Developing a healthy relationship, whether you just started dating or have been together for years, is important. Healthy relationships are full of trust, accountability, safety, cooperation, support, and honesty. In addition to all those traits, a healthy relationship needs to have respect at its core. Check out some tips on how to develop a healthy relationship and learn ways to tell if respect is at the core of your relationship.

Learn Each Other’s Love Language

There are five love language categories that you and your partner can fall into: Words of Affirmation (saying I love you), Quality Time (going on a walk together), Receiving Gifts (giving your partner the new book they wanted), Acts of Service (doing the dishes), and Physical Touch (giving them hugs when they get home). Everyone has a top love language, with the rest sprinkled in at lower levels of importance. Knowing what your partner’s love language is and knowing what you own is can help with communication and ensure that you both feel loved and appreciated in your relationship.

Set Boundaries

Every relationship needs boundaries! Boundaries can be as little as having a set hour every day to yourself or as big as no kissing in public. These boundaries allow you to be true to your values and set realistic expectations for each other. Setting boundaries also helps with the frustration that can come from not knowing what the other person wants and doesn’t want. When you are upfront with setting boundaries, you create a feeling of mutual respect.

We know that discussing boundaries with your partner can be difficult, but your relationship will benefit from having the conversation. Just make sure you have it when you both are calm and ready to talk!

Have Hobbies and Friends Outside of Your Relationship

Being in the same friend group as your significant other can be fun because you can share so many experiences within the same group of people. However, having separate friends and

hobbies allows you to do things apart occasionally. That might seem a little strange, especially if you are used to spending all your time together! Hanging out with different friends or participating in different hobbies from each other allows each of you to grow, find out what your passions are, and have stories to tell when you finally do hang out. Plus, growing as individuals is just as important as growing in your relationship.

Listen, Listen, Listen

Listening is an important part of every relationship – and not just when you two are in a disagreement. Listening when your partner has a bad day or when they have an exciting story to tell is important, too. Actively listening without interrupting or scrolling through your phone shows your partner that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and it develops an additional level of trust. And remember, just as you need to listen to your partner, they need to listen to you, too! You both need to feel heard and acknowledged in your relationship.

Be a Team

Think of your relationship like a team! In a team, each member pulls in equal effort. They fight for what’s best for all members of the team and they work together for a common goal.

If you and your partner approach your relationship in a team mindset, it’ll be easier to solve problems, create trust and have each other’s back, no matter what. There will always be conflict in a relationship. There will always be times where someone wants something that the other person does not. There will be days where you don’t see eye-to-eye with your partner. The same thing happens in a team! When you realize that you’re in this together and that you are pulling equal weight in the relationship, problems become easier to solve and you’ll approach your relationship with more maturity and understanding.

Developing a healthy relationship can be hard work, but it’s rewarding for both people in the relationship. As we mentioned above, respect is at the core of a healthy relationship and these five tips will help develop you and your partner’s respect for each other.

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