Relationships make up a huge portion of your life and are essential to your mental and physical health. Research suggests that healthy relationships contribute to lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem, more empathy, and better social connections in general.
A relationship can take many forms, from close friendships to intimate sex relationships. It’s important to understand the different types of relationships, because they vary in their benefits for your overall well-being.
A friend is someone who you rely on for emotional support and comfort. Usually, these relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. A strong friendship can withstand the test of time and even be a foundation for more serious relationships.
Love is an unconditional feeling that inspires and motivates people to do better. It’s a sense of belonging that can encourage you to make positive changes in your life and improve your overall health. Having a partner who loves you and accepts you for the person you are is crucial for healthy relationships.
Having physical intimacy with someone can decrease your stress and help you feel relaxed. It also provides you with the opportunity to decompress and refocus from your day.
A marriage is a commitment to one another and involves both emotional and sexual intimacy. It can be a long-term commitment, but can also be a short-term commitment if both parties agree to the relationship and follow through.
The way you communicate with others reflects your feelings, so understanding your own and your partner’s nonverbal cues is a key part of building a healthy relationship. Knowing your partner’s reactions to certain situations can help you understand what they want from you.
Communicating efficiently and clearly with your partner can help you avoid misunderstandings. This means talking and listening carefully to each other and making sure you are clear about what you are saying and how you are feeling.
A healthy relationship has boundaries that both partners feel comfortable with. This may mean that you are not allowed to have sex or do certain things that make you feel uncomfortable, but it also means you can negotiate and compromise when there are disagreements or conflicts.
Conflicts are normal in a healthy relationship, but they should be handled respectfully and without disrespecting one another. It’s OK to disagree, but it’s more than just saying “I don’t like that” or “You’re wrong.”
You can be in a healthy relationship if you have these things in common:
Reliable and honest. A reliable partner will not cheat on you or lie to you, but they will also be honest about their own needs and problems.
They will also be able to be there for you when you need them most. This means being a sounding board, taking you to dinner or drinks after a tough day at work, and helping you to manage your stress by allowing you to talk through it and get out of your head.