Relationship Wellness

Relationship Wellness

Successful relationships require tending to. Whether the relationship in question is a romantic one, a friendship, a family relation, or a relationship with yourself, it needs attention and a proactive approach to provide a happy and comfortable environment and promote relationship wellness.

Relationship wellness is both a state and an act. As a state, it encompasses a relationship having a solid foundation, deep quality, and overall good wellbeing with all the people in that relationship being content. As an act, relationship wellness incorporates various practices that aim to create the state of wellness. These can include communication, physical and emotional intimacy, quality time, respect and empathy, as well as space for individual growth and interests.

While that seems easy enough to understand, being proactive when it comes to your relationship wellness isn’t always effortless to put into practice. Romantic love is often shrouded with a misconception that if you find the one, everything will just fall into place, no particularly hard work required. But when did you last hear a happy couple in a long term relationship claim that their secret is just not doing anything to keep their relationship going strong? As we are aware that our physical and mental wellbeing require acts of wellness, we should also become aware that the prosperity of our relationships calls for purposeful investment of our time and energy.


What can relationship wellness do for you?

It is not uncommon that people take a deeper look into their romantic relationship only once things go south. It is then they begin asking questions and often expecting their partner to have a ready answer. “When did we start bickering all the time?” or “Why is our sex now so mundane, when it was once full of adventure and zest?”. But things didn’t change overnight and there isn’t a magic wand to instantly make them better again.

Engaging in relationship wellness doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have difficult patches in your relationship. It means that you will be able to see them coming sooner and that you will be better equipped to handle them. Taking active and thoughtful care of the wellbeing of your relationship involves taking a deeper look both into yourself and the relationship you have with your partner, even when things are lovely and perfect. The questions you ask then are not overshadowed by stress and frustration, they have a positive overtone instead. “What is it about my partner that makes me so attracted to them lately?” or “What can we do together this weekend that we will both enjoy?” or “How can I make my partner feel more appreciated?”.

Relationships need constant maintenance, not just troubleshooting. By practicing relationship wellness, you invest into relations with people that are important to you. Both they and you deserve that. You deserve to make your relationship a conscious effort, not an afterthought or something that you take for granted.


Communication

The strongest asset in your relationship wellness toolbox is communication. While communication is often understood as a dialogue, we suggest you begin it internally. Communicate with yourself first. Any relationship is built out of individuals who should exist independently. Know what is happening with you, what you want and need, what you like and dislike. Come to a dialogue with your partner as a person who’s already given their internal life some thought. You do not have to have everything figured out and what you come to your partner with can still be “I thought about it and I don’t know”. Nevertheless, that approach will assure that you still perceive yourself as a whole person and not only as a part of a couple.

Communication that builds your relationship’s wellness isn’t simply about talking. The emphasis should be put on active listening and comprehension. The point is not for each of you to say what you have to say, the point is to understand each other. You shouldn’t have the talks only when there is necessarily something to talk about and when there is a problem to resolve. Try checking in with yourselves and each other even when it seems like there is nothing going on. Think and talk about what is and isn’t working, how are you feeling, and what you each can bring into the relationship.


Sexual Wellness

Physical intimacy and sexuality are an important aspect of many romantic partnerships. But sexual desire ebbs and flows. The way you have sex with your partner changes over the course of a relationship and over the course of a lifetime. Relationships often start with intense attraction that manifests itself through a lot of innovative sex. As you settle in a relationship and in your love, adventurous sex often gets dialed down. Other changes are imposed on your sexual life if you have children. As you get older, you know better what gives you pleasure and how to ask for it. Both your personal and partner sexual lives are dynamic and change under a myriad of factors.

That is why sexual intimacy and wellness should not be neglected. There is always something new to discover and learn. It is also a space for you to bond and play with yourself and your partner, exploring fantasies and desires. Through cuddling and gentle touch, you can feel each other, express support and emotion. You can remember each other’s rhythms and softness, making your connection deeper and building a truly satisfying sexual life.


Written by Paula Brečak for Self Studies

Intimate Wellness

Working on physical closeness should be accompanied by investing in emotional intimacy. This involves opening up to a partner, expressing your vulnerabilities and acknowledging theirs. While there is a lot of play to be found in a relationship, your emotions are not a game. You are not trying to outsmart or outmaneuver one another. Make soft and gentle spaces for your feelings, fears, and desires. Make the intimate wellness of your relationship a space to relax, drop any pretenses, breathe out, and be your most honest selves. 

You will get to know each other on a much truer level and you will be able to understand where your partner is coming from when you find yourselves in a conflict. You will also know how to provide support and empathy in a manner that matters to your partner. Communication, sexual wellness, and intimate and emotional wellness all come together to nurture a relationship that is strong and embedded with honest love and understanding. These practices don’t necessarily come easily or spontaneously, but following through with them will inevitably enhance your relationship wellness both with your partner and with yourself.


To get your relationship wellness kickstarted, check the thoughtful products that Self Studies curates, such as Relationships Book for communication, Couple Sex Toys for sexual wellness, and Emotional Conversation Cards for intimate wellness.

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