Healthy relationships are an important part of a person's overall sense of health and well-being. However, building truly healthy and intimate relationships takes commitment. Here are five tips to help build healthy, intimate and fulfilling relationships.

1. Be Yourself

Don't try to relate to others by acting like you think they want/expect you to.

Being real from the start gives each person a chance to see if they can be comfortable with each other's beliefs, interests, looks and lifestyle.

2. Communicate Better

This is an essential skill in any type of good relationship.

  • Use "I" statements when talking to others about your thoughts or feelings. This promotes ownership of what you are saying, which establishes a strong, direct position.
  • Self-disclose at a slow, but steady rate. Revealing too much too soon can cause the speaker to feel overly vulnerable and the listener to feel uncomfortable and obligated to reciprocate. Take your time. You can increase your rate of sharing as you get to know the person better.
  • Ask for what you need/want. Do not expect that others should be able to guess what you prefer out of their affection for you. The best chance of receiving what you want is to speak up and ask for it.
  • Check out your assumptions. You can't read minds. Misunderstandings can arise from acting on what you guess your friend/partner wants.
  • Give each other permission. It's okay to peacefully refuse each other's requests at times.

3. Fight Fair

Abandon the "my way or your way" approach. Instead seek to discover "our way" through negotiation and compromise. Start the problem-solving by listening to and respecting each other's point of view.

Conflicts are more easily addressed when both people participate in the solution, instead of one person dominating the decision-making process. Aim for a balance of power.

4. Reciprocate

Give equal importance to the feelings, interests and needs of each person in the relationship.

Develop the skill of both giving and receiving emotional support.

5. Enjoy Each Other

Let good humor and having fun together be a part of your regular schedule.