Relationships are a fundamental part of human life. We are designed to be in relationship with others, and it’s not just because it makes us feel good – studies show that having close relationships contributes significantly to our mental health, emotional stability, restful slumber, improved physical well-being and longevity.
There are a variety of ways to form relationships, some formal and some informal. A common type of relationship is a romantic partnership, such as marriage or civil union. However, there are also non-romantic relationships, such as friends and siblings. Regardless of the type of relationship, we all share similar features:
Respect for your partner’s friends is another important component to long-term happiness in a relationship. If you don’t have a great relationship with your partner’s friends, it may be a sign that something is off in your relationship.
The need for relationship appears to be innate, and some research suggests that the ability to form stable relationships starts in infancy. Early experiences with caregivers who reliably meet an infant’s needs for food, care, protection, warmth and stimulation are thought to establish deeply ingrained patterns of relating to other people.
People in healthy relationships are able to support each other through both happy and unhappy times. This gives them a sense of fulfillment and meaning that can help to reduce depression, anxiety and other mental health disorders. A healthy relationship is a source of strength and encouragement that enables people to take greater risks and chase their dreams because they know they have the support of those around them.
Relationships can be a lot of work, but not necessarily in the way that most people think. The work required to maintain a relationship is like the work you put into a hobby, or a school project that you’re really psyched about. It’s not easy or fun all the time, but it is fulfilling and rewarding in the end.
Misery loves company, and some people find themselves in a relationship with someone because they are both going through a painful time. This type of relationship usually ends when the pain subsides.
A healthy relationship is one that is open and honest about everything, including feelings. It’s best to talk about your feelings frequently and listen to your partner, but don’t be afraid to make a mistake or have a disagreement. A good way to avoid misunderstandings is to write down what you’re trying to say, and then ask your partner if they understand your point. If you’re not sure that you do, repeat what you said to make it clear. This will prevent any confusion, hurt feelings or resentment. Keeping your relationships healthy requires discipline, and it isn’t always easy to do so. However, if you’re willing to commit to being a good person, your relationships will reward you with happiness and companionship that will add years to your life. This is the most valuable thing that you can get from a relationship.