Wellness in Romantic Relationships

“That which is created in a relationship can be fixed in a relationship.” — Murray Bowen, 20th-century psychiatrist and theorist

Wellness in a romantic relationship is about autonomy, equality, and intention. A marriage or relationship with a significant other takes energy and time that sometimes can feel difficult to find. Romantic relationships thrive when each person fosters their own sense of self and when partners are able to clarify their responsibilities in the relationship. They also bring intention to the relationship and can enjoy each other in the present moment. 

If you’re feeling tense or exhausted around your partner, then it’s time to evaluate how you can make space for wellness in your relationship.

Guiding Questions

  • On a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being not at all, 10 being very much), how much is wellness prioritized in your relationship with your partner?
  • If you could wake up tomorrow and have the perfect day with your partner, what would it look like?
  • How much energy do you feel you have when you spend time with your partner?
  • What aspects of your relationship result in stress or anxiety?
  • What aspects of your relationship result in joy?

Action Steps

Foster Autonomy

A relationship flourishes when partners feel empowered to be their best selves. They enjoy time together but are able to be apart without feeling distressed. Talk to your partner about their wellness goals for the next year, and share yours as well. Communicate openly with each other about what you’d like to work on together and what you’d like to pursue on your own.

Seek Equity

Having an equal relationship is less about ensuring the check is split and the chores are divided and more about not assuming responsibility for the other person. If you are relying on your partner to remember an appointment or to force you to exercise, there’s a higher risk of conflict or feelings of resentment. Consider how you can take back responsibility for your own goals and tasks to take some pressure off the relationship. 

Be Present

Living a mindful and healthy life means carving out time to be in the present moment. Consider how you and your partner can make the space to be present with each other. This could look like putting away cellphones when you’re having dinner or scheduling time each week to take a walk and listen to each other.

Outline for Growth

Autonomy

Do you feel distressed when apart from your partner? What would it look like to respect each other’s autonomy and allow each other to participate in wellness activities that reflect values and goals?

Equality

What tasks do you rely on your partner for that are your responsibility? When do you assume responsibility for something that should be your partner’s concern? How can you foster communication about individual responsibilities in your relationship?  

Intention

What were moments in your relationship when you felt that you or your partner were only half-present? Where are the opportunities in your weekly schedule to be together without distraction? How can you incorporate relaxation or healthy activities into this time together?

Look over your answers and consider three changes you can make in the next month to improve wellness in your relationship.

Want more actionable tips? Visit our wellness resource page to develop a personalized plan for wellness in your life!