10 tips for building a healthy relationship

Relationships can be tricky and every couple will go through their ups and downs.

It takes work, commitment and a willingness to adapt to build a healthy relationship.

We’ve already looked at the unfortunate situations where relationships end and some strategies for dealing with a breakup or divorce.

But it’s important to remember that most relationships, despite the ups and downs, become stronger, healthier and happier over time.

Over the years, offering our occupational health services to employees across the country, we’ve helped to support people through good and bad times.

Whether your relationship is just starting out or you’ve been together for years, here are a few tips that we’ve picked up on how you can build a healthy relationship.

What makes a healthy relationship?

Every relationship is unique but successful, long-lasting relationships are often based on a shared understanding of what the relationship means and where you want it to go. 

This is something you’ll only know by talking deeply and honestly with your partner. 

However, there are some characteristics that most healthy relationships have in common, and knowing what these are can help.

Here are our 10 tips for building a healthy relationship.

1. Staying emotionally connected 

It’s important to make each other feel loved, accepted, valued and emotionally fulfilled. 

Some relationships get stuck in peaceful coexistence. A lack of ongoing involvement will only add distance between two people.

Focus on staying emotionally connected to each other.

2. Agreeing to disagree

Some couples might talk things through quietly, while others may raise their voices and passionately disagree. 

Whichever way works for you, healthy relationships recognise the importance of safely expressing the things that bother you and accepting each others’ differences.

3. Being yourselves

Keep outside relationships and interests alive. 

Despite what you might read or see in the movies, no one person can meet all of your needs. In fact, expecting too much from your partner can put unhealthy pressure on a relationship. 

Retain your own identity and encourage your partner to do the same.

Make sure that you continue any hobbies and interests and keep in touch with friends and family.

4. Communicating openly and honestly

Good communication is key to any relationship. 

If you both know what you want from the relationship, you’ll feel comfortable expressing your needs, fears and desires.

This will build trust and strengthen the bond between you.

5. Staying focused

Many couples only focus on their relationship when they are facing a problem. 

Once the problem has been resolved, they often return their attention to work, their children or other interests. 

A relationship needs your full attention all of the time. In fact, identifying and fixing small problems will help to prevent them from growing into larger problems further down the l.ine

6. Spending quality time

Relationships are bound to be more intense and exciting at the start. As time goes by, it can be hard to be together as much as you used to.

All too often, the face-to-face contact of those early days is replaced with hurried texts, emails and instant messages. 

No matter how busy life gets, it’s important to find time to spend together, whether that’s doing something you know you both love or finding something new.

7. Being a good listener

While talking is very important in a healthy relationship, learning to listen can build an even deeper and stronger connection. 

When you really listen and engage with what’s being said, you’ll be able to tell how your partner is really feeling and the emotions they’re trying to communicate. 

You don’t necessarily have to agree with them or change your mind about a subject. But it can help you to find common ground and resolve conflicts sooner.

8. Staying physically intimate

This doesn’t just relate to sexual activity in a healthy relationship. Physical intimacy can be anything from holding hands to hugging and kissing.

What’s most important is being sensitive to what your partner likes. Unwanted attention can make the other person tense up and retreat. 

In this case, as with many aspects of a healthy relationship, communication is vital.

Keep physical intimacy alive by giving yourselves some regular ‘couple time’. This could be a date night or simply an hour at the end of the day when you can sit and talk or hold hands.

9. Learning to give and take

If you expect to get what you want all of the time in your relationship, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. 

On the flip side, always giving in to the needs of your partner at your own expense will build resentment in you and a lack of respect in them.

Healthy relationships are built on compromise from both sides.

10. Being prepared for ups and downs

It’s important to recognise that there are ups and downs in every relationship. All couples will experience stressful times.

Sometimes it’s going to be hard to relate to the pressures that your partner is facing and you’re likely to disagree on any number of decisions that will need to be made.

It’s important to remember that different people cope with stress differently.

So long as you can be there for each other with love and support, the harder times will only strengthen the bond that you have.


No relationship is perfect but healthy relationships are built on the foundation of love, trust, understanding and compromise.

We help to support employees up and down the country with advice on all kinds of occupational health and wellbeing matters, including relationships.

To find out more, get in touch today.

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