A relationship is any kind of connection or association between people. Typically, when people say they’re “in a relationship,” they mean that they’re in a romantic relationship involving emotional and physical intimacy and some level of ongoing commitment (either formalized through marriage or ethical nonmonogamy). Relationships can also be platonic or familial, and they can include friends and coworkers. Relationships are important because they offer a sense of belonging and security, as well as support. People in healthy relationships can help each other become better versions of themselves. They can encourage those parts of the other’s personality that may be hidden or in the background to come out more often, and they can provide a safe space where each person can express their own needs and feelings without fear of judgment or rejection.
Relationships can be complex and confusing. There are many models that can be used to explain and describe how relationships work, including social exchange theory (i.e., people try to get the subjective maximum benefit for the minimum cost), transactional analysis (i.e., both parties need to feel a mutual exchange of value), and the escalator model (i.e., the more invested you are in a relationship, the higher the benefits and the lower the costs).
Some people choose to enter into romantic relationships that don’t involve sex, and others don’t want a traditional marriage. Regardless of the type of relationship, there are some things all healthy relationships have in common: respect, equality, safety, and trust.
It’s important to have a variety of relationships in one’s life, including those with family members, friends, and work colleagues. Each type of relationship offers different kinds of support, and they can all be beneficial to your mental health. But it’s important to remember that all types of relationships take time and effort to maintain. If you’re noticing that you’re spending too much time at work or with your friends and not enough time on your relationship, it might be time to set some boundaries or talk to a therapist.
The best way to ensure that your relationship is healthy is to make sure you’re both happy in it. A good way to do that is to schedule a regular tech-free date with your partner and spend some quality time together. This will improve your communication and create a stronger bond. Additionally, you can find hobbies that both of you enjoy and spend time doing them together. This will allow you to spend more time with each other and will also improve your overall wellness by lowering stress levels, improving sleep quality, and increasing your happiness.