The Importance of Relationships


Relationships are a vital part of human life, providing emotional support and fostering personal growth. They help us learn about cooperation and compromise, bolstering our resilience. They create a sense of connection and belonging, deepening our sense of meaning.

Relationships vary from platonic to familial to professional to casual and can be either healthy or toxic. They can be based on mutual trust and emotional intimacy or they can be based on common interests and goals. Some are more intense, such as romantic relationships. Others may involve more formal commitment, such as engagements and weddings.

People in healthy relationships value the individuality of their counterparts and do not try to change them or impose their own views on their partner. They also respect each other’s boundaries and encourage their partner to pursue other activities and friends. They are able to communicate openly and honestly with one another, even when they disagree.

Long-term relationships are linked to lower stress levels, more restful slumber and better mental health. They can also offer physical benefits such as stronger bones and a more robust immune system. They can even reduce the risk of dementia and other cognitive declines as we age. Yet most of us struggle to stay connected through the inevitable trials and tribulations. This is largely due to a lack of understanding about what constitutes a healthy relationship. In reality, a healthy relationship can look much different than the idyllic picture in our heads.