Healthy Dating and Marriage Relationships

Have you ever stood back and admired a relationship? Maybe it was your grandparents, a close friend, or a sweet couple you observed on the street. For a moment you stop, there is something breathtaking, something special and you wonder, “What is it? What do they have?”

Relationships like that don’t just happen overnight. Contrary to popular belief, Prince Charming usually doesn’t just show up at the Ball and sweep you off your feet. And while it sure would be nice, healthy relationships involve delicate action and care. So what are some of those actions and care that cultivate a blooming relationship? Here are fifteen to get you started.

1. Take the relationship slow, especially in the beginning. Romantic relationships that start in a heat of passion usually burn out quickly. Take any new relationship one step at a time.
2. Respect comes before love. Begin a dating relationship with giving respect and expect the same in return. If respect is not present in the beginning it will probably never be there. To try and add respect later can be difficult.
3. Do not depend on one another for every emotional need. Continue to engage in healthy activities outside of the relationship, even after marriage.
4. Beware of warning signs that your partner is abusive, selfish, an alcoholic, drug addict, etc. A bad, unhealthy dating relationship is far worse than any loneliness in the single life.
5. Guard against selfishness. Reciprocate the giving deeds and attitudes. Do not be only a taker in the relationship.
6. Speak up. If something is bothering you, talk about it. Thoughts and feelings are better out in the open rather than boiling inside of you.
7. Compromise. Disagreements and conflicts are a part of all relationships, even healthy ones. Find a way to compromise. Deal with the issues at hand in a mature, fair, and rational way.
8. Sexual relationships before marriage are most often harmful. Practice the word “no.” Men do not respect women that are “easy” and women do not respect men that “sleep around.” Seriously evaluate whether the physical and emotional affects are worth the price.
9. Do not allow flawless beauty or handsomeness to become the measure of worth you place upon your partner. Your partner will age and change.
10. The testing will come. In every relationship there is a time when one will test and question the other. “How important am I to you, and what would you do if you lost me?” This may come about through disagreement, flirtation with a rival, no phone calls, or other outside influences. It is important to remain poised, secure, and equally independent.
11. Be supportive. Build each other up, don’t bring each other down. Offer encouragement and reassurance. Let your partner know when you need their support as well.
12. Not too loose, not too tight. While we all know holding onto something loosely will end in eventual loss, likewise, holding too tight can have the same consequence. Having too much dependency on your partner can drive him/her away or adversely, give them tremendous control over you.
13. Give each other space and privacy. Do not put a cage around your partner. From time to time we all need a little space. Allow them space when they need it. Let go with confidence, but do not appease immoral or destructive behaviors.
14. Communicate cautiously, yet openly together about making a more significant commitment to the relationship. Share your thoughts and ideas in general terms as you determine if you and your partner have the same feelings.
15. Talk about your expectations of one another and the relationship before diving into marriage.

Healthy relationships are rewarding and satisfying. When both partners respect and care deeply for each other, a healthy relationship can grow. Starting with these tips, you might just find that you can have one of those relationships you once admired. Be patient.