Any kind of association or connection between people can be considered a relationship, but when most people talk about relationships, they are talking about romantic relationships. These types of relationships