All relationships are prone to habitual behaviors. While some behavioral habits are good for the relationship, others can create a toxic atmosphere that makes long-term happiness next to impossible. Most people think they know which relationship habits are healthy and which are dangerously toxic.

However, there are a few common habits that look and feel unhealthy, but are actually key elements to any successful long-term relationship. If you and your partner fall into any of these habits, don’t panic. These relationship habits are normal and can be quite healthy.

Let’s get straight into it, and talk about a few of the most shocking relationship habits that actually turn out to be healthy rather than toxic.

Sexual kinks

What goes on in the bedroom between you and your partner will always be unique and special. Everyone has different sexual preferences and tastes. You may be under the impression that certain kinks and sexual fantasies are unhealthy in a balanced relationship. However, being open and communicative with our partners about our sexual desires can make the relationship much more fulfilling and satisfying. In the long run, it might actually make the relationship last.

In some cases, some sexual fantasies may not seem cohesive with a healthy monogamous relationship. For instance, you may find yourself dreaming of a threesome or a submissive sexual role play. Contrary to what you may think, sexual kinks can be an extremely healthy part of a loving relationship. Instead of burying these impulses, speak openly with your partner about what you’ve been imagining. You could try taking the BDSM test to see which sexual kinks might suit you both as a couple.

Knowing when to not communicate

Many people are under the misapprehension that honesty is the best policy. In 99% of cases, this holds true. However, it can sometimes get couples into trouble. If you and your partner have the tendency to overshare, things will inevitably get messy and complicated.

It’s important to know when to hold back on honesty. In fact, according to recent research, it seems that constant negative communication can be detrimental to a happy relationship. If you find yourselves getting into a pattern of having the same fight over and over again, it may be a sign that the fight simply isn’t worth having.

Think about whether the thing that’s bothering you about the other person is something you can live with. Try gritting your teeth and not mentioning it next time it comes up. Chances are, you won’t argue, and over time, you’ll both be happier in each other’s company.

Acknowledging attraction to other people

Humans are biologically programmed to find other humans attractive. Unfortunately (and fortunately), it’s a simple fact of life. It also doesn’t go away once you’re in a committed relationship. Relationships are about choices and sacrifices. It’s important that you and your partner understand the distinction between attraction and cheating.

Attraction to another person is inevitable at some point in your relationship. What matters is the choices you make based on this attraction. The healthiest choice you can make is to acknowledge the attraction to yourself and maybe to your partner, and then move on. You’ll be amazed at how much easier attraction becomes when it’s no longer taboo.

Taking short breaks

If you and your partner tend to spend every waking minute in each other’s company, chances are, you’ll get on each other’s nerves. It’s important that you and your partner know when to take breaks from each other. Whether that means going out for a girls’ night, or spending a weekend at your parents’ house, sometimes, some time apart can do wonders for your relationship.

Don’t panic if you start to feel the need for a short break. Remember, distance makes the heart grow fonder. Treat your short break as a positive step in your relationship rather than a sign of weakness.

Not following stereotypical living patterns

A convention would have us believe that all couples should follow the same patterns to be healthy. Don’t fall into this trap! While lots of couples thrive sharing a bed and alternating chores, for others, these patterns just don’t work. Instead of forcing your relationship into a predetermined mold, try finding a living pattern that works for you.

For some couples, this may mean having a separate bedroom where one of you can go for extra space and privacy. Or, you may find that one of you cooks all the meals, while the other does all of the laundry and cleaning. If others judge your habits, try to ignore them. A convention is merely one healthy pattern. It’s essential that you’re happy with your living situation, whatever it may be, even if it seems unusual.

Ignoring your partner’s messages (for a while)

In today’s highly technological world, it’s possible to communicate instantaneously at all times. While ignoring your partner’s messages frequently is a sign of a problem in your relationship, answering your partner’s messages obsessively can also be a bad sign.

If you find yourself answering your partner’s messages as soon as they arrive, every single time, try taking a step back. If you’re available at all times of the day, your partner will begin to expect you to be at their beck and call. Try to only respond when you actually have the time. Don’t put other things on hold to reply to your partner. Instead, finish your lunch, your work, or your run before you text back.

Voicing complaints

If you feel like you or your partner are prone to constant complaining, this might not be an entirely bad thing. While endless complaints will likely get the other person’s nerves, it’s actually dangerous to hold in your complaints all the time. By occasionally voicing your complaints, you’ll feel a weight off of your shoulders, and your partner will slowly become aware of their annoying habits.

Ideally, both of you will feel comfortable voicing the odd complaint. For this habit to be a truly healthy one, the other person must be willing to listen to the complaints without becoming defensive. Hopefully, these complaints can lead to a productive discussion resulting in mutual understanding and compromise.

Fighting with the kids around

Most couples do their best to avoid fighting in front of the kids, believing that they are saving them from traumatic, unhappy childhoods. However, if you and your partner never fight in front of your children, your kids will grow up with an unrealistic sense of your relationship, and relationships in general.

If you can argue with your partner, then resolve your conflict, your children will grow up with better emotional security and coping skills, according to new research. Try to give your children a full taste of what loving relationships can entail, and don’t be afraid to have the odd spat with them in the room.

Putting yourself first

Lots of people are under the impression that love means always putting your partner first. However, this is a dangerous habit to get into. Instead, try putting your own needs and desires first from time to time. When you start doing things for yourself, your overall mood will change. Deep-seated resentments toward your partner will vanish, and you’ll both notice the difference.

Remember, it’s possible to give too much in a relationship. By giving a little less to your partner, they will realize that their happiness is their own responsibility. Be sure to be selfish when you need it, but continue to give generously when you can. Trust your instincts, and give and take when it feels appropriate to do so.

Being mean

Sugar-coating can be dangerous, especially when you’re repressing anger toward a long-term partner. In the same way that we encourage you to complain, sometimes, it can actually be healthy to be a little mean to your partner. The odd insult can help you to let off a little steam. If you hold in your meanness, resentment and dissatisfaction are far more likely to build up.

Of course, you should never aim to be cruel. However, if you do find yourself being a little mean from time to time, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Final Thoughts

Relationships are hard work. There’s no doubt about it. Not only do you need to figure out how to live with another person, but you also need to learn how to navigate your habits. Developing healthy habits can make all of the difference. In fact, healthy habits can ensure long-term relationship success.

It’s crucial that you take note of which habits are actually helping you as a couple. Some of these surprisingly healthy habits don’t seem healthy at all because they involve conflict. However, all healthy relationships need to have some level of conflict. Remember, without any conflict, you and your partner will be living dishonestly and burying your true feelings. Instead, try to be as open, empathic, and understanding as possible. Above all, remember to communicate.

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