The 7 Must-Haves For A Healthy Relationship

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In any romantic coupling, there are necessary factors for maintaining a healthy and beneficial relationship. Of course, there are always individual needs that come into play and vary from person to person. However, if the desired outcome is to find yourself in a successful relationship, these are the basic necessities you must have.

1. Safety

Though it may seem like a no-brainer, not everyone is as well-versed on the concept of safety as they might presume to be.

Safety does not merely imply a lack of physical danger, though, of course, that is by all means necessary. But, with regard to relationships of any kind, emotional and spiritual safety are requirements, too. Individuals need to feel safe to express themselves, their emotions and their spirituality in healthy ways without fear of physical, verbal or psychological abuse, which includes criticisms, punishments or threats of any kind.

2. Compatibility

With regard to romantic relationships, far too many individuals confuse this particular quality with physical attraction or chemistry. Though the latter are what typically draws two people together initially, it is not what generally holds them together as a couple. In fact, where physical attraction may ebb and flow, compatibility usually remains.

For this reason, it is necessary to share fundamental beliefs and/or have common interests that are intrinsic, rather than fleeting.

3. Communication

In any relationship, communication is key. And, for the record, this doesn’t simply refer to superficial conversations about comfortable or safe topics.

The kind of communication needed in a healthy and successful relationship is open, honest and direct. It requires respect, assertiveness, honesty, listening skills and trust – the foundations of any healthy relationship and definition of integrity. And, in that way, it is the type of communication that is typically rather uncomfortable and runs the risk of resulting in conflict. But, as with life, conflict is a part of relationships, and it is one way we grow within them and closer to each other.

4. Accountability

The same level of accountability is required from both parties to make your relationship healthy and successful. You and your significant other must be accountable for your own individual actions, have consideration for the other person involved and respect the responsibility you have to each other.

5. Compromise

Relationships are no place to be selfish. Having consideration for the other person while still advocating for yourself is a delicate act of compromise.

Learning to compromise, rather than requiring things to be your way all the time, is typically the deciding factor between the beginning or the end of something amazing.

6. Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is about being emotionally available, open and vulnerable and sharing yourself fully (who you are, what you feel, think, experience, dream, etc.) with another individual. This helps to nurture the relationship and establish a substantial foundation. And, for the record, it is as vital (if not more so) to the health and longevity of a romantic relationship as physical intimacy.

7. Collaboration

As with any relationship, romantic ones require collaboration. Learning to work together, negotiate differences and employ teamwork is a key to success.

Remember that, even if you are not in complete agreement about how to achieve a specific objective, you are on the same team. And, though team meetings (uncomfortable but necessary conversations in relationships) may get heated, the goal is to collaborate and find ways to compromise and work together to achieve the shared objective.

Though these seven characteristics of a healthy, successful relationship are not always easily achieved, it is necessary for your growth as individuals and a couple to strive to achieve and maintain them.

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Toshia Humphries is a freelance writer, talk show radio host, life coach and artist in Lubbock, Texas. She possesses three degrees in counseling and psychology with a focus on addictions and has written feature articles on addiction, recovery and mental health for several publications, including Stages of Recovery, Solo Parent Magazine and Recovery Brands. She is the author of the book - Today Is the Day to Sparkle: Daily Affirmations for Those Who Need to Find Their Shine - and co-author of a curriculum for life skills programs for teens. She has been a guest speaker on Transformation Talk Radio, discussing personal growth, addiction, mental health and wellness and currently hosts Girl Power Hour – a talk radio show geared toward personal empowerment, spirituality, healing and growth.