Healthy Relationships

Relationships are important for our health, and they can include romantic relationships as well as nonromantic friendships. Research shows that a healthy relationship can have the same positive effect on our hearts, blood pressure, and cholesterol as getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and not smoking. Relationships can also help us feel more resilient and happy when life gets tough.

People who are in long-term, committed relationships often say they have the best sleep of their lives, feel more supported when facing challenges, and find it easier to overcome setbacks. Researchers are finding that a lack of strong social connections can be as harmful to our mental and physical health as obesity, smoking, or being depressed. Having supportive, loving relationships can even help prevent heart disease.

Intimacy is often associated with sex, but it can also include other forms of physical intimacy such as cuddling or kissing. Not everyone wants or needs sex in their relationship, and that’s okay. People can be intimate in other ways, such as by spending time together and discussing their interests.

Being in a relationship can offer you opportunities to learn about yourself and how you work with others. Your partner can encourage parts of your personality that may be hiding in the background to come out, and you can do the same for them. This can give you a more complete picture of who your partner is and help you build empathy.

Healthy relationships are based on trust and mutual respect. This means being able to trust your partner and believe that they will not lie, cheat, or steal from you. It also means respecting their opinion and being able to discuss it without arguing or holding grudges. You should be able to trust your partner to not judge you for your past mistakes and support your efforts to grow as a person.

Communication is an important part of any relationship, and it’s especially helpful when you’re working through difficult issues. It’s also important to communicate about your expectations and goals for the relationship. You may need to talk about how much time you want to spend together, your goals for the future, or how you’d like to handle conflict.

Learning how to disagree in a respectful way is an essential skill for any relationship. Practice communicating calmly, taking turns speaking, and avoiding judgment. It’s also important to recognize that some problems can’t be resolved. For example, if you have different beliefs or habits that are fundamentally incompatible, it may be necessary to decide whether the relationship is worth continuing.