Relationships, whether with your partner, lover, sister, cat or mother, need work. It doesn’t matter how healthy your relationship seems, it’s a guarantee that at some point things will need a little push in the right direction. I should probably point out at this stage that I am incredibly well versed in knowing what not to do in relationships. I don’t exaggerate when I say the only relationship I have that doesn’t fall under the “it’s complicated” category is the one I have with The Husband (and yes I include my cat in that). Everywhere I look I see relationships that on the surface seem to be really great, but you give that surface a scratch and there’s actually a whole world of soap opera dramas bubbling underneath. The truth of it is every relationship has a breaking point and the best way to avoid hitting them is to pay some attention to them.

When a relationship breaks down it is usually down to one of these five things:

1. Lack of communication

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Not communicating properly is the ultimate reason A LOT of relationships hit the wall. Explaining yourself and your emotions is vital to every relationship, especially if it is a turbulent one. It’s good to communicate and express, sometimes going as far as an overshare. Finding a way of communicating is the lifeline to every relationship. If you find yourself in one without any, then it’s time to step back to think about how to get it.

2. Fakery

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One of my biggest bugbears with relationships is watching fake ones. I am the kind of person that doesn’t have time for that shit. If there is no value to the relationship above a mutual dislike to one another then stop. I mean, seriously, stop. It doesn’t matter what relationship it is there is no place for fakery. Being bosom buddies to each other’s faces and ripping each other apart behind your backs is soul destroying, demeaning, disrespectful, and frankly should be left to the cast of Pretty Little Liars.

Going through life with a fake relationship in tow seems exhausting, and it breeds; if you have one then it’s pretty certain you’ll have more than one. If you don’t value the relationship, or even more importantly if you feel like you’re not being valued, cut it off. It’s not worth your effort. Imagine how amazing a real relationship would be if you put all the energy you do into the fakes ones into a real one.

3. Disregard

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Predominant in family relationships, it’s easy to fall into the cycle of disregard. Forgetting to call someone, taking advantage of them, relying on them too much and generally not paying attention to them are the major pitfalls of disregard. The antidote: appreciation. Taking the time to be grateful they rang you because you forgot, or thanking them for everything they do on a random Tuesday afternoon is a surprising healer!

4. Lies

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Little white ones or stonking big ones. It doesn’t matter. The minute you start to lie in a relationship is the minute trust is lost. It breeds disrespect, paranoia and can make the other person in your relationship feel like crap.

I am a massive advocate in the overshare. I will talk to The Husband about everything, even if I think it would benefit him or me for him not to hear it. From a shirt looking too tight to a “I scratched your car” I will tell him everything regardless of how mad it makes him, and he does the same. Lying is the devils work and will only stand to ruin your relationship.

5. Not spending the time

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Simple but true. Not finding the time to catch up is a killer. It leaves relationships to stagnate and resentment to set in. Whether it’s your old uni friend who now lives the other side of the country, a family member you haven’t called in a while or even a daily relationship like boyfriend or best friend, it’s good to keep things fresh. Pick up the phone and spend an hour and a half catching up, drop an email, facetime, Skype, or mix your daily routine up with a bestie date. Just spend a bit of extra time on them.

How do you keep your relationships healthy?

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