Relationships are a big part of human life. Whether it’s with family, friends or romantic partners, relationships are important to our wellbeing and happiness.
People spend most of their lives with the people they love, so it’s natural to want to make sure your relationships are healthy and rewarding. In fact, many studies show that healthy relationships can have a positive impact on our mental health.
Developing and maintaining a positive relationship requires commitment, communication and understanding of your partner’s needs.
The definition of a relationship can vary widely, but most experts agree that a relationship involves two people who are emotionally connected or physically involved in some way. This could be through an emotional bond, like a marriage, or through a physical one, such as a cohabitation arrangement.
A relationship can also be defined by the nature of the interactions between people and the context in which they are developed.
Some types of relationships are more stable than others, and they may be characterized by specific characteristics, such as dyads, triads or societies.
Dyad – a relationship between two individuals, with strong interpersonal attachments and intense interaction. This type of relationship is often characterized by exclusivity and honesty.
Triad – a relationship between three or more people, with less intense interaction than a dyad. This type of relationship is often characterized, at least in theory, by rules and regulations that govern its development.
Society – a social organization of people with common beliefs and values, and who often share a sense of identity or community.
In other words, a society is like a “people’s club.” It usually includes members who are bonded by some kind of relationship, such as a romantic partner or a close family member.
Having a supportive network of people in your life is a big help when things get tough or stressful. It provides you with a safety net, and it can be the key to keeping your mental health on track.
This is because people in good relationships experience fewer depressive and anxiety symptoms than those who are widowed, single or divorced/separated, according to research by psychologist Edith Chen and colleagues at Northwestern University.
Some of the reasons behind this include:
Feeling loved and cherished can make us more resilient to stress. This can also improve our mental and physical health by helping us to feel more optimistic about the future.
Having people we can turn to who will be there for us when we need them is another benefit of having a relationship, says psychologist Katherine Dunkel Schetter of the Harvard Medical School. A support network can give you the encouragement and confidence to pursue your goals and keep on going, she adds.
When you’re in a good relationship, your significant other is always there for you — whether it’s in the moment or when you’re going through hard times. They are there to offer support, comfort and compassion when you need it most, so that you can keep your mind at ease and focus on achieving your dreams.