Relationships – What Types of Relationships Are There?

Relationships make up a large part of our social support networks, which are pivotal to our physical and mental health. Whether they’re romantic, platonic, familial or professional, relationships come in all shapes and sizes. The types of relationships you have can vary depending on your personality traits and circumstances, but all healthy relationships have several common components.

They’re based on trust. Trust is a critical component of any relationship, and it’s not something that is automatically earned. It’s a choice, and one that needs to be constantly worked on. A good way to build trust is by being transparent with your partner about your past, present and future plans. For example, if you want to move to a new city, or start your own business, don’t keep those things secret from your partner. This will help them feel like they’re a part of the bigger picture and that you value their input.

They are a source of emotional and social support. They provide companionship, and a platform to share life’s joys and challenges. Relationships also facilitate personal growth, and promote resilience in the face of adversity.

A strong relationship is based on mutual understanding and respect. They have shared values, and work together towards their goals and dreams. They also have a deep level of empathy for their partner, which helps them empathize with their feelings and perspective when they disagree. This allows them to avoid personal attacks and focus on finding a resolution that works for everyone.

The best relationships have natural reciprocity, meaning that the people in them genuinely do things for each other out of the goodness of their hearts. This can be as simple as giving a loving hug or kiss on leaving and arriving at home from work, or as complex as working towards mutually beneficial financial goals. It’s important to communicate your needs, wants and expectations to your partner and to listen to them just as much as you talk.

Most relationships have their highs and lows, but if you find yourself in a relationship that is consistently creating negativity and pain for you then it may be time to reassess the situation. The visceral connection that first got you in the relationship may fade, and the hours making love or cuddling may be replaced with an empty routine. The key to reviving this is to create a habit of regularly talking about how you’re both feeling, and not just in big decisions (such as where you’re going for your next vacation) but smaller ones too (such as who picks up the kids tonight). This will ensure that your partner knows they are a priority for you.