Being part of a relationship is not always easy. With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, you may be reflecting on the important people in your life, and how to show them they’re special to you on the most loving day of the year.
It’s also the best time to reflect on relationships that aren’t so great, and how you can transform them into thriving and healthy romances. With this in mind, we’ve reached out to your favourite relationship experts to find out what it takes to keep the good vibes flowing. We asked:
“What are the top 5 elements of a healthy relationship?”
Our experts have openly shared how you can go beyond public displays of affection and love letters to create and maintain meaningful relationships. Here’s what they had to say:
“Communication is the key. Always.”
- Lisa Messenger, Author of Breakups and Breakthroughs and Editor in Chief of Collective Hub
- Support each other to grow as individuals together. Never stop growing, learning and evolving.
- Respect each other and know that you will disagree at times and that’s ok. You don’t need to be right. Let go of your ego.
- Communication is absolutely key. Always. Whatever happens. Work out your triggers, understand your partner's needs and learn ways to support them.
- Have tech detoxes and never take tech into the bedroom – know your boundaries, have non-negotiables and stick to them.
- Work out what your priorities are – in my experience it’s the simple things in life that are the most important – cherish them. Create moments and memories.
“Without laughter, your relationship becomes ‘work’.”
- Megan Luscombe, Life and Relationship Coach
- Communication. Without this, a relationship is doomed for failure. Communication means talking about everything, even topics that are difficult.
- Transparency. In the right relationship, you won't have to hide or protect anything (this includes the passcode on your phone!) Keeping things transparent means you'll always be on the same page.
- Expectations. You're not always going to feel 'in love' because this ain't no Hollywood rom-com! Get realistic about the ebbs and flows of love and you'll be one of the (very!) few who go the distance.
- Fun! Remember to laugh, a lot and don't fall into the trap where your relationship becomes 'work'.
- Friendship. Your partner should also be one of your greatest, most important friends. It's that simple.
“Appreciate each other even in the bad times.”
- Lisa Phillips, Founder of Amazing Coach
- Be clear on each other's relationship needs. For example honesty, loyalty and reciprocal healthy love. When both of you honour these needs it leads to respect, intimacy and healthy boundaries.
- Open communication. Learn to ask for what you want in a relationship. Many of us tend to think our partners are mind readers or have a crystal ball. If you don't ask for what you want, you may become resentful and frustrated. Communicate openly and also respect what your partner has to say without judgement.
- Have fun together. Choose a new activity you can do together and connect over laughter.
- Appreciate each other even in the bad times. Why not share a few things you like about each other every week?
- Balance. A great relationship happens when two people don't need the other to make them happy. It is about 2 whole people coming together not looking for someone to make you whole.
“Work as a team to form a partnership.”
- Matt Glover, Founder of Happy and Healthy Relationships
- Accept that it won’t all be plain sailing. Truly successful couples don’t have fewer obstacles, they simply have ways of working through them that allows both partners to feel heard, understood and respected.
- Respect each other’s view of the world. Accepting that our partner may see things differently to us, and making a real effort to try to understand their view of the world (even if you don’t agree) is crucial to feeling valued and supported.
- Create a healthy balance between dependance and independence. Doing some things for yourself, and being comfortable with your partner’s separateness, is integral to a healthy relationship.
- Learn to argue well. Yes, arguing is healthy for a relationship! But only if you know when and how to stop it before it becomes destructive. Walking away and coming back to discuss the issue when our emotions have calmed down is a much more effective way of achieving a resolution.
- Working as a team. Seeing yourselves as a partnership with a goal to continue to create and maintain a loving and happy relationship is vital.
“Having a good relationship with yourself.”
- Roslyn Noxton, Relationship and Mindset Coach
- Know your personality styles. When we do a little exploring around our own personality profile and we are exposed to what some of the other styles are, we can understand our own and other people’s behaviour in a healthier way. That way we don’t react or get hijacked or use combative or defensiveness behaviour or apply negative judgement.
- Manage judgement with kid gloves. Curiosity about others behaviours, compassion for others short fallings, forgiveness, letting go of making things matter so much will all hold much lighter wellness inducing emotional state within you. To judge in a non-negative way, I have found, is the hardest lesson for people I work with but the most liberating one once the penny drops.
- Communication. It is the lack of communication that is usually the culprit in the case of a relationship issue. Ideally, we would all be able to know our own mind and heart. We would know how to communicate this to people in a way that was not projecting or defending, but rather, merely informing and educating.
- Love Languages. Acts of service, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, physical touch, and quality time, are the 5 love languages. Understanding your own love language and understanding your partners love language will start to shine some great light on why sometimes you feel like you’re trying to say I love you, but, it seems to go nowhere.
- A good relationship with yourself. The relationship with our self needs to be balanced, healthy, full of self-respect, and self-love. This will impact, effect and dictate what happens in all of your other relationships. We firstly need to establish a healthy, self-loving relationship with our self. This can often include learning about acceptance and forgiveness.
“Keep the relationship fun. Try new things together!”
- Damien Dieke, Founder of School of Attraction
- Honesty (even when it hurts). Big problems in relationships often have small warning signs that nobody wants to talk about. These are discussions that deserve to be explored to mend the relationship but are often ignored.
