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A relationship is a commitment to yourself and to another individual to adapt, grow, change and prosper together. The investment that you make into a personal relationship can take much time and effort, but the end result can be very rewarding in terms of happiness, gratification and emotional fulfillment.

Relationships are important in addiction recovery. Overcoming an addiction is hard work, and along the way it is helpful – if not essential – to have the support of healthy relationships. During active addiction, however, many people inadvertently harm their relationships. Treatment helps you build them back up, and make new ones.

The meaningful connection that you build with another individual can make your life happier and easier. Many of the skills necessary for a happy and healthy relationship can be learned and repeated in other areas of life and with other relationships. According to the Office of Adolescent Health, as you grow with another individual, you learn greater communication skills and you become better at recognizing and showing feelings for various emotions on both sides.

Building a Romantic Relationship

Building positive relationships is a big part of a healthy life.

Romance is a part of life that can bring lasting happiness. In fact, a good, romantic relationship can lead to improvements in every aspect of your life including your health, your emotional well-being and your spirit.

The following tips can help you to build a romantic relationship that will be emotionally fulfilling:

Have fun together by taking part in these actions:

It’s very easy for couples to fall into this humdrum way of life that leads to boredom, plainness and an inability to have fun. Healthy relationships will keep track of the early days and incorporate those early actions that led the couple to starting a relationship into their long term commitments. For instance, you may realize that the one you love used to always call you in the middle of the day just to say I love you—and now that doesn’t happen so much anymore. A healthy relationship is contingent upon you voicing your desire for such a call and on the other party listening to your concern and following up with an action that shows that they care.

Relationships are a Give / Take Pattern

Healthy relationships are a give and take process. There can’t be more giving than there is taking nor can there be more taking than there is giving. What this means is that you will have to learn how to make compromises, how to be accepting of flaws and how to work together. A relationship is a team effort and when both parties of the team are not equally involved in making strides to make things work, there can be mishaps. If you think that you are always going to be happy—think again! If you think that you are always going to get what you want – think again! Don’t set yourself up for failure by having unrealistic goals or desires within the relationship.

You can’t always win

If you think that you will always be right, your relationship will likely fail. Nobody is always right and part of the equality of a healthy relationship is to accept that you are not always right. You can’t always win or else there will be little desire on the other side to do better or to try. The “my way or the highway” attitude is not attractive to most people and even to those who do find it attractive, the attraction is usually short-lived.

Conflict should be resolved with respect

If you and your partner do have a fight, there are ways of resolving the conflict without making matters worse. By taking action to resolve conflict with respect you can keep your relationship strong and healthy without placing undue stress on one another. Some of the ways that you can resolve conflict in a respectful manner include:

Myths and Facts about Relationships

Myth: A bad relationship is better than not having a relationship at all

Fact: It is not necessarily good to be in a relationship. If you are not in a healthy relationship and you are in a relationship that includes physical, emotional or verbal abuse than it would be better to not be in a relationship at all.

Myth: Men don’t have emotions the way that women do

Fact: If you think that men don’t feel many of the same emotions as women, you are wrong! Just because many men like to hide their feelings or their emotions, this does not mean that they do not feel and have many of the same emotions that women do. Men and women simply tend to voice their feelings or show their emotions in a different manner.

Myth: Love is easy and does not take work

Fact: When you love someone, you are willing to do whatever it takes to make it work and this can actually take work. True love is not everlasting happiness that never includes arguing, conflict or sadness. If you are mistakenly thinking that love is easy or that you will not have to work to keep a relationship healthy—you are wrong!

Myth: You can change a person to make them the perfect mate

Fact: If you go into a relationship with the intention of changing a persons behaviors or qualities to those which are more suited or likeable to you then you will be disappointed. You can’t change people—only the person can make the decision to make change.

Myth: Conflict is always a problem in a relationship

Fact: A relationship that does not have conflict, in a healthy manner, is not necessarily a strong relationship. This is because, if there is no conflict, there is a good chance that there are things that are not being addressed in the relationship and that a lack of openness is leading to the reduced conflict. Healthy relationships will include healthy conflict that will foster growth in communication and bonding.

Red Flag Warnings in Relationships

Sometimes, a relationship just won’t work and in many cases, the red flag warning signs are present very early on. For instance, if there is unhealthy conflict early on in a relationship such as fighting that includes verbal, emotional or physical abuse, there is a good chance that this relationship will never lead to a long lasting, healthy and romantic relationship. It’s important to recognize red flags early on to prevent lost time or wasted time as well as to help you steer clear of instances that could lead to greater consequences.

Watch out for the following red flags early on in a relationship:

Coping with the Relationship Roller Coaster

As previously stated, a relationship that is not marked by periods of ups and downs may not necessarily be a healthy relationship. The relationship roller coaster is a fact of life and every healthy relationship will have periods of happiness and periods of sadness, feelings of contentment and feelings of conflict. You have to be able to effectively cope with all of these feelings and periods of ups and downs in a healthy way in order to build and foster a strong and healthy relationship.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and that we all cope with stress in different ways. Early on, relationships are contingent upon learning the ways and actions of one another, the behaviors of one another and how we make things work. Some behaviors will impact us in different ways and misunderstandings can quickly turn into major conflicts if we are not careful to make sure that we take the other individual’s feelings into our consideration.

Here are some tips for overcoming hurdles in a relationship:

Relationships involve compromise, give and take, and trust.