Relationships — the association between two (or more) people, whether based on limerence, mutual love, solidarity, or any other social commitment — are an integral part of human life. They help shape our identity, provide emotional support, and facilitate learning and development.
Healthy relationships are a key aspect of mental wellness, and they can have many physical benefits as well, including restful slumber, lower stress levels, robust immune function, and more. They also allow us to be our best selves, as they can provide an environment where we feel accepted and supported for who we are.
But what does a healthy relationship look like? It can vary from person to person, and might not always align with more traditional definitions of a relationship. For example, sex and intimacy can be important components of some romantic relationships, but other kinds of physical closeness are just as fulfilling for people in non-romantic or monogamous relationships. And the way you define a relationship might change over time, as you learn to balance work, friends, and family with your significant other.
A healthy relationship is one in which you are treated fairly and with respect, and you both make an effort to meet each other’s needs. This includes being respectful of each other’s boundaries, and not making each other jealous when you spend time with other people. In addition, you should both be able to communicate openly about your feelings and make sure that you are on the same page when it comes to issues such as sex, finances, communication, and space.