Relationships make up a large part of our social support network and can be a huge factor in our emotional and mental well-being. There are many different types of relationships that we engage in throughout our lives including those with co-workers, friends, family, and significant others. Whether they are intimate or casual, healthy relationships help us feel more connected and fulfilled in our lives.
In a healthy relationship, each person gives and receives affection, respect, and understanding. In addition to giving and receiving love, people in healthy relationships are also able to work through conflict. They are able to express their feelings openly and honestly without attacking or criticizing one another. Having a healthy relationship also gives you the opportunity to learn and grow as an individual as you share experiences with your partner.
While some people may be hesitant to enter into a long-term commitment, it has been shown that having a supportive partner can improve your life in multiple ways including decreasing stress and anxiety, increasing feelings of happiness, and improving productivity. Studies have also shown that having a significant other can decrease the risk of physical illnesses such as heart disease and stroke, and can even prolong your lifespan.
Finding “the one” is often an intuitive feeling, a sense that you’re with the person who makes your world better. They inspire you to be a better version of yourself, they support your goals and dreams, and they share your sense of humor. Life with them isn’t always easy, but hardships tend to bring you closer together rather than tearing you apart.
The most important aspect of a relationship is trust. You need to trust your partner that they will do what they say and won’t keep secrets from you. You need to be able to trust them with your personal and professional information. Similarly, you need to trust them to be free to spend time with your friends and family. It can be a red flag in a relationship if a significant other feels jealous when you hang out with your friends or family.
Often, people think of “relationship” as being sexually intimate with someone. However, physical intimacy can include other activities such as kissing, hugging, and cuddling. Regardless of what type of intimacy you have, it’s important to communicate effectively in your relationship about how much physical intimacy you want to have and that both of your needs are met.
Another type of relationship is a civil union, which is similar to marriage but doesn’t provide the same legal protections and benefits. These are generally recognized by state governments, but not all states recognize them. In general, these partnerships are based on mutual commitment and support, but can be more fluid than a marriage. For example, a couple can be in a civil union and then decide to enter into a marriage at some point in the future. However, a couple can also remain in a civil union for the rest of their lives.