On Valentine’s Day, the Order of Portuguese Psychologists (OPP) is spreading information on how to cultivate a healthy relationship. One of the essential points is the communication between the elements of the relationship. In healthy relationships, people in a relationship talk five or more hours a week. And these relationships are worth investing in because they contribute to health (physical and psychological), happiness and well-being.
In moments of communication it is important to say clearly what you think and feel, what you want and what you need. Don’t expect the other person to guess or read minds. It’s also important to make time to talk and discuss things other than children and housework. And listening is a key word here. You must listen very carefully. During the conversation, they should look at each other and not at the TV, mobile phone or computer.
Communication is one of the main ways to cultivate a healthy romantic relationship, but there are other issues that should not be ignored:
- Praise, thank and apologize.
- Accept the differences and don’t expect the other person to fulfill all our expectations and desires.
- Keep the relationship interesting and cultivate common interests.
- Take care of yourself.
- Make time for intimacy.
- Resolve conflicts constructively: choose the right time. Sometimes it’s better to calm down first. Find out how the other person feels.
Listen to the point of view and give in on some points. Discuss one topic at a time and don’t bring up old conflicts. Show humor and express affection. We agree to disagree. What not to do? Criticize, show contempt, roll your eyes, act defensive, name-call or shut down the conversation.
In a healthy romantic relationship there are:
Mutual trust and support
Respect and honesty
Willingness to negotiate and resolve conflicts
Frequent intimate moments
Other relationships with friends and family
Enjoy spending time together
But romantic relationships aren’t always healthy…
No romantic relationship is without problems. Ups and downs are inevitable and overcoming them can be a challenge. It is important not to ignore problems, but to face them as a team. You shouldn’t wait until the relationship shows signs of falling apart to try to improve it. If you constantly discuss the same topics without reaching any conclusion or if you are unhappy with your romantic relationship, a Psychologist can help you.
There are, however, abusive and violent romantic relationships. Pay attention to the warning signs:
- They try to control you (for example, tell you what you can and can’t wear, stop you from going out, take your money or car keys, and make excuses for what you do or where you go)
- They try to make you feel bad, worthless, worthless
- They criticize their friends and are possessive and jealous
- He is afraid of the temperament and mood of the partner
- Yelling, pushing, hitting, punching or throwing objects at you
- Threaten, harm or hurt your family and animals
- They force you to have sex