intimate each other emotionally and physically.
G- God is in the center
This is the one that has saved my marriage. Having God and your faith at the center of a relationship informs every interaction. The way you love, the way you forgive, your patience with each other, and the way you grow and relate. Being connected on your faith journey will bond you in the most incredible and fulfilling ways.
H- Hear each other
It’s important for both parties to have a voice and to be heard in healthy relationships. Hearing someone doesn’t mean you just go along with them. It’s more about understanding where your partner is coming from when they express what they need and how they feel.
I- Intimacy in all ways
Physical intimacy is very important. It’s what separates your relationship from any other relationship with the opposite sex. Physical intimacy is the physical result of the emotional connection. Which means emotional intimacy and connectedness should be a top priority in all healthy relationships.
J- Juggle together
Part of doing life together means you juggle all life throws at you. A healthy relationships helps each other through the crazy times.
Kindness is the second word that I Corinthians 13 uses to describe love. Your love for someone should show by the kind ways you treat them.
Having FUN is a great part of healthy relationships. Make it a priority to enjoy each other, play, and laugh!
M- Meet Needs
There is give and take in all healthy relationships. Be intentional to help each other out and meet each other’s needs.
This helps you feel safe in a healthy relationship. Through affection and softness, your partner will feel closer to you. Always try to be a safe place to land in your relationship.
Being open with your mate helps them know you in a deeper and more intimate way. Doing this means you feel safe and that you trust that you won’t be criticized or judged for what you share.
Protecting your mate and your relationship physically, emotionally, and socially is important. This also means that you don’t talk negatively about your partner with anyone but them.
Q- Quality Time
You can’t have a healthy relationship without it! Quality time = connection!
Part of loving someone well means you respect them. Show it in the way you communicate, touch, and prioritize each other.
S- Say Sorry
We will all let a loved one down at some point. When you’ve hurt the one you love, it’s important to own it, forgive each other, learn from what happened, and move on without resentments.
This is a foundation of healthy relationships. Without it, everything you build will crumble.
Scripture talks about this when it says “Two become one”. This doesn’t mean you don’t have your own identity, but it does mean that you are unified and together in this life.
As part of being open with each other, it’s important to be vulnerable. These are the moments that may feel scary as you reveal deep parts of yourself. This is possible because of the other ‘ABC’s’ being present in a relationship.
W- Work well as a team
Being good teammates means you’re working together on the same goals and cheer each other on along the way.
X- X-Ray the issues
This doesn’t mean you over analyze, but it does mean that you stop to examine things. Doing this brings growth, understanding, healing and connection.
Y- Ying Yang
We all have different strengths and weaknesses. A healthy relationship balances these out.
Zeal is defined as “having great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” Having zeal in a healthy relationship means you have excitement and anticipation to be with each other.
I hope you feel more encouraged than overwhelmed reading this list. It is a good one to help you see the areas your relationship is successful in and the areas that may need improvement. Take steps to grow with your mate in a healthy way today!
Any other traits you would add?