Relationships are a cornerstone of happiness and living a full life. They provide a supportive network that empowers people to take risks and pursue their dreams. However, relationships can also cause stress and evoke feelings of loneliness.
A healthy relationship requires two individuals who are happy and healthy as their own people. While a person may change or evolve over time, the core of their identity should not be compromised to make someone else happy. Trying to change oneself for the sake of the relationship can lead to toxic behaviors. Instead, a healthy relationship is one that nurtures each individual’s interests and strengths, but respects the fact that they have their own hobbies, things they like to do on their own, and personal beliefs.
In a romantic relationship, a healthy couple is able to communicate openly about the relationship. They share finances, thoughts, emotions and words. They are open about sexual fantasies and sex and they feel comfortable exploring each other’s bodies together. They feel passionate about each other, but they are able to have healthy differences and are able to resolve conflict constructively. They understand that they don’t have to agree with every decision their partner makes, but they do share values and goals.
Other types of relationships include platonic dynamics, family relationships, and professional ones. They can range from casual acquaintances to friendships that have less emotional intimacy to close relationships with blood or legal ties and intense emotional connections.