Relationships can be a positive and important part of our lives. They can give us support and meaning, as well as teach us about ourselves and others. Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, from casual acquaintances to a lifelong commitment. They can include sex, intimacy, and/or physical proximity as a component. In a healthy relationship, the people involved have open and respectful communication, respect for each other’s privacy needs, and a focus on mutually satisfying activities.
Relationships help us to feel connected and supported as we face the ups and downs of life. They can also give us the courage to take risks and chase our dreams, knowing we have someone cheering for us. However, unhealthy relationships can create stress and unhappiness in our lives. It is important to recognize when a relationship has gone sour and to work towards resolving it in a way that is healthy for everyone.
Generally, when people refer to “being in a relationship,” they are referring to a romantic relationship that includes emotional and/or physical intimacy. Romantic relationships can be monogamous, nonmonogamy, or informal.
It is important to have healthy relationships outside of your primary relationship as well, as this can provide balance and perspective. It is also important to not engage in controlling behaviors that limit your interactions with other people or isolate you. If your partner has an issue with you spending time with other friends or family, this is a red flag that they may not be a good long-term partner for you.