Cultivating trust and communicating effectively are two ways you can be a good partner and establish a healthy relationship. But it’s also about what you don’t do.

If you’re in love, you may wonder what qualities can help you make the relationship work and what makes a good romantic partner.

While each couple is different, there are a few specific characteristics and skills that may help you strengthen your bond.

People who have an unhealthy attachment style may find these tips challenging to implement. However, it’s possible to go from an anxious to a secure attachment at any point.

Talking with a mental health professional may help you explore the type of attachment you tend to establish and how you can securely relate to your loved ones. They can also help you identify healthy relationship characteristics and what makes a great partnership.

In the meantime, these tips to be a better partner may help:

Communicating effectively is an excellent way to be a better partner to your dear one and it’s one of many healthy relationship characteristics.

Research indicates that open and honest communication plays a crucial role in marital satisfaction.

For instance, sharing messages of support and focusing on how you feel when resolving conflict is part of communicating effectively and of what makes a good partner.

To practice effective and assertive communication skills, you may want to consider the following:

  • Use “I statements,” such as, “I feel sad when we don’t prioritize spending time together.”
  • Express gratitude and appreciation toward your partner, saying things like, “I appreciate you listening to me and offering solutions to this issue.”
  • Practice active listening by reflecting back on what you hear your partner say and focusing on understanding rather than responding.

Emotional security is another important component of what makes a great relationship. When you feel safe, you can trust your partner, and they can trust you.

Physical safety is also an essential factor for building trust. If you don’t feel safe with another person, it can be challenging to have a thriving relationship.

If you’re wondering how to establish emotional safety in your relationship, consider these tips:

  • Practice listening without judgment.
  • Respect your partner’s boundaries and alone time.
  • Avoid coercive or manipulative tactics.
  • Accept responsibility and apologize for your mistakes.

You can’t have emotional safety without physical safety first.

If you don’t feel safe in your relationship, there are some options available to you:

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Trust is a crucial part of a healthy relationship and acting in a way that promotes trust helps you be a good partner.

When you can trust your partner, you know that they keep their word and don’t violate the rules of the relationship.

Research indicates that a lack of trust can predict significant challenges in relationships, such as:

  • emotional instability
  • endless conflict
  • low satisfaction
  • intention to break up

To be someone your partner can trust, you might try:

  • following through on your word
  • avoiding snooping
  • respecting your partner’s property and privacy
  • opening up and being vulnerable with them
  • honoring your relationship agreements
  • staying faithful

If you’re wondering what makes a great relationship and a good partner, respect is a quality you may want to consider.

Mutual respect is valuing each other’s individuality. You respect your partner through a variety of actions.

If you don’t cultivate mutual respect, you may fall into contempt for your partner. When you respect one another, you appreciate each other’s uniqueness and treat each other kindly despite challenges.

To be a respectful partner, you may want to:

  • avoid name-calling, attacking, and sarcasm
  • express emotions and feelings without blame or judgment
  • appreciate your partner for who they are, even if you have differences
  • celebrate your differences and individual experiences
  • avoid mocking or belittling your partner
  • learn to work through conflicts

There will be times when you disagree with your partner, or they may want to do something that you have no interest in. That’s OK and saying “no” doesn’t make you a “bad partner.”

While you want to respect your boundaries, compromising may be necessary at times, though.

Research from 2017 found that three things may lead to negative interactions in a romantic relationship:

  • unwillingness to compromise
  • insensitivity toward partner’s emotions and experiences
  • untrustworthiness

Meeting your partner halfway helps you prioritize the relationship and express how important your partner is to you.

Some ways to practice compromise include:

  • remaining open-minded
  • listening to your partner’s wishes and desires
  • considering your partners’ point of view in all decisions
  • finding a middle ground
  • being open and honest about your feelings
  • listening to and considering alternatives to your solutions

Healthy relationship characteristics at a glance

  • effective communication skills
  • ability to resolve conflicts
  • using “I” statements over “you” statements
  • creating emotional and physical safety
  • respecting boundaries
  • avoiding coercive or manipulative tactics
  • practicing a non-judgmental attitude
  • staying accountable to your word
  • honoring your relationship agreements
  • respecting each other
  • respecting your partner’s property
  • compromising when necessary
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What makes a good partner and a great relationship may depend on the particulars of your situation. Establishing respect and enhancing communication may help you get there.

If you want to be a better partner, practicing self-awareness is also crucial. Catching yourself when you’re having a negative reaction to your partner can help you resolve conflicts more effectively and express your emotions in a healthy way.

If you’re having a hard time in your relationship or believe you may need to work on your attachment style in order to be a better romantic partner, a mental health professional may help.