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Unlocking Happy Relationships: Balance is the Key

Most people desire healthy, mature relationships that bring joy and satisfaction to life.  Maintaining a healthy relationship is challenging, but it’s also an exciting opportunity to work on intimacy and connecting with others. While two imperfect people can never have a perfect relationship, these ideas can enhance your love life--or try modifying the tips to improve friendships or family relationships

Be Yourself

Many have known a friend or family member who, the moment she begins a relationship, separates from people and activities she once enjoyed.

Cultivating your own interests, activities and friends is crucial to overall happiness and often results in a more satisfying relationship. The goal is to preserve each individual’s identity while investing time and effort together.

He Says, She Says

We all have expectations, especially for our relationships. Many assume our partners should know our wants and needs but when they fail to have the magic ability to read our minds, we experience disappointment. 

It’s important for both partners to talk about their feelings and expectations – and just as important to listen. This is particularly true if your partner is less verbal than you.

Mutual communication inspires a sense of safety, promotes confidence and encourages the honest expression of feelings. It creates a better environment for love -- and passion!

To Forgive is Divine

Of course, fights and arguments are inevitable. But if conflicts are not properly resolved, couples find themselves in a negative pattern of arguing, including nagging, becoming emotionally detached or using sex as a bargaining tool. 

In a hurry to ease the tension during a conflict, we often “kiss and make up,” convincing ourselves and our partners that the issue at hand has been resolved. In fact, if forgiveness is not extended, old arguments can resurface to hurt our partners. It’s easy to get in this rut when we are unable to let go of hurtful events from the past.

Ideally, a conflict ends with true forgiveness, a difficult step that takes practice. It is much easier to hold grudges and resentments than to forgive and move forward. Learning to genuinely forgive will ease tensions and lead to a more peaceful relationship.

Keep Courting

After a period of time, many couples experience a roadblock:  They like the comfort and familiarity of a long-term relationship, but the routine makes them feel tired and bored; they complain there isn’t a spark. This is sign that change is needed! 

Just like a summer romance that swept you off your feet, your long-term relationship can be passionate and exciting. Try mimicking your courtship with creative date nights; you’ll both remember the exhilaration of young love. Don’t underestimate the thrill of spontaneity and trying something new together.

Keeping your relationship healthy is all about maintaining a balance in these areas: preserving self-identity, expressing your feelings, resolving conflicts, keeping passion alive. Relationships can be tough and challenging, but also joyful and exciting. 

Good luck in your life’s journey to find love, happiness and balance!

Be sure to JOIN our free and private Facebook group about Love & Relationships. This is an online support group that provides tips and inspirational material for couples and supportive discussions on challenging relationship-related issues. Click here for more info.


Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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