Relationships are associations between people, based on limerence, love, solidarity, mutual commitment or a combination of factors. They can be between two people (dyads) or three or more people (triads, triads). They can be formal and long-term, such as in marriage or a business partnership, or casual, such as hanging out with friends. People also have a relationship with their parents, siblings, and friends. The word relationship is also used in the study of history to refer to the interconnections between people, or between individuals and groups.
Healthy relationships improve physical and emotional health. They promote health behaviors, decrease the impact of stress, and provide inspiration to take personal control. In fact, positive relationships actually help our biology by enhancing immune, endocrine and cardiovascular function so we can heal faster.
They foster feelings of support, affection and acceptance, which reduce anxiety and depression. Having a partner also gives us someone to share the good times with and to talk things over when life gets tough.
Getting along with our significant other means being able to trust and communicate openly, which leads to less conflict and more happiness. Healthy relationships also foster independence and the freedom to pursue activities that energize us individually.
Relationships are often confusing, especially for young adults. Many young men and women struggle with the distinction between dating and being in a relationship, particularly with how those terms are defined by family, school and culture.
In a healthy relationship, each person values who the other is and respects their individuality. They are comfortable and confident that they can trust the other to be there for them, but they also know that they can continue to see their own friends. They are supportive of one another pursuing engaging and invigorating interests, but they are able to balance the time spent together.
Healthy couples communicate openly, honestly and respectfully. They listen and understand each other, and they are able to resolve conflicts without resorting to aggression. They are able to support each other to be the best versions of themselves and they encourage each other to take time for themselves.
When relationships are unhealthy, they can result in resentment and insecurity. They can also lead to addictions and negative patterns of behavior, such as self-medication or retaliation. This is why it’s important for both partners to work together on improving the quality of their relationship. They can do this by identifying common problems and developing strategies to overcome them. This includes establishing clear boundaries, communicating effectively and recognizing when they need to take some space. In addition, they should seek help when necessary from trusted professionals. They can also consider attending a relationship workshop or couple’s counseling session. They can learn new skills that will strengthen their bond and increase the enjoyment of their relationship.