6 Rules To Make Your Relationship Healthier

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A lot of my patient couples reach a point in their relationship where a few guidelines may be needed to make their relationship healthier for both of them. Sometimes people are at different places in their relationship. Perhaps one partner is intent on marriage or career and the other doesn’t share the same mind frame. Or one partner is living in the past while the other is ready to move forward. These types of situations may create an uneven playing field for both partners. 

Here are six rules that I share with my patients to get their relationships back on track. I know ‘rule’ as a word can have negative connotations, but trust me, these are healthy suggestions that can bring fun and comradery back into relationships. 


Rule #1 – Be Present

One healthy ground rule for adult relationships is to remind each other to live in the present. Making the most of the present is one way to live a more fulfilling life together. 

Stop and take notice of how your relationship can make you feel. What are you thankful for today? Keeping your mind present can help people feel more appreciative of their partnership. 


Rule #2 – Make Space

This next ground rule is my favorite and the one I find hard to manage with a lot of couples I know—giving each other space to live your own lives. 

We all know a wife or husband that refuses to let their partner go to happy hour, or shopping, or a book reading, without them. While togetherness is great, a healthy relationship should have time for friends and interests that your significant other doesn’t necessarily share. 

It’s healthy to have your individual lives and your life together. This does involve trust and I believe this is where the breakdown often occurs. But trust can be learned and developed. 

It is important to have solo time with your friends and interests—it’ll make you more interesting to each other when you spend time together. And can give you more topics to discuss with each other. 


Rule #3 – Practice Respect

An important ground rule in any adult relationship is mutual respect. 

I remind my patients that it’s ok to not like each other 100% of the time, but you must love each other and respect each other all of the time. 

Mutual admiration is key in a healthy relationship. It also teaches children in your relationship about how to treat others, especially those individuals you care about. 


Rule #4 – Open Communication

Another healthy ground rule is to promise to speak to each other about things that are bothering them. 

A lot of times a concern can take on a life of its own inside our heads. And at the same time your partner might be oblivious to any problem. 

It’s always best to get concerns off your chest and out in the open so they don’t fester and become bigger issues. And a healthy way to initiate conversations like this may be to provide solutions to the perceived problem—coming off as helpful is always better than just complaining. 

For instance, your partner listens to streaming content too loudly for your tastes. Instead of complaining about the volume, take this as an opportunity to share information on wireless headphones that can provide a quiet, comfortable solution for the issue. 


Rule #5 – Stay United

Remember – you’re on the same team! 


Some couples forget that they’re in their relationship together. They need to be true partners and stand behind each other. No one should ever feel alone in a relationship—but because of our technical and busy society, this sometimes feels like the case. 

Choose a common goal that both partners can work together on. Is it a common goal to lose weight, get in better shape, eat better, to become more active, to learn a new skill? It could be creating your own personal book club and each partner agrees to read 5-10 pages each day. Or committing to take dance lessons together just because.  

Each morning partners should briefly connect and discuss their goal and what they’ll do to get them one step closer that day. This can make each partner the other’s cheerleader and biggest fan. 

When partners work together like this, they become unstoppable—and many of my own patients fall in love all over again. 


Rule #6 – Play Together

Too often I hear my patients telling me that relationships are all about hard work. But when I ask when the last time they played together, most cannot remember an instance. 


Playing together can mean a lot of things. From golf to scrabble, whitewater rafting or frisbee golf, there are plenty of options to play as partners. 


There is also another play option to keep in mind. Sex toys. They’re called toys for a reason. There are plenty of pleasure products that offer intimate play. 


Make a play date and bring some fun into your romance.


Let’s do a quick recap:

Rule #1 – Be Present

Rule #2 – Make Space

Rule #3 – Practice Respect

Rule #4 – Open Communication

Rule #5 – Stay United

Rule #6 – Play Together 


Consider these ‘healthy habits’ that can make your relationship better. You don’t have to commit to every rule at the same time. Choose one suggestion and start there. Notice how it can make your relationship feel stronger and better connected. 

Are there healthy habits that you currently have in your own relationship? What rules have worked for you in the past? I would love to hear from you and I’m always here if you have any questions I can help with! 

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