Relationships make up a huge portion of one’s social support network, which is pivotal for mental and physical health. There are many different types of relationships, including friendships, parent-child relationships, romantic relationships, and business partnerships. Some of these relationships may be short-term, like summer flings, and others, such as marriage, are long-term.
Whether you’re a married couple or good friends, the people you surround yourself with in your personal and professional lives add meaning to life. They support you and encourage you to take risks and chase after your dreams, and they help to keep you grounded when things get tough. They also teach you valuable lessons and provide a unique perspective on situations that you might otherwise miss or misinterpret.
A healthy relationship brings out the best in you, while challenging you to be your most authentic self. Having someone to fight for you is an amazing feeling, and it makes you feel more confident and self-assured. They’re there to cheer you on and support you no matter what happens, making you feel like you can conquer the world.
There are a number of different aspects that make up a relationship, but in the context of romantic or intimate relationships, it’s typically defined by a bond that’s emotionally, physically, and sexually close. Depending on your preferences, this bond can involve sex, but it can also include kissing, cuddling, and sleeping together. Physical intimacy is often the driving force behind romantic relationships, but it’s not always necessary in every situation.
Regardless of the type of relationship, all healthy relationships share some common characteristics. The two parties communicate openly and honestly, without judgement or blame. They prioritize spending time together (though this can vary based on work and other commitments, living arrangements, etc.), but they also respect each other’s need for independence and personal space. They work collaboratively as a team and remember important details about the other’s life.
In addition to providing emotional and physical comfort, healthy relationships can add years to your life. Studies have shown that people who have strong interpersonal ties experience lower stress levels, restful sleep, and improved mental health. They are able to handle life’s ups and downs more easily, because they have a strong support system to lean on when needed.
Despite the benefits of having a healthy, supportive relationship, some people continue to stay in unhealthy or toxic ones. They might cling to the idea that all relationships are hard work, or they might be afraid to be alone or don’t know how to function independently. However, if you find that your relationship isn’t meeting your needs or you’re not happy in it, you should reach out to your community of family and friends for assistance. They’re there to help you figure out what you really want from your relationship, and they can offer helpful advice on how to get it. If you’re still unsure of how to approach the subject, a therapist can assist you in finding the right path forward.