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When talking about relationships, you’ve probably heard the term “healthy relationship”. But what does it mean to be in one? Is a healthy relationship one in which you’re happy? Or in good physical health? Well– both, actually.
Good health encompasses many aspects of our overall well-being, like our physical, mental, and emotional health, all of which are especially important when considering the quality of your relationship.
There are many ways that couples can work together to not only enjoy their love lives, but maintain good physical and mental health as time goes on. Here are some ways that you and your partner can carry out a healthy, long-lasting relationship and grow old happily together.
Oftentimes, couples in unhealthy relationships find themselves in that position due to a lack of intimacy. Yet, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the spark is gone. It’s completely normal for couples to experience challenges in the bedroom, whether that comes in the form of erectile dysfunction for him, body image issues for her, or a lack of desire to be intimate altogether for either of you. Regardless of whichever challenge you face, it’s important to know that this doesn’t mean your relationship is unhealthy. It could just mean you’re not making enough time for intimacy, or that you aren’t catering to your partner’s (or your own) specific needs.
There are plenty of ways to make intimacy a priority in your relationship. Set time aside each day for you two to spend time together with few expectations. Allow yourselves to be close: hold hands, enjoy a special dinner, or simply just have a conversation about your day. Be open and honest about the things that are bothering you and what your needs are, and intimacy problems will come fewer and far between. If you’re still struggling with sexual issues despite this communication and quality time, you can consult with a doctor about an affordable medication to treat ED or methods for coping with performance anxiety. Don’t let your intimate struggles disrupt your love life; address your issues and make more room for intimacy in your daily life.
Companies like Hims and Hers are working to de-stigmatize different intimacy issues for both men and women (whether they’re ED, performance anxiety, or something else) by sharing information about their prevalence and treatments. You can check out more of their work and learn about any other, specific issues you might be facing on the Hims Instagram and Hers Instagram.
Making time for fitness
Physical health is a critical part of your well-being, especially since the maintenance of it can consequently impact your mental health, and ultimately your relationship. In the midst of busy work and social lives, a lot of couples put off regular exercise, or neglect to carry out a healthy diet. This is both likely and understandable between dinner dates at new, exciting restaurants, vacations, and balancing your relationship with the rest of your life. However, couples can easily find ways to incorporate healthy practices into their daily routines.
Since it can be extremely difficult to find time to either spend time with your partner or manage a healthy diet and fitness routine, why not do both at the same time? Spend some quality time with your partner by taking long walks, going on hikes, or participating in a fitness program together in order to boost your health and further your relationship at the same time. If a healthy diet is hard for you both to implement with your busy schedules, try planning and prepping your meals for the week. Not only will you have healthier, more appropriate portions of food, you’ll most likely save money, too. For your own sake, and for the good of your relationship, use your fitness and health goals as a means to be close to your partner.
Couples that communicate often have healthier relationships, even in the bedroom. When couples fail to talk with their partner and express their feelings, it can create a great deal of tension between significant others. This stress and pressure can begin to take a toll on couples, leading to arguments and resentment that can be detrimental to their relationship. This is why it’s so crucial to be open and honest with your partner about your concerns so that they can be dealt with before they become harmful to your love life.
Make an effort to get comfortable expressing your feelings if you’re typically hesitant to do so. When you begin to have issues or doubts that directly affect your relationship, you should express that to your partner as soon as possible. Reversely, check in frequently with your partner to see where they’re at with their feelings, and how you can make them more comfortable as well. Anything from your insecurities to your personality to your love languages can influence the way you interact with one another and the happiness in your relationship. So, find out the best way to communicate with your partner and you’ll have fewer bumps in the road and more enjoyable moments.
Similar to communication, couples who have unconditional trust in one another typically enjoy a happier relationship. For those who don’t have the ability to spend every waking moment together, there can be a significant amount of time that you spend apart from each other‒ especially for those participating in long-distance relationships. It’s critical that you have the utmost faith in your partner when you can’t be in the same place at the same time.
While full trust can take a long time to achieve, sometimes even years, there are little things you can do in order to build trust with your partner. The biggest way is to reach a genuinely trusting relationship is to be open and honest, especially when it comes to owning up to your mistakes. When trust is broken, it’s best to acknowledge it upfront and hold yourself accountable for those wrongdoings. You can also build trust by prioritizing your partner’s feelings over your own. When you outline your priorities by putting the ones you love on top, you won’t be tempted to break your partner’s trust in the first place. Finally, show your dedication to your partner through small acts of kindness, voicing your appreciation, or surprising them with fun gifts. The more you show your love, the stronger the trust between you, which will make your relationship happier and healthier.
Every relationship is unique, so if your relationship looks a little different than someone else’s, there’s no reason to worry. A healthy relationship could look completely different in the eyes of other couples. Regardless, strive toward more trust, and challenge yourself and your partner to acquire a healthier, happier overall lifestyle.
