What Makes a Healthy Relationship?

Whether you are hard-core leather, occasional kinkster or straight vanilla, here are some simple rules of thumb to keep any relationship happy and healthy.


Synergy, in general, may be defined as two or more things functioning together to produce a result not independently obtainable. Healthy relationships embrace synergy.

Before you can love anyone else you need to love yourself. Respect and accept yourself for who and what you are.  Happy relationships don’t happen when two halves come together to make a whole. It is two whole people working together that make a successful relationship.  So be as whole and together as you can be, love yourself and be good to you.  Too often in relationships one person becomes unhappy because they blame their partner for not having the power to make them happy. Happiness does not come from external sources, from places, people or things. Happiness is an inside job. Only YOU can make YOU happy.

Differences between two people is a natural occurrence. How those differences are respected and negotiated will directly impact how successful your relationship will be. No two people ever agreed on everything 100% of the time.  Learn to negotiate and compromise and commit to the plan. Keep your word and keep your agreements. If adjustments need to be made to the plan, be open and honest. Keeping your word demonstrates respect for yourself and your partner in addition to building trust and safety. If you agree to monogamy then stick with it, be sure to disclose and discuss any feelings you may have about someone else before acting upon those feelings. Trust is hard earned and too easily lost. Remember your word is your bond.

Communicate! Communicate! Communicate! Healthy communication is essential to sustain a healthy relationship. It is vital that there be a safe haven to share and nurture mutual collaborative agreements and compromise. There should be a way to safely communicate not only positive but negative feelings.  Doing so, will promote an atmosphere of collaboration and mutual trust. You won’t always agree but there needs to be a common ground to air and discuss disagreements. You can choose to be “right’ or you can have a happy relationship, you can’t always have both.  Character assassination, verbal abuse and manipulation are NOT healthy ways of communicating.  Play Nice!
Learning and growing together as a couple can be a rewarding experience. We each come to the table with our own set of challenges as well as our own set of assets. Learning about each other and working through challenges together can be incredibly bonding experience.

To paraphrase Shakespeare “To thine own self be true”. This can be especially applicable when sharing your feelings with  your partner. Tell your partner the truth about how you feel. Too often we have been taught to prevaricate to spare feelings.  You can argue with facts, but you can’t argue with emotions. Be honest and open with your feelings; lies create a gulf that can destroy trust. Truth is the foundation of trust and trust is the foundation of a healthy relationship.

Do things for your partner because you enjoy doing things that make them happy. Doing things with the idea of future reciprocation is opening your relationship up to emotional blackmail and resentment. Creating an atmosphere of generous giving within your relationship can promote feelings of love and trust.
We all make mistakes and it is inevitable that at some point in time your partner is going to make one. Occasional resentment towards one partner is normal. How that resentment is handled can make or break a relationship.  Learning to forgive and let go of resentment can be a determining factor to the health of your relationship. Holding grudges, bringing up past mistakes can destroy the best of relationships. “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover it was you. “

It is essential to any healthy relationship that you accept the person’s personality and the way they process the world.  It is extremely unrealistic to expect anyone to change their processing style or personality to meet your expectations or needs.  Healthy relationships understand and accept their partners for who and what they are.  That being said, it is vital to be very open and honest with what you expect from your partner in regards to behavior and attitude. There should be a very clear understanding about what is expected from each other. This is especially true when it comes to finances.

Responsible”= your ability to respond, not that you’re accepting blame. By responding you are acknowledging your needs and the real problem — taking ownership. For instance, if you have been behaving badly towards your partner, own it and change it. That is something you can not only control, but you can change! You are responsible for your actions, no one else’s. There is power in that.

Love does mean having to say your sorry. We all make mistakes and that is no less true for our behavior within our intimate relationship. Owning up to our mistakes lets our partners know we can be trusted to be fair and honest. You can be right 100% of the time or you can have a healthy relationship. You can’t have both.

Relationships are like bank accounts:  if you don’t make regular deposits eventually you will overdraft your account.  We all know how horrible and costly those overdraft fees can be!   Spending quality time with your partner can be one of the greatest investments you can make towards your relationship.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.