Building a Healthy Relationship from the Start

The Beginning Stages

While the early months of a relationship can feel effortless and exciting, successful long-term relationships involve ongoing effort and compromise by both partners. Building healthy patterns early in your relationship can establish a solid foundation for the long run. When you are just starting a relationship, it is important to:

  • Build. Build a foundation of appreciation and respect. Focus on all the considerate things your partner says and does. Happy couples make a point of noticing even small opportunities to say “thank you” to their partner, rather than focusing on mistakes their partner has made.
  • Explore. Explore each other’s interests so that you have a long list of things to enjoy together. Try new things together to expand mutual interests.
  • Establish. Establish a pattern of apologizing if you make a mistake or hurt your partner’s feelings. Saying “I’m sorry” may be hard in the moment, but it goes a long way towards healing a rift in a relationship. Your partner will trust you more if he or she knows that you will take responsibility for your words and actions.

This post is courtesy of the University of Texas Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center.

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About thefaytheproject

The Faythe Project is an arts for social change initiative that uses literary, performing, visual and media arts to educate young people about establishing and maintaining healthy early dating relationships and equipping them with the skills to identify and exit unhealthy ones. The Faythe Project was founded specifically to fill the demand for school appropriate educational materials that equip and empower young people to identify unhealthy dating relationships and establish healthy ones. We exist to support prevention organizations’ outreach efforts with materials that go beyond the assembly and special presentations that provide real life first hand stories. These are a vital aspect of Dating Violence Prevention but cannot change the tide alone. Unfortunately, assemblies and special presentations are too soon forgotten. Our materials explore the topic of dating violence as part of everyday learning—the play for Drama class, the short story for English class, the lesson on statistics for Math. Our materials keep the dialogue going after the prevention organization as introduced the topic.
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