How To Keep a Healthy Relationship
As most of you already know, Dre and I’s YouTube channel is all about building and keeping healthy relationships.
The key is communication.
If 2 people cannot properly communicate, you’ve already lost the battle. It’s important to know how each of you communicates. It’s almost never going to be the same because we all are so different. We were raised different, have different beliefs, mannerisms and we respond differently to things. So understanding the person and who they communicate is step 1.
When it comes to Dre and I, he is the calm one who can be leveled headed in almost any conversation. I’m a fireball. I work really hard to stop my emotions from generating my reactions.
Growing up Dre was raised to be respectful, God-fearing and the way in which his parents communicated with him was very healthy.
I, on the other hand, had a little more freedom. I had periods in my life where I was really disrespectful to my mom. I’m just praying I won’t have to make up for it with my future daughter. I always reacted out of emotion and my mom was very comfortable with screaming at me, usually because I was the one screaming first, but it was a completely different dynamic.
Our upbringings have a lot to do with how we communicate now as adults. This is something we realized early on in our relationship and I knew that I had to change certain behaviors in order to make the relationship work and establish healthy boundaries.
So for me, the thing that works best is that I have to pause. I have to take a moment and step away before responding when the conversation involves something that will create a negative emotion. Dre tells me all the time that he is on my side and honestly, at the beginning of the relationship, it made me mad how calm and nice he was in moments of me lashing out.
So determine if you’re in a relationship with someone who responds differently than you. If so, you will have to figure out the best methods to communicate. They may be like me and need to take a moment before they can clearly express themself. Give them that! It makes such a difference. You may be with someone who always takes offense to everything you say. Get to the core issue of that. It’s probably an underlining issue and not actually what you’re saying to them. You might even be dealing with someone who is really disrespectful who uses foul language, calls you out of your name and does things physically that scares you. You can leave them! Haha no I’m kidding I’m trying to show you levels in which some people communicate.
All of those things are actions of someone who has some core issues to deal with and until they do, it will be really hard to have a healthy relationship with them.
When I think of relationships, I think of 2 whole people coming together as 1. So a lot of times the issues occur when the 2 individuals aren’t really whole. They may be looking for the other individual to complete them which is a huge problem. Your partner shouldn’t complete you, they should compliment you. If Dre and I broke up today, I would be okay! I don’t NEED Dre, I want Dre. I prefer to spend my life with him over anyone else or myself because he compliments me and brings happiness to my life. But HE isn’t my happiness. I loved myself before Dre and I would continue to love myself without him. Can you say that about the person you’re with? If not, it’s not healthy.
The foundation of the relationship is what matters. What is your foundation built off of? Is it God? Is it physical attraction? Is it so-called “chemistry”? Do you even know? Most relationships start off with no foundation at all. They are just 2 people casually dating until 1 person does something to end it. That’s no way to go about relationships.
Your foundation is what holds the relationship together and gives it a purpose. If you’re currently in a relationship ask yourself what is our foundation built off of and what is our purpose. If you can’t answer that, you’re probably not in a healthy relationship. And if you’re single, what are you looking for in a man? What will the foundation of your relationship be? This is so important. Because when things start to fall apart, all you have is your foundation.
For Dre and I, we built our foundation on God. Everything that we do in our relationship comes from the principals of the bible. We agreed that we wanted the same thing, we laid out the foundation and our whole relationship we have worked at keeping it strong. And honestly, its not hard. We are 2 people who want the same things and the person who holds us accountable is God.
After you have your foundation, you have to set boundaries for communication. Some girls feel like they need to be able to txt, call and facetime they man at any hour and he better answer. If that’s you, communicate that. Because if he isn’t okay with that, y'all gonna have to work something out. It will not work if y'all are not on the same page.
Communicate all of your expectations, never assume a man knows what you want. Provide him with what you expect and if he can’t meet that theres 1 of 2 issues. He’s either not the man for you or you’re asking for too much and probably have an insecurity that you haven’t dealt with that either stemmed from a past relationship or trust issues in general.
Boundaries are so important! Because Dre and I are waiting for marriage, we had to set physical boundaries. No french kissing, no showering together and no touching private areas what’s so ever. Those are the physical boundaries we needed in our relationship to succeed. So what are yours? If you and your partner are sexually active you may need to communicate on a different level. Are you sexually pleased? Does he need to step up his game? Help him! He can’t read your mind girl. Communication is KEY!
So we have our foundation, we’ve set our boundaries and expectations, now it’s time to talk love languages.
If you have never read the book, make sure you do! This is so important for communicating, building AND keeping a healthy relationship. If you haven’t read the “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” by Gary Chapman. I highly suggest it. If you’re in a relationship, grab 2 copies because your man needs to read it too!
There are 5 main love languages that people use. There’s acts of service, physical touch, quality time, words of affirmation and gifts. What does it take for you to feel loved?
Acts of service is when someone goes out of their way to do nice things for you. Like holding your doors, getting you coffee in the morning, surprising you with thoughtful gestures, holding your bags, you get it.
Physical touch is physical intimacy. Holding hands, kissing, hugging, snuggling.
Quality time is just spending time with your significant other. Usually, if someone’s love language is this, they have a specific way in which they like to spend their quality time. Dre, for example, loves snuggling up and watching movies, staying in the house and working on business stuff together, taking long walks talking about the future or going out to dinner. So if I want to make him feel loved I suggest or do any of those. But I also have to make sure my phone is away and silent because it’s no longer quality time when I pull the phone out.
Words of affirmation is when you actually tell your partner how you feel. They feel loved when you express it in words.
Gift giving is simple, its when someone feels loved by receiving gifts. This doesn’t mean you’re a gold digger or anything it just means that you feel appreciated with gifts. Nothing wrong with that as long as there is a healthy balance.
Dre’s love language is quality time and words of affirmation. Mine is acts of service and physical touch. We are totally opposite and even though we receive love 1 way, we have to show love another way in order to keep a healthy relationship. Imagine if I tried showing love to Dre in the ways in which I receive love but not the way that he receives love. At some point, he is going to feel neglected and vise versa.
So knowing your partners love language can help the 2 of you properly communicate and show love correctly.
Usually, each person relates with at least 2 of the love languages. Knowing what love language you and your partner needs at the beginning of the relationship will definitely help with your foundation.
The last thing to address is that if each of you always puts the other person first, you will never go wrong. If you BOTH have each other’s best interest in mind, the relationship will flourish. When individuals in a relationship become selfish that’s when the problems come.
And you have got to understand that if 2 people who are not whole are getting into a relationship, there are going to be issues regardless. You have got to be intentional with the relationship and truly have an understanding for where each of you are in life and what you’re experiences with dating have been like.
Find out if your partner has ever been cheated on. If they have, there’s a chance that they have trust issues. That will affect the relationship. If your partner has NEVER been in a relationship they probably don’t understand what that looks like yet. Help them. Communicate those expectations and make sure they are on the same page. If a man was married before, he could have a lot of issues that he’s carrying into your relationship from his past marriage. You may see that he reacts to in the same way he used to react to his wife. Address it. Get to the bottom of it and fix it before it ends the relationship.
The thing is, most people are unaware and do things subconsciously because they only know what they know. They look at the people around them to determine what a relationship is. But if you want to be successful, you have to find your own lane and what works for the two of you. You guys are not your parents, your not your friends and your not Dre & I. You are you. Figure out what that looks like. Find a partner who wants the same things out of life that you do and be intentional to create a strong foundation.
I hope this post was insightful!
Thanks so much for reading and until next time, be shameless.