Relationships are crucial in our lives. Healthy relationships take time to nurture and create. When a relationship ends we feel the pain. We are left to flounder on our own on how to fix the relationship, whether we should fix it, or how to recover from the relationship. Building healthy relationships from the beginning is essential to avoid the pain of broken relationships. It’s about building the essential bridges that serve to salvage hurt minds, bodies, and souls. It about reversing pain, neglect, and lack of understanding with love, commitment, and caring.

Here are 6 ingredients for healthy relationships that we should strive to develop in every relationship, especially those close to us, our close friends, buddies, colleagues, and even business relationships.

1. Acceptance, Empathy, and Respect for the other person. Essentially, it is love. Love is much deeper than a feeling. Love is a commitment we make to people to always treat that person right and honorably. To understand and accept the other person as he is.

2. Fulfilling of needs. “You can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want out of life.” A healthy relationship helps meets needs. We serve – and get in return –without consciously and eagerly expecting, of course. It will come- mutually and naturally.

3.Open and honest communication. “Communication is to relationships what breath is to life” The key to communicating is to be a good listener, have something good to say, and express yourself well. Project warmth, empathy, and caring. By letting the other person know what we think and feel, it lets us connect with the other person. It enables us to make a connection. Both listening effectively and communicating what we feel are essential.

4. Stickiness — Patience and Loyalty. We are humans and humans make mistakes after all. And it takes time to change. Often, those who give up on relationships too early or because the other person isn’t perfect, often forget that their next friend, their next spouse or business partner, will not be perfect either! And those who have gone through major turmoil in their relationship and emerged with patience have emerged stronger after the crisis.

5. A Common Purpose. Working together, building together, failing and succeeding together — while pursuing a common purpose — that is what relationships are made of. As Aldous Huxley said, “ To associate with other like-minded people in a small purposeful group is for the great majority of men a women a source of profound psychological satisfaction.” Find people with whom you have common purposes. In your current relationships, find a common purpose to look forward to. It will gel and create long-lasting joy and benefits.

6. Fun. Fun brings enjoyment to the relationship. Often, this is forgotten or neglected in our families and spouses. Especially when we take the relationship for granted. We have to remember to consciously create fun situations and moments that we will remember with amusement and gratitude for a long time. Like family fun time and special moments together…

Having and developing all these take time. But it is the most rewarding activity one can have. You’ll not regret and be ever so grateful you did at the end.

by May Chew