Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Maintaining healthy relationships

2-minute read

Building healthy relationships with partners, friends and family is good for you. It improves your mood, your mental health and your wellbeing.

Maintaining them is important. It takes time and commitment. No relationship is perfect, but it is important that it brings you more happiness than stress.

Tips for a healthy relationship

1. Be clear about what you want

Assertive communication helps make your point more clearly than passive or aggressive communication. Try using ‘I’ statements instead of accusatory ‘you’ statements.

2. Say sorry when you’re wrong

This is really important as it helps heal relationship breakdowns that inevitably occur.

3. Being affectionate and showing appreciation

Relationships can become routine after a while. Make special time together and continue to show your affection. Even just snuggling on the couch after work helps show intimacy.

4. Make the relationship a priority

It can be hard to balance relationships, work, family and friends. You can help establish a work-life balance by setting limits at work and learning to say no – this will ensure you make time for your relationship.

5. Develop shared interests

Finding hobbies you both enjoy allows you to spend time together. This could be as simple as doing a night class together or taking up a new sport.

6. Work on feeling good about yourself

Feeling good about yourself allows you to give the best to your relationships. Taking time to do what you enjoy can help.

Healthy friendships maintain your happiness and self-esteem, so it is important that you stay in touch with your friends when you are in a relationship.

One of the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship is when you quit activities you used to enjoy because of your partner.

7. Find solutions that work for both of you

Conflict is a part of any relationship. It is essential that you both respect and accept your differences and similarities. Finding solutions that work for both of you will probably require compromise at different times.

8. Make plans for the future

By making plans for the future together, you both show you are in the relationship for the long term.

9. Family time

Finding time together as a family can be difficult, but there are many benefits to regularly sharing family meals. Even one family meal a week gives everyone a chance to catch up, connect and communicate with each other.

Last reviewed: March 2018

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Healthy relationships: parents & partners | Raising Children Network

A new baby can bring couples closer but also create strains. Heres how couples can nurture healthy relationships during early parenting ups and downs.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

For families, partners & carers: Strategies for effective communication & healthy relationships

Relationships are at the core of our mental health, particularly for a person with personality disorder.

Read more on Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders website

Parent relationships: tips for acceptance | Raising Children Network

Acceptance means living with and valuing differences in others. Its a big part of strong, healthy relationships with your partner and family. Read more.

Read more on Raising Children Network website

Building healthy family relationships | Kids Helpline

Being loving, caring and respectful

Read more on Kids Helpline website

Is your relationship healthy

MensLine Australia is a professional telephone and online support and information service for Australian men

Read more on MensLine Australia website

Healthy Sexual Relationships | myVMC

A healthy sexual relationship is one in which the individuals involved are physically and psychologically content with the frequency and nature of sexual encounters.

Read more on myVMC – Virtual Medical Centre website

For families, partners & carers: helpful tips for challenging relationships

Caring or supporting a person with a personality disorder can be challenging. Just as each person is unique, so is every relationship.

Read more on Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders website

Healthy relationships | Women's Health Queensland Wide

When we first meet someone everything can seem perfect but there are often early signs that the relationship is unhealthy.

Read more on Women's Health Queensland Wide website

Domestic violence | Head to Health

Domestic violence is a person being subjected to an ongoing pattern of abusive behaviour by an intimate partner or family member, and it can happen to anyone.

Read more on Head to Health website

Developing family relationships over distance

Developing close relationships between your children and other family can be challenging when they don't live close by. See how you can involve your family in your child's life.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback