A positive relationship is not one that is necessarily positive all of the time but is in a healthy state and exhibits positive habits, including effective communication, honesty, boundaries, and trust.
A positive relationship or positive marriage doesn’t mean you’re happy all of the time, or everything is perfect, or you never feel sadness or anger. It means you and your partner work together to maintain positivity and love each other even when things are rough.
Building a positive relationship takes effort, time, and consistency, but you can do it!
Any relationship can become a positive one with some work and inculcating healthy habits.
If you’re looking to build positive relationships or wondering “how to have a positive relationship,” read on for some ways to add more positivity in your relationships.
1. Show up fully and be present
A positive relationship requires you to be present, aware, and invested. Put down your phone, stop scrolling, engage with your partner, and pay attention.
Boundaries might feel scary at first; you may worry about what your partner will think or feel. Ultimately, by setting clear boundaries about what you need or don’t, you will feel more positive about what you’re getting in your relationship.
This improves the overall health and wellbeing of your relationship and who doesn’t love a healthy relationship!
6. Respect a person’s “alone” time and need for space.
This one is pretty simple. Give your partner time with themselves and their friends and family alone if they desire it. Respecting their privacy and space is an essential factor for the success of your relationship.
Positive, healthy relationships require trust and letting each partner live their individual life fully so they can come back to the relationship refreshed. Don’t try to control your partner’s time and space.
7. Let go of the past.
Shit happens. I know it hurts when your partner does something crappy but, if you’ve chosen to stay with them anyway, then you need to LET IT GO.
No one made you stay; you decided to. Why stay if you’re only going to keep dredging up the past and damage your relationship. It’s hard to build a positive relationship if you keep tearing it down. Get over it!
Also watch: How to move on, let go & leave your past in the past.
8. Connect with your partner’s friends and family
Being able to spend time with your partner’s friends and family is helpful for a relationship.
No one likes to worry that their partner doesn’t get along with their friends or family. It creates a lot of stress. So put in some effort here and see if you can connect and build positive relationships beyond your partner.
9. Physically connect, often
Physical connection is a great healer (hello, make up sex!), even just touching, in general, can bring more positive energy.
Hold hands, brush by your partner’s hair, massage their shoulders, or decrease physical proximity.
Fighting does not need to be ugly, screaming, name-calling, door slamming, and not talking for 3 days are counterproductive ways to deal with conflicts.
Having an argument can be done healthily and positively. You aren’t always going to see eye-to-eye, but learn how to have those talks productively.
11. Do small things together
A healthy and positive relationship doesn’t require you to go on crazy trips, spend tons of money, or always do really big things.
Building small habits into your daily lives is more important. Cook together, clean together, read the same books. It doesn’t need to be a crazy activity, but find something you can connect over every day.
12. Practice acceptance and stop trying to change people
You can’t change people. And why would you want to?
If you’re with someone that you are constantly trying to change, ask yourself why. Didn’t you get with that person because of who they are? Learn to practice acceptance of what you can and can’t control.
13. Be a shoulder to lean on (stop giving advice all of the time!)
Sometimes partners just want us to listen and not offer solutions. If you’re always trying to fix your partner or their problems, you may not be contributing to a healthy and positive relationship.
Try listening and responding to what your partner is saying and feeling instead of telling them what they can do.
14. Be responsible for yourself
When you take care of yourself and don’t expect the other person to do it all for you, it helps foster healthy and positive habits in your relationship.
Relying on someone else puts a lot of pressure on them! By showing up for yourself financially, professionally, and even emotionally, you can ease some of that pressure and build a positive relationship.
15. Speak well of your partner
In the heat of a tense moment, we may want to say hurtful things about our partner. But, that moment of pain probably doesn’t reflect what we think about our partner.
Practice speaking well about your partner, even during conflict. It can help you shift the way you’re thinking about your partner, which will ultimately impact how you feel and behave.
It sounds like a great way to keep things positive!
16. Divide responsibilities equally
There are a lot of responsibilities as an adult! Finances, cleaning, pets, work, etc. etc. etc. A healthy and positive relationship flourishes when we divide and conquer!
No partner is responsible for everything, and things go a lot more smoothly (and with less stress!) when we share the work.
17. Ask your partner, “what do you need from me?”
As humans, we’re pretty selfish. It’s in our DNA to worry about ourselves. After all, the only relationship that lasts forever is the one we have with ourselves!
Due to that, we are constantly seeking to get our needs met. While there is nothing wrong with wanting to do that, sometimes it comes at the cost of showing up for others in the way they need us.
Try asking your partner what they need from you, and fulfilling their request (if you can and want to!)
18. Stop over analyzing your relationship
All relationships ebb, and flow. A positive and healthy relationship is not perfect and happy all of the time.
When you can accept and believe that, you can show up during the low times with a better mindset and help get the relationship back to normal.
19. Practice gratitude
Gratitude is one of the simplest and most effective ways to bring positivity in your relationship.
By identifying things, you are grateful for; you can see that there is always something worth celebrating. Use this technique daily with your partner to build and maintain a positive and healthy relationship.
20. Stay positive, fun, and playful! Keep the novelty alive!
Relationships are meant to add to our lives, not detract. By increasing the positives, you keep your relationship healthy and build momentum for an enjoyable experience for both you and your partner.
Now that you have some tips on how to build positive relationships get out there and practice! Habits take time and consistency to build, so get started now!
If your relationship is in a fragile state and needs more help, don’t hesitate to take help from a relationship coach, therapist, or counselor to work on it!
You can improve your relationship with the right tools and help!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Milica Markovic has graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy with a degree in Clinical Psychology. She has 7 years (and counting) of Psychotherapy and Coaching education (both Transactional Analysis and Psychology of Personal Constructs) and experience in working with clients. Throughout her career, she has had remote clients around the world facing various personal, academic, or professional challenges.
She finds her primary duty is to establish a trusting environment in which clients can feel safe enough to discuss anything that might be troubling them and grow closer to their goals. She believes that whether you are experiencing a personal, relationship related, or professional challenge, the journey to surpassing it can be made easier with the right help by your side.
Milica is also a strong advocate of lifelong learning and continuous improvement.