No matter which kind of relationship you are in, a healthy and thriving relationship requires give and take. Building healthy patterns early in your relationship can establish a solid foundation for the long run. While every relationship is completely subjective, following certain guidelines could take you a long way towards a happier, healthier and more-connected relationship. If you are struggling with your relationship, you might find it helpful to follow some of these ideas: 1. Love yourself You must love yourself before you love another. By accepting yourself and fully being what you are, your simple presence can make others happy. This unconditional love towards yourself can provide protection, healing, and confidence. 2. Adopt a positive lifestyle There are many different ways in which you can embrace a more positive lifestyle – practice affirmations, express gratitude, meditate and exercise, anything that helps you unwind and enjoy life. Most importantly – keep doing these regularly. 3. Empathize with each other The ability to empathize is what inhibits us from just going through life doing whatever we want without regard for others. If I realize that something I've done has hurt you (because I can empathize with your pain or unhappiness), I will hesitate to do that again. 4. Take responsibility: Don’t try to figure out who’s right When you face problems in your relationship, instinctively one tends to think that the primary problem is the other. It is important to remember that both people co-create the climate of the relationship, day in and day out. And both need to do some things differently to create the relationship you really want. 5. Stay connected When there is distress in a relationship, one or both partners usually feel some emotional disconnection. Often, people will busy themselves with work or do other things to either try to feel connected or to avoid being alone with the person with whom they feel the pain of disconnection. 6. Express thoughts, feelings, and wishes Resentment can build when you sweep things under the rug, so be open and don’t bury negative feelings, instead try to express them in a respectful way. Opening up to each other can make you feel vulnerable and exposed, but it is the most important part of a healthy relationship. 7. Try new things together Boredom can be a major obstacle to lasting, romantic or companionate love. Psychological research has suggested that people who experience the strongest love are the ones who enjoy participating in new or challenging “self-expanding” activities together. 8. Preserve your independence Dr. Perel, in her popular TED talk explains that neediness and caretaking in long-term relationships dampen the energy. But if people can maintain independence and witness each other participating in individual activities at which they're skilled, they can continue to see each other in an ever-new light.