Relationships are a crucial part of a person’s social support network, and research has shown they can be instrumental in mental health. Whether intimate or platonic, romantic or casual, in-person or virtual, relationships can have a profound impact on how you feel about yourself and your world.
The word relationship is derived from the Latin root rela, meaning “to relate.” The need for relationships appears to be innate in humans; infants bond with their caregivers, forming a foundation that they later use to guide their interactions with others. Some people can develop healthy relationships easily, while others may struggle to form meaningful connections. The type of relationship a person has can impact their feelings of happiness, safety and fulfillment.
A healthy romantic relationship requires good communication, intimacy, and a mutual commitment to each other. It also requires empathy and compassion. A good partner should make you happy and be able to share your goals and dreams. They should be someone that brings out the best in you and makes your heart flutter, even if it’s only occasionally.
In a healthy relationship, both partners have a desire to spend time together, whether it’s relaxing on the couch watching movies or cooking dinner. In addition, both should schedule tech-free time to talk and get to know each other better. Couples that spend more time together feel closer and happier.
Healthy relationships also involve a balance between work, family and personal time. Both partners should work together to set boundaries at work and learn how to say no. They should also plan out activities that they can do separately, such as a weekly date night or finding hobbies that they can enjoy together. This ensures that they have something to look forward to and can maintain their independence.
If a partner’s behavior is consistently hurtful or they disregard your needs, it could be a red flag. They should respect your boundaries and show consideration for your privacy. They should also be a positive influence on your wellbeing, encouraging you to take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
Lastly, a good partner will help you stay on track with your wellness goals. They will be there to offer support and encourage you to see a therapist if needed. They will also be a great sounding board when you’re having a bad day and can provide you with a fresh perspective.
In the past, a specific event, such as a wedding, defined what was considered a relationship. A couple was referred to as premarital (if they weren’t married) or marital (if they were). However, in recent years, these boundaries have blurred and people now define their relationships more loosely. This change has helped to ease the stress of navigating complicated relationships and provided flexibility in how couples choose to define their relationship.