How Healthy Is Your Intimate Relationship?

             Building and maintaining a healthy intimate relationship is an art form and is also hard work.  If this seems challenging to understand, it is even more challenging to do!  The “art form” aspect of an intimate relationship refers to the creativity necessary for the ongoing renewal of interest in each other through mutual leisure activities and devotion to physical intimacy.  The art of an healthy relationship also involves respecting your partner’s privacy and freedom, as well as respecting your partner’s individual values and life goals.  Furthermore, you must try not to take it personally when your partner is in a bad mood and must remember that you are only responsible for your actions. Secondly, relationships are work.  When you neglect each other, by not devoting time for physical intimacy and shared leisure activities, it is just like neglecting your job duties.  If you neglect job duties, you risk losing your job.  If you don’t devote daily time toward listening to your partner, engaging in active listening and open communication, verbalizing your wants and needs to your partner, and verbalizing appreciation to your partner, you risk losing your partner, just like being fired from a job. 

Do Not Allow Your Past to be Your Present

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          You and your partner bring your past experiences, your life values, and your expectations about love and commitment into the relationship.  One of the most challenging tasks in maintaining a healthy relationship is to acknowledge each other’s emotional triggers and each other’s behavioral patterns, which developed through each of your historical experiences up to the point of beginning the open communication in your intimate relationship.  Do not try to change your partner.  More importantly, you must accept yourself, with your insecurities, fears, or trust issues, in order to accept and understand your partner’s issues.  You must remember that it is inevitable to have highs and lows in any relationship.  However, if you put in the hard work, you and your partner can create “new beginnings” of emotional connections and mutual joy. 

Communication: Your Speaking Skills

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            Respectful, and compassionate open communication with active listening is necessary on a daily basis.  This practice helps to keep you and your partner aligned in your beliefs about the relationship and to keep your mutual appreciation for each other as a priority.  By being honest, you’ll be able to overcome any challenges together.  Communicate as clearly as you can, in order to avoid misunderstandings, conflicts, or painful feelings.  Take the risk of asking clear and direct questions when you need to express what you want.  It is better to ask questions and to explain your thoughts, rather than to make assumptions.  You will surely set yourself up for suffering by making assumptions.  Remember not to assume that your partner has the exact same viewpoint as you do in every situation.  Healthy communication is about accepting and validating your partner’s feelings, even if you might not agree with them.  When you communicate in an authentic manner with your partner, you are expressing your true self and are also accepting that your partner may have emotions and reactions which are different from your own. 

            Your choice of words to your partner can create the most beautiful interactions or can create anger, resentment, and blame.  Your words can be the “glue” which binds the two of you together, emotionally and mentally, or your words can alienate your partner.  Another important point about your choice of words in a relationship is that you must speak with “I statements” and must take responsibility for your actions, wants, and needs, while also allowing your partner to do the same.  Furthermore, when you learn how to choose your words carefully and how to speak with authenticity, you are also learning how to confront your own fears and insecurities in the intimate relationship.  By carefully choosing your words, you can find solutions which work for both of you.  Two final important points are to be clear about what you want and to say sorry when you are wrong.  

Communication: Your Listening Skills

           Active listening involves staying “in the moment” throughout a conversation and frequently reflecting back on what your partner is saying.  It also involves asking for clarification when needed and avoiding making judgments.  Many times, all that your partner wants is for you to listen and to be sympathetic about a problem, no matter how small that problem may be.  Other times, your partner may want you to give advice.  You can gain so much insight about your partner’s wants and needs simply by being a good active listener.  You exhibit active listening by making summary statements about important points made by your partner, not interrupting, not correcting what your partner is saying, and not getting distracted by external stimuli, such as your cell phone!

Your Final Relationship Checklist

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         Sometimes we assume that our partners should just know that we love them, even if we don’t always show it.  Having a life outside of your relationship is healthy, but you and your partner must protect the “us” aspect of your relationship through shared interests and frequent reminders of your commitment and loyalty.  Both of you must make the relationship a priority in daily life.

     Take responsibility for your own happiness.  Remember that it is not up to someone else to make you happy.  In a healthy relationship, your partner will try to please you and make you happy, but, in the end, you are responsible for your own happiness.  Another important aspect of a healthy intimate relationship is to follow through on your promises.  When you say you’re going to do something, do it. Healthy relationships need trust to thrive.  Also, you must admit your mistakes, and, if you know you’ve done something to hurt your partner, you must own up to it.  Remember to stay humble and to apologize sincerely, without excuses or justifications.  In doing this, you are showing responsibility for your actions and are not projecting your own issues onto your partner.

     Partners in a healthy relationship choose to resolve their problems and to push through the tough times, instead of ignoring issues and building resentment.  Every relationship has disagreements, but you must continually review your expectations, must not expect perfection, and must accept that conflict happens.  In sum, relationships require lots of compassion, humility, open communication, and compromise, yet it is extremely important to maintain your independent life path, with all of your plans and interests.  Your narrative can be enhanced greatly by your partner’s presence but remember that it is always YOUR narrative to write.  You are the author, and your partner is the main character, but not the co-author. 

Medication Management & Counseling

         New Age Psychiatry offers licensed and certified psychiatric services through virtual telehealth appointments within the state of Florida. We understand the complexities that come with mental health disorders and symptoms, and we will work hard to help you manage your condition and build key skills in your relationship such as open communication , active listening in your intimate relationship to gain a healthy relationship.

         New Age Psychiatry is a modern mental health service in Florida that approaches addiction and other mental health issues with compassion and forward-thinking techniques. New Age Psychiatry offers certified psychiatric services through telehealth appointments in Florida. Some of the highlights of the New Age Psychiatry approach include:

  • Online Screening – We will begin with certified online screening to provide an overview of psychiatric care. We also offer a personalized, specific diagnosis through our psychiatric Telehealth services.
  • Diagnosis, Recovery, & Treatment – Our full range of comprehensive psychiatric telehealth services can aid in treating a multitude of psychiatric illnesses and assist in the recovery process in alcoholism.
  • Telehealth Services – Our psychiatric telehealth services are available throughout the state of Florida and can assist you in psychiatric care through counseling and medication management

Contact us on the web for a virtual appointment. If you prefer to use email, you can reach us at info@newagepsychiatry.com or call us today at (877) 769-5206 for more information.