Building a healthy relationship takes effort.

When we are in the dating phase of a relationship, we get caught up in the romantic notion of living “happily ever after”.

Seldom do we stop and really look at the key contributing factors involved when it comes to building a healthy relationship with your partner.

1. How do you contribute to your relationship?

We don’t think of the word contribution when it comes to our relationships as we often only talk about compromise.

But contribution talks to our deep human need to add value, make a difference, be of service, and live with purpose.

When we are clear on the expectations we have of our partner and our relationship, it can be a win-win all round.

Traditional roles are outdated in today’s modern world. It’s about moving from ME to how do WE create the lifestyle and relationship we want and desire?

Being in a relationship requires a hands-on approach by both partners, supporting and sharing the responsibilities that comes with having careers, raising a family, financial commitments and more all while keeping each other and your relationship a priority.

Where do you feel contribution is lacking in your relationship and what can you do to shift this?

Download the free Relationship Evaluation template here

2. Are you competent to be a partner?

We often question whether we are good enough, competent at our jobs or being a good parent but, very few question what competence they need to be a husband / wife/ life partner…

It boils down to intentionally developing our relational skills, knowledge, and capabilities needed to be effective in building a healthy, satisfying relationship, not only for today but also to future-proof it for what tomorrow may bring.

We seldom invest in these skills. Many may do pre-marital counselling as a lead up to their wedding day, sadly others will only seek help once their relationship has hit a rocky patch.

If you want to have a successful relationship, then be intentional about building these skills and how you apply them every day in small ways the lifts your relationship up instead of tearing it and each other down.

Where do you feel your relational skills can be enhanced in your relationship and what can you do to shift this?

3. How do you create connection in your relationship?

Connection is fundamentally about feeling close to your partner, feeling safe to be vulnerable, feeling supported, validated, appreciated, that you have each other’s backs and so much more….

Building connection in your relationship comes from growing together as a couple as your relationship evolves. It can come from expanding and deepening your communication, being able to resolve conflict effectively, making time for each other and being fully present for each other.

Where do you feel your connection can be enhanced in your relationship and what can you do to shift this?

4. What’s your confidence level in your relationship?

Being confident is something that comes with growth and experience. It’s being willing to feel good about yourself, comfortable in your own skin and able to be yourself around your partner and within your relationship.

A lack of confidence can cause conflict in a relationship as it can lead to jealousy, insecurity, controlling behaviour, self-esteem issues and more.

Building confidence each other and your relationship requires healthy boundaries, being aligned and on the same page, being willing to be vulnerable and sharing your needs with your partner so that they know how to be there for you.

Where do you feel you may be lacking confidence within yourself or your relationship and what can you do to shift this?

Download my free Healthy Relationships e-book here

5. Do you have a challenging relationship?

Every relationship has its challenges. Expect it and embrace it as part of your journey with each other.

When you help each other step up, step out, and step into new situations that stretch each other beyond what you know, and can do, you step into that space where learning and growth happens.

This is what builds a strong foundation for your relationship. Being able to resolve conflict effectively, being able to communicate about the tough things, and still stand by each other through the tough times.

This is what gets you through to the other side.

Sadly, many couples give up when the going gets tough…..

Where do you feel you are being challenged in your relationship and what can you do to work through it and come out on the other side stronger together?

If you need help working through some issues, book a time in my diary here now

6. Are you content in your relationship?

The idea of being content in your relationship might seem foreign to many but it’s something that is desired by many couples out there.

The last two years have had us all re-evaluating our lives, our priorities and our relationships.

We’re all looking for greater meaning, satisfaction, ease, and balance and when couples can work with each other to find these things, they create a life and relationship that feels good, happy, and fulfilling.

The key here is to not let contentment become complacency as that is when things slowly start to fall apart without us even realising it.

Never take each other for granted, never stop appreciating each other, never stop looking for the positive in each other and your relationship and never ever let other things become a priority over your relationship and each other.

Feeling disconnected and wanting to find your way back to each other again?

Have a look at my Relationship Journey online program for couples that you can do from the comfort of your own home.

You can also apply some of these tips and insights into other relationships in your life such as friendships and even in the workplace.


Paula Quinsee is a Relationship Expert in Johannesburg. She teaches individuals and organisations how to cultivate healthy relationships at home and in the workplace to create a human connected world. Paula is also the author of 2 self-help guides: Embracing Conflict and Embracing No as well as an international speaker and advocate for mental health and against gender-based violence.