Relationships are the foundation of your social support network. They help you cope with stress and provide meaning in your life. Healthy relationships also teach you adaptive ways to resolve conflict and build your self-esteem. They also give you opportunities to practice and improve your communication skills.
Having positive relationships helps you live longer and enjoy your time more. It’s no secret that people in loving relationships are generally happier and less stressed than those who are lonely or isolated. Relationships are essential for your well-being, and they come in many different shapes and sizes. The most important aspects of a relationship are trust, caring, communicating, and respect.
A relationship can be a romantic or platonic, casual or formal, monogamous or polyamorous, and either sexual or non-sexual. A healthy relationship can help you feel emotionally supported and validated, and may even help you achieve your goals in life. But if your relationship is unhealthy, it can be damaging to your physical and emotional health.
Relationships can be short-term, such as a summer fling or long-term, like a marriage or civil union. They can be intimate, such as sex or kissing, or non-intimate, such as cuddling or sharing meals together.
Intimate relationships are a key part of a happy, healthy life, but they’re not necessary for everyone. A healthy relationship can still be fulfilling without sex, especially if both people are on the same page about their expectations and needs. A healthy relationship also includes respectful boundaries, including not suffocating or limiting each other’s freedom.