When you’re in a relationship with someone, you’re usually emotionally involved and connected to them in some way. Relationships can be casual or serious, and may or may not be monogamous.
In a committed relationship, you and your partner will be romantically and sexually exclusive–that is, you won’t have other relationships with other people. This type of relationship can also be called a marriage, or a permanent partnership. In a casual relationship, you’re dating someone but aren’t sure whether the two of you will continue to be together long-term.
A meaningful relationship involves a deep emotional connection with your partner and an ongoing sense that you can trust them. Ideally, your partner will be able to make you feel like you can depend on them and that they’re really good friends.
Research suggests that being in a relationship makes you happier, and that’s especially true if it is a mutually satisfying one. Studies have shown that when you love someone, specific areas of your brain become activated. This is why it feels so good to wake up next to the person you love.
Maintaining a healthy relationship isn’t easy. It takes work, and it’s important to communicate well and regularly. Be aware of things that could be negatively affecting your relationship, and try to correct them. For example, it’s common for couples to fall into a routine of asking the same questions about each other’s days, or to avoid talking about difficult topics altogether. You can keep your relationship fresh by saying “I love you” often, making time for each other, and trying to be positive even when the situation is challenging.