With the release of “50 Shades of Grey” a month ago and the recent national conversations on sexual expression versus sexual violence, we at Model Behaviors wanted to check in and redefine what it is to have a healthy relationship today.
Together, using our collaborative sisterhood of Behaviorists, we took into consideration our culturally different backgrounds, sexual preferences, relationship experiences, and generated a list of 50 behaviors that constitute a healthy relationship.
1. Positive Talk
Embarrassment, shame, and hate can lead to dangerous self-talk and name-calling. By identifying feelings, positive communication can be achieved.
2. Forgive, often!
Growth isn’t possible without it. Embracing this philosophy can lead to a new strength and truth within.
3. Choose Laughter
One cannot cry if laughter is taking its place. When the silver lining is the focus, the dark cloud is not.
4. Make No-Strings-Attached Sacrifices
Sacrifices should come from love and without scorecards. If giving without expectations can be accomplished, receiving in the same manner is next.
5. Allow for Parallel Growth
No two people are alike, and neither are the rates in which they grow. Concentrate on a parallel path and the intersection will be inevitable.
6. Share Truth
Every aspect should be made known if real truth is to exist. Achieving this means seeing it in its entirety.
7. Concentrate On the Basics
When dealing with intense emotions, get to the root.
8. Only Go Back To The Future
The past can’t be changed. If it must be revisited, let it reveal an understanding of the future.
9. Approach, Not Avoid
Resiliency is the ability to shift from a negative to a positive space. If the limiting factor can be approached, then it can be overcome.
10. Judgment Isn’t Love
These two actions cannot be preformed at the same time. The action of love should always supersede the other.
11. Engage in Active Listening
It’s easy. If one person knows exactly what to say next, then true listening is not being done.
12. Don’t Use Band-Aids
Deep wounds won’t heal with Band-Aids. Sometimes things need to get worse before they can get better.
13. Recognize Time As a Gift
When time is seen as an investment, then someone is always checking on its return.
14. Identify Strengths
Success is achieved when strengths are the focus of energy, rather than using that energy to master weaknesses.
15. Journal The Small Stuff
Negativity breeds negativity. By journaling the small stuff away today, room for positivity can be made for tomorrow.
16. Others Don’t Know Best
Friends can be sounding boards, but they shouldn’t know more about a relationship than the two people in it.
17. Today Is the First Day
Every day is an opportunity to start fresh, and new beginnings are required on some days more than others.
18. Practice Saying, “I Am Grateful.”
The more gratitude is said, written, and shared, the more it’s believed.
19. Like As Well As Love
Like is often left out of the conversation, but it is just as important as love. Both should be exercised often.
20. Share Your Joy
Relationships can grow over shared joys. Finding ways that make both people happy creates lasting memories.
21. Take In Downtime
It’s okay to decompress and relax as a couple, just as much as it is as an individual. Two complete halves make a stronger whole.
22. Make Time For Dinner
Sharing a meal together every day can be done when distractions are eliminated. By allowing shared time to be enjoyed, it won’t be a part of the distraction.
23. Turn In
Sometimes love is shown by simply turning toward each other. Don’t forget that body language is another form of communication.
24. “You Do You”
A relationship isn’t about filling a void, but rather strengthening a whole.
25. Strive for Self-Actualization
Discovering a higher power allows us to love ourselves fully and love others completely.
26. See Things from a Different Point of View
Being able to see things from different perspectives opens our vision to a more panoramic view.
27. Check the Mirror First
It’s easy to become focused on others’ faults, when in fact those same faults can be seen in our reflection.
28. Cherish Intimacy
Nurture the space between each other so that it’s safe and inviting.
29. Power in Numbers
At times it seems easier to carry a burden alone, but remember that the weight of an issue can be made lighter when distributed evenly.
30. Avoid a “Tit for Tat” Mentality
When sacrifice is necessary, expect nothing in return. This approach will develop the bonds of an unbreakable team.
31. Don’t Keep Score
Relationships shouldn’t be about winning or losing. Otherwise they’ll turn into a game without an end. Ditch the scorecard.
32. Fight Kindly
Conflict helps us grow and takes us to deeper levels, but establish rules and show respect. Respect comes from a place of love and appreciation.
33. Exercise Limitless Love
Each act of love doesn’t need to be a finite commodity. Remember that love should have no beginning or end, and it will exist infinitely.
34. Don’t Measure Contribution
Feeling like someone isn’t pulling his or her weight can be destructive. Remember that each person contributes in different ways.
35. Keep In Touch
Today’s an age of instant and unlimited communication. Take the time to let someone know that they’re loved.
36. But, Unplug At Home
It’s easy to get caught up in technology. Therefore, allocating a time and a place for these devices can bring the focus back on what’s important.
37. Nurture The Friendship
When it comes down to it, the best relationships are built on friendships, and therefore, they must be nurtured just as much.
38. Make Your Presence Known
Knowing that someone is along for the ride can make the journey so much more enjoyable.
39. Supplement Your Relationship
Just like our health, relationships need supplements too. Make room for many healthy relationships. This can strengthen the one at home.
40. Boundaries, Boundaries, Boundaries
Knowing limitations is the key to communication. These must be upheld within ourselves and respected in others.
41. Encourage Each Other
Everyone loves receiving a gold star. Giving support to others encourages support in return.
42. Challenge Expectations
Each relationship is unique. Therefore, it’s important to check in and reevaluate expectations to see whether they’re what are actually needed versus wanted.
43. Engage in Difficult Conversations
Real strength is garnered within the willingness to bring up difficult conversations. This will allow the relationship to reach another level of trust and respect.
44. Ultimatums Aren’t Boundaries
Boundaries are designed is to protect oneself and ultimatums are designed to control someone else. It’s important to know the difference.
45. Learn from Others
Finding people who exhibit healthy relationship behaviors allows us to learn and practice those behaviors at home.
46. Expect Respect
It’s simple. Respect is one of the pillars of a strong foundation, without it the foundation will crack under pressure.
47. Exercise the Power of Touch
Sometimes touch can be put on the back burner. A little handholding and snuggle session can reinvigorate static energy.
48. Aim for the Same Bedtime
With busy schedules, it’s easy to get off track. At least twice a week, try and coordinate the same bedtime to reconnect.
49. Positivity Before Negativity
Reset the tone every time with positivity. It’s easier to travel in a healthy direction if it’s started in a positive place.
50. Leave on a Good Note
Before departing always let others know how much they’re loved and appreciated. This sets the pattern for a positive reunion.
Now, we’d love to hear from you! Does this list resonate with you? Could you add to it?