Relationships are a cornerstone of living a full life. They come in a variety of forms, including platonic, romantic, and familial. Human connection is an essential part of well-being, and research shows that positive relationships support mental health and physical health by providing a buffer to stress. The word “relationship” is so widely used that it’s easy to forget that it can mean different things to different people. It is important to clearly define your relationship to ensure that it is healthy and meets your needs. It is also a good idea to seek advice from a professional if you notice that your relationship is unhealthy.
In a healthy relationship, both partners feel safe and can express their feelings openly without fear of judgement or blame. They are able to compromise and negotiate when conflicts arise. They can also help each other become better versions of themselves by encouraging those parts of their personality that may be hidden or suppressed.
While the need for human connection appears to be innate, being in a relationship is not always easy. It requires a commitment from both parties to put the relationship above their own interests, communicate regularly, and make time for each other. It is also important to be honest about your expectations of the relationship, and know that it is normal to experience ups and downs. However, it is never okay to tolerate abusive or toxic behavior. If you suspect that your relationship is toxic, it is important to talk to a trusted friend or family member about the situation and seek professional help if necessary.