Relationships can be one of the most rewarding things in life, but they also can be challenging. It is important to understand what makes a healthy relationship and how to maintain the best possible one for your needs.
A person’s need for human connection appears to be innate, but the ability to form loving, stable relationships is learned. Some evidence suggests that this ability to form and maintain relationships peaks in infancy, when infants are introduced to caregivers who reliably meet their needs for food, care, warmth, protection, stimulation, and social contact.
There are many types of relationships, including dyads, triads and societies. The three types vary in terms of intensity of interaction and level of commitment to the other person.
Dyad – group of two people who are close to each other, typically with a shared history, personality, and interests. They tend to have intense interactions and are based on personal attachments and shared values, such as mutual respect or loyalty.
Triad – group of three people with less intense interactions and less personal attachments than a dyad. They may be more stable than a dyad and may be based on shared values and traditions, such as a family or religious community.
Society – group of people who are connected in some way, such as in national, cultural or economic identity or on shared language, culture and hierarchical organization. It can be a formal, legal or informal arrangement.
Committed relationship – interpersonal relationship based upon a mutually agreed-upon commitment to one another involving exclusivity, honesty or trust or some other agreed-upon behavior. This term is most commonly used in the context of a romantic relationship, although it can apply to any type of relationship.
In a healthy relationship, you feel comfortable discussing any issues that come up, even if you disagree with each other. This means you don’t try to push your partner out of their comfort zone, but rather you talk things out in a respectful and mature manner.
You respect each other’s hobbies and interests, and you are both open to trying new things together. This can include sharing a hobby that your partner has always wanted to try or taking a trip together. It can also mean that you don’t hold back from exploring your sexuality.
It can also mean that you don’t judge your partner for how they handle money or how they approach health. This can help to keep the relationship on track and avoid a lot of potential problems.
Relationships are stressful, but they can be beneficial for your mental and physical well-being if you approach them from a healthy perspective. When your relationship is causing you stress, it’s best to establish boundaries, talk to a therapist or consider ending the relationship if it’s unhealthy.
Balanced relationships are where each individual feels a balanced amount of affection, energy, love and support from the other. This can be achieved through a combination of communication, expressing gratitude and respect, and listening to each other’s needs.