Romantic relationships are dynamic. They continuously change, reflecting circumstances, stresses, and the everyday ups and downs experienced by both partners. What happens to “me” and to “you” ultimately affects “us.” The healthiest relationships have partners who routinely (if subconsciously) check in with themselves, their partner, and their relationship to see how things are going and to make changes as necessary.
How can you respond to relationship changes? A great starting place is to evaluate your own contributions to your relationship. What are you doing that helps—or hurts—your relationship happiness? How are your actions and beliefs influencing the quality of your and your partner’s everyday interactions?
Scientific evidence supports the idea that each partner is responsible for the health of his or her relationship. To do your part, consider these simple, empirically-based changes as a guide toward a happier and healthier partnership:
Hopefully this empirically-based evidence can help benefit your relationship. Note that healthy relationships reflect an ongoing effort from both partners to address the needs of “me,” “you,” and “us,” and are difficult to achieve unilaterally. That said, an everyday effort by one partner changes the relationship for the other partner, potentially influencing the other’s thoughts and behaviors. In other words, your actions do not occur in isolation; they have an influence on both your partner and your shared relationship.
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Photo credit: Michelle Gomes