- Novelty. Novelty is the spice of life, and all too many couples forget this. To keep your relationship fun and prevent it from becoming stale, you need to remember to be regularly doing new things together. Make a list together of different places/activities you can do together to keep up the variation.
- Time Apart. One of the biggest mistakes many couples make is that they ABSORB each other and both parties lose their personal identities. It's incredibly important to have alone time, and time alone with friends. If your partner is your only source of social and emotional support that will eventually become too big a burden for any one person and they will either buckle under pressure or you will find them (unfairly) lacking the ability to be all things for you.
- Small Acts Of Affection. In most early relationships we're great at giving our partners small doses of random affection or saying something you really appreciate about them. When you feel your value as a partner is taken for granted and no longer valued, that's when many resentments in relationships begin to surface.
- Learning To Communicate (when you're both emotional). Most adults have never learned to communicate even when they're feeling really upset. There is great mastery in knowing how to communicate your extreme emotions from an adult space, and also in knowing when to just say 'I'm too upset with you right now to talk to you in a productive way, let's take some space'.
“Transparency is important. Let your partner in.”
- Kate Chorley, Founder of True Connections Counselling
- Be transparent & open. Let your partner in and let them see who you are. Welcome the sacredness of vulnerability.
- Honesty. When you are super honest with yourself you can easily share this honesty with your partner.
- Embrace change. Remember a true relationship is about evolution, growing together and respecting each other. Many people fall into the trap of seeking a relationship for comfort but this will never truly be fulfilling and you are left in danger of seeking more outside of the relationship because of this.
- Acceptance. Give your partner space to be who they are and where they are at. When we enter a relationship with pictures of how we want it to be we can impose this on our partner, which is tragic because you miss out on the magic that is on offer for you to grow.
- Love every day. This seems basic but how truly loving are we with ourselves and each other? Something to ponder on. Make every day a day to celebrate the love you live with each other.
“Make them feel supported and respected.”
- Paul Baker, Relationship Coach and found of PBR Coaching
- Consideration is a biggie. Your partner just wants to be considered, as do you. If you’re planning a Valentine’s Day date then consider their needs, desires and preferences. You would want the same thing.
- Tell me about you. We all want to be known on a deeper level. But we all do it differently. Finding out about your partner’s world helps them feel appreciated and above all, intimately known.
- Listen attentively. When your partner wants to draw your attention to them in a conversation kind of way then respond by giving them your full attention. Be all ears.
- Show appreciation. You can’t go wrong with roses, or flowers for that matter. Flowers represent an expression of appreciation so be sure to do it with meaning. You can go a long way with this simple act. If not flowers, show them your appreciation a different way that is comfortable for you.
- Respect, support and safety. The biggest indicator of a healthy relationship is if respect, support and safety are clearly seen and demonstrated.
“Evolve your sense of authentic self”
- Sarah Tolmie, Holistic Celebrant - Life & Love and Relationship Coach
- Be Aware. Couples in a thriving relationship develop a highly attuned awareness to their own needs.
- Communication. Learning how to communicate with each other is essential.
- Adapt and Apply. They agree to be accountable and where they have to develop new skills and behaviours to meet theirs and their partners' needs & desires. They adapt and learn to consciously apply those skills.
- Accountability. In a healthy relationship, couples are clear on their relationship agreement. This may sound a bit dreary but think of these agreements as what is contained within the heart of the marriage vows. Vows encapsulate what you promise to create, share, believe and do for yourself, your beloved and your relationship.
- Authenticity. The key in a relationship is firstly maintaining an ever-evolving sense of authentic self. It is YOU that your beloved loves and wants, so keep growing and developing your SELF and gifting that to your partner.
“Openly share your inner world daily!”
- Sarah Davis, Wellness and Relationship Coach, Founder of Living a Brave Life
- Friendship. You just ‘like’ each other, accept and encourage one another as you would a friend. This forms the foundation of a lasting relationship even when the honeymoon period is over.
- Trust. This isn’t just about staying loyal, rather that you can depend on your partner to have your back when you need them. You can rely on them to bring you up when you’ve had a hard day.
- Affection. It’s the little things that count! That daily playfulness and warmth towards your partner keeps the flame alive.
- Sharing. Openly sharing your inner world daily is how you create intimacy. This is where communication and vulnerability really pay dividends into your relationship bank account.
- Boundaries. Being clear about what’s ok and what’s not (e.g how you speak to each other and how you behave etc.) ensures you know where the lines are, keeping you both feeling safe and secure in the relationship.
Build a healthy relationship one step at a time
Our leading experts agree that healthy relationships are founded on open communication, trust, friendship, honesty, respect and authenticity. Don’t fret if you don’t see measurable change overnight. Use the practical tips they’ve shared to nurture your relationship into a balanced and fulfilling partnership.
Get started by planning a picture-perfect Valentine’s Day celebration to show your partner that you want to rekindle the spark in your relationship. Don’t forget to order premium red roses and gifts as a lead into the next chapter of your romance.
If you need help choosing the perfect flowers to get off on the right foot, give our friendly team a call for assistance.