Relationships are associations one has with other people, often involving intimacy and emotional attachment. Although the term “being in a relationship” is most commonly associated with romantic relationships, the concept extends to non-sexual relationships, such as those between family members or friends. The word “relationship” can also be used to describe a social structure, such as a nation or religion, that binds its members through shared values, customs, or language.
Healthy relationships involve respect, equality, safety, trust and communication. Effective communication includes listening to each other and communicating with body language and non-verbal cues. It is important to communicate openly, including with difficult topics like sex and intimacy for those in romantic relationships. It is also important to make time for each other and stay close, even with busy schedules.
Being in a relationship can have psychological and physical benefits. Research shows that the presence of a partner can reduce anxiety, depression and feelings of loneliness. It can also increase life satisfaction, self-esteem and happiness. People in long-term relationships are able to try new things, knowing they have a soft place to fall or land if it doesn’t work out, and can support each other through life’s difficulties.
Being in a relationship can provide a sense of belonging and identity, and can help to keep your memory and thinking skills sharp. It is also a source of joy, and sharing memories can make you feel happier and less depressed when feeling low.