We polled people who have been in a healthy relationship for 10+ years to get the 411 on their relationship’s success. The info and advice we got were so practical and doable that we wanted to do more than share them in a few posts. With the data as our inspiration, we’re creating a program called The Love Lab to bring you all the tools you need to build a lasting loving relationship.
Despite a lot of books out there with great relationship and communication advice, couples still have questions and challenges implementing them. With the help of actors, we’ll be demonstrating communication tools and the best relationship advice and giving you opportunities to practice them. You’ll get coaching from experts to understand your patterns and learn tools to make them healthy, or at least, healthier. We’ll share a blueprint to use throughout the stages of your relationship–from how to identify a keeper to how to create a healthy relationship that lasts.
We’ll spend a lot of time answering this question: What are the steps to a healthy relationship?
The steps are…
- Know why you want a healthy relationship in the first place
- Find a partner who will commit to the process with you
- Learn some communication aides to help you in the early stages
- Build healthy long-term relationship habits
- Maintain the relationship
1. Know why you want a healthy relationship
We know from scientific data that one of the biggest energy-drainers out there are toxic relationships, and the worst of these show up in our intimate relationships. A toxic one can shatter our confidence, preoccupy our thoughts and keep us stuck. A healthy one, on the other hand, can do the opposite, help us feel secure and deliver some life-altering rewards. It’s why Healthy Relationships is one of our vurbs. We not only believe they are possible, but we’re committed to them. Are you?
Are you committed to ending the drama of toxic relationships and learning to have healthy love?
ASSIGNMENT: If the answer is yes, start thinking about why you want one. What’s in it for you? What would it look like and what might you have to give up to get it?
2. Find a partner who wants a healthy relationship too
If you are in a relationship that has the potential to be healthy, our best advice is this: Don’t just want a healthy relationship, work for it! Sit down and discuss with your partner what a healthy relationship would look like for each of you. Maybe your partner is your “home” or your “best friend” and a healthy relationship will make that bond even more solid. Maybe you two love the idea of being in each other lives forever or you want to build something that lasts… something to tell your grandkids about. Maybe you want to be better than your parents or to be just like your parents if your parents had a great relationship. Start with Why and then sketch out some of the habits, your needs, and must-haves of such a relationship.
3. Learn helpful communication tools
The first few years of a relationship, usually define the rest of it. It’s when you develop your dynamics and communication style. It’s when you establish who leads in the relationship, or ideally, who leads in what areas of the relationship. It’s when poor communication styles, egos that bruise easily and unhealthy relationship habits from your past starts to seep out. If you don’t know how to navigate this phase, you can develop communication patterns that haunt your relationship for years and make it nearly impossible to recover from.
With two committed people and emotional intelligence though, you can learn to set egos aside, learn to communicate clearly and honestly to get what you really want and learn to win by listening. In the Love Lab, you’ll learn several tools like Prince Ea’s 30-second method to help you diffuse conflicts and you will learn other healthy hacks to add to your communication repertoire to help you in the early relationship-defining stage.
4. Build healthy relationship habits
Successful long-term couples spend the first years of their relationship unlearning bad habits and replacing them with new healthy ones. Healthy relationship tools like committed listening and vulnerability will be demonstrated and relationship experts will teach you how to leave the communications lines open and when you fight, how to fight fair and keep arguments on-topic. Building new habits like these take time but we’ll help you practice, and that’s huge!
5. Maintain your relationship
If you can get to the maintenance stage, whoo whoo! the payoff can be huge. Maintaining a relationship means regular date nights, everyday thoughtfulness, and sharing with each other the care and nourishment you each need. It’s like a new contract you’re living from and it’s why the first step, which we invite you to work on now, is so important. Some of the exercises you will do in the love lab include finding your love language from The Five Love Languages. If you can make it to this stage of your relationship, (we believe it’s completely doable), you would have achieved a level of intimacy that few relationships ever get to.
Do you believe great relationships are possible?
We really really do and will create a truly useful lab that raises your odds of having one. If you haven’t yet, sign up for The Love Lab here.