Relationships are a large part of the human experience and are characterized by trust, mutual respect, shared interests and emotional support. They can be platonic or romantic, familial or work-related. Regardless of the type, relationships require compromise and effort to thrive. However, the rewards are great if both parties make it a priority to invest time and energy into their relationship.
The word “relationship” has so many different meanings, and as a result it is hard to define what makes up a healthy one. Most commonly, it is used in reference to an intimate bond with a significant other, but it can also refer to any kind of interpersonal connection. People can have relationships with animals, friends, strangers and even inanimate objects.
In the context of romance, healthy relationships are ones that allow each partner to feel supported and understood by their partner. They are also ones that encourage each person to continue to grow and change, while maintaining a mutual respect for each other’s interests and values. It is also important for healthy relationships to have a level of physical intimacy that provides a sense of connectedness.
A common reason for the end of a romantic relationship is infidelity. But a surprising number of couples survive betrayal only to have their relationship upended by other day-to-day threats like a loss of interest in physical intimacy, or the gradual waning of positive feelings for one another. Sadly, some couples spend decades cohabitating without ever truly relating to one another on an emotional level, or feeling emotionally fulfilled by their relationship.
Similarly, some families have unhealthy dynamics that are based on the idea that misery loves company. This can cause a couple to enter a relationship simply because they have the same negative traits and do not want to be alone. These types of relationships typically do not last very long, and tend to end when the pain subsides.
Work-related relationships, on the other hand, are often based on a professional dynamic that requires mutual trust and respect. These kinds of relationships can involve managers and employees, or business partners. These dynamics can be particularly difficult to navigate, as they often require a lot of emotional intelligence and understanding in order to avoid conflict or misunderstandings.
A healthy relationship is one that brings out the best in you, brings up your partner’s best, and teaches you about yourself. It is a relationship that makes you smile when you’re feeling down, and helps you to understand yourself better than you could on your own. A healthy relationship is also a one where you are respected and treated as an equal, and where nothing is off-limits for discussion. That includes your past, your fantasies, your hobbies, and everything else! In short, a healthy relationship is one that is always working on getting better. It is not perfect, but it is worth the effort to keep improving and evolving. As we evolve, the purpose of our relationship may shift, and that’s okay too.