Relationships can be an exhausting yet exhilarating piece of our lives. Break-ups and make-ups are a part of life, and in the future, you’ll be able to look back and say you learned from them. Through the ups and downs, however, it can be hard to decide when to hold on and when to let go of someone. As sensitive human beings, we like to spare others’ feelings and avoid conflict which can lead to us staying in toxic or unhealthy relationships. Here are some signs that your relationship is not healthy and you might be better off separating from your partner.
Your health is suffering
Sometimes at the end of a relationship, we don’t realize the toll that it has taken on our mental or physical health. Continuous arguing or tension with your partner can elicit several symptoms of stress like hair loss or insomnia. You can minimize some of these effects of stress with a hair loss treatment or natural sleep aids, or by seeking advice from a medical professional. While medications are viable solutions for these symptoms, you should perceive these as signs of some weakness in your relationship that needs to be addressed and followed up with therapy or counseling.
Your relationship with your family is affected
A common signal of an unhealthy relationship is when your family or loved ones disapprove of the relationship. While you shouldn’t make decisions about your relationship solely based upon the opinions of others, when the whole family does not approve, it can be very telling. If your relationship or your partner is driving a wedge between you and your loved ones, it’s time to cut ties. If your partner gets angry, upset, or jealous when you want to spend time with someone besides them, or verbalizes their blatant dislike of your family, that is not healthy behavior and could mean it’s time to break up.
There is a lack of communication
Communication is known to be one of the keys to a healthy relationship, and when that communication starts to fade away, it can be detrimental. If you or your partner are neglecting to express your feelings or needs, there’s a chance that it’s a major contributor to your unhappiness. There are little ways to improve communication with your partner every day, like asking them questions, listening to them, and expressing your appreciation. However, if you see little improvement after a lot of effort, you might find that you might communicate better with someone else.
There’s a mutual sense of unhappiness
Most healthy relationships go through rough patches; however, when your happiness is sacrificed, your relationship has likely reached an unhealthy point. Oftentimes, couples experience hardships that they can’t get past, but continue to hold onto their relationship. Some ways to tell you’re unhappy include not feeling good enough, finding everyday tasks meaningless, and feeling like you don’t belong. When you start to notice that you’re unhappy the majority of the time you spend with your partner, consider moving on.
You’re thinking about someone else
Amidst the tension or obstacles that you and your partner may be facing, you might find yourself thinking about what might have become of a past relationship. This is not something to feel bad about because you’re only human, but there could be a deeper meaning to dreaming about a past relationship with someone else. This is a clear indication that you are in a troubled relationship. If you’re thinking about someone other than your significant other, it’s time to reevaluate your existing relationship and get to the root of the problem.
You have different values
As you’re developing a relationship with someone, it can take a while for you to get to know them. You learn about their personality, their future goals, and their outlook on life. Upon these new conversations, you might find that your partner has different values or doesn’t want the same things as you. If you’re looking to get married and have children but find out your partner doesn’t believe in marriage, there is nothing wrong with deciding not to spend any more time with that person. It can be not only healthy, but also fun to look for new people who have the same values as you, so don’t be afraid to end the relationship and seek a partner who is compatible with your personality.
Others are encouraging you to end your relationship
It’s one thing if your family doesn’t approve of your relationship, but when your family and friends are vocal about their concern for your relationship, it can be a tough pill to swallow. However, sometimes the people that are closest to us have better judgment than we think. As hard as it may seem, an outside perspective can be really beneficial when making a decision, especially from one who has your best interest at heart. Despite the urge to disregard anyone’s perception of your relationship, take input from your loved ones when you are unsure of what you should do.
There are signs of physical or emotional abuse
Physical or emotional abuse from a partner can be very difficult to identify. Physical abuse can come in many different forms, like restraining, shoving, or reckless driving. Emotional abuse, on the other hand, can present as anything from insults to intimidation to financial dependence. Abuse of any kind is grounds for terminating a relationship, so it’s critical to recognize signs early on for your own safety. If you’re a victim of domestic violence and are looking to get out of your relationship or simply need advice, try a resource hotline for domestic assault.
Though it can be one of the hardest decisions to make in life, cutting ties with your relationship could be exactly what you need to do to improve your overall well-being. When you’re with someone you love, it can be so much harder to recognize patterns of unhealthy behaviors. This is why it’s so important to listen to your loved ones when something seems off and to take a step back and reevaluate whether or not you should be in this relationship.
However, remember that there are very few relationship problems that can’t be solved. There are ample ways to improve your relationship once you can address the issue. If you both, as a couple, cannot seem to solve your problems on your own, seek advice from a couple’s therapist, because if you really believe you are with the right person, it deserves all the effort necessary to salvage your relationship.