Six Keys of a Healthy Relationship

By Meesh Montgomery on September 13, 2015

In college, you form relationships that you may keep for life. Whether the relationship is romantic or platonic, a strong and healthy relationship is important. There are certain aspects that one must maintain to ensure a sound relationship. While there are many significant factors, there are six keys of a healthy relationship: communication, trust, respect, honesty, accountability, and gratitude.

  1. Communication: For any relationship, communication is important. Good communication includes active listening, being open, understanding what the other person is saying, and taking the time to have a conversation. Healthy communication does not consist of yelling, blaming, name calling, or threats.  Let us say that you are having difficulty living with a messy roommate. Instead of yelling at them when you are fed up, find the time to talk with them. It is possible that the roommate is dealing with a lot of time sensistive work and does not have the time to clean at the moment. You cannot know that if you do not talk with them.

  1. Trust: Being able to trust someone is an essential part of any relationship. Without this, the base for a healthy relationship is destroyed. Trust is the foundation for open communication, honesty, decision-making, and respect.
  2. Respect: Everyone has valid feelings and beliefs. You may not agree with their beliefs or experience their emotions, however, you must respect them. For example, if your romantic partner feels that your work is interfering with your personal life, you must respect their feelings. You should not dismiss them as that would imply that their feelings do not matter. While you may believe the opposite, remember that not everyone has the same belief. Validate your partners feelings. Remember that respect does not stop at feelings, but continues with their right to privacy, religion, political beliefs, etc. Listen without judgement and accept them for who they are.
  3. Honesty: Lying, manipulation, and cheating are signs of an emotionally unhealthy relationship. Instead, being truthful and admiting when you are wrong can prove beneficial to any relationship. It connects with other aspects of healthy relationships.

  1. Accountability: By assuming responsibility for your own actions and following through, you are providing a greater sense of trust between those involved in the relationship. Blaming others or withholding information are not aspects in a relationship that will benefit any party involved. Instead, blaming and withholding may cause issues with respect, trust, communication, etc. This leads to an unequal and unhealthy relationship.
  2. Gratitude: Any relationship should never be taken for granted. Remember, it is said that you should not take for granted what you have as you may not always have it. That being said, be thankful for the relationship that you have fostered with different individuals: your romantic partner(s), friends, family, co-workers, etc. Let them know that you appreciate them. By cultivating your feeling of gratitude, there may be a greater sense of satisfaction with the relationship.

From left to right: Julie Montgomery, Ryan Ooten, and myself.

Remember that relationships can remain healthy, satisfying, and strong. However, good relationships do not happen automatically. They are a result of continuous effort. By putting effort into these six keys, your relationships can continue to blossom.

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