1) Keep Talking. Almost all studies demonstrate a strong correlation between the quality of a couple's communtication skills and the quality of their relationship. Quality communications include taking the time to listen and understand your partner's perspective. You may not agree completely with where your partner is coming from, but often just feeling like you were heard is enough. Also being generous with sharing information about yourself elevates the level of trust and increases a sense of intimacy in many relationships.
2) Fight Fair. Most relationships endure some level of conflict. Conflict is fairly normal in all relationships, even healthy ones. How conflicts are handled can either strengthen relationships or weaken them. When in a conflict, here are some helpful hints:
Stay on the topic: it doesn't help to bring back past grievances, or bring up everything that bothers you about your partner. Find a good time to talk it out. Working out a problem when you are at the height of anger or upset generally doesn't go well. Take a break and find a time when things have calmed down.
Resist put-downs: address the problem not the person. Overt criticism generally causes people to become defensive. Avoid blaming the other person for your thoughts and feelings. It's okay to apologize when you're wrong. Ask for help if you need it. Seek out an RA, Hall Director, Professor or Counselor if you and your partner need help in finding a resolution.
Learn to agree to disagree: Healthy relationships don't demand absolute agreement or conformity.
Don't hold grudges: Holding grudges sap our energy and keeps us focused on what is negative about our relationship. The winners and the losers. Healthy relationships focus more on resolving problems and not who comes out on top.
3) Be Playful. Healthy couples take their relationshps seriously, but work at them with an attitude of playfulness. Fun and humor are a big part of how they relate to each other, as well as how they percieve the world around them.
4) Be Realistic. In some relationships, couples feel so close they talk about their partner as a soulmate. Even in these relationships, partners realisticly are not everything the other person wants in a relationship. Healthy relationships mean accepting people as they are and not trying to change them.
5) Be Trustworthy. Try to keep your promises. If you're not certain you can hold up your end, try not to make the promise in the first place. Even if it may be disappointing to your partner. Be dependable.
6) Find Balance. Life is full of new opportunities. It's a time to experience and try new things. It's important to find a balance between the time you spend with your boyfriend/girlfriend and the time you spend with other friends, clubs, athletics etc...Healthy relationships are not dependent.
7) Remember, relationships are a process. No one has a perfect relationship. When watching other couples, it may appear that everyone has a happier and healthier relationship than you. The truth is, most people feel just like you. Most are wondering about how healthy their relationships are, and if they are happy. Healthy relationships are a work in progress; you give them nurturance and they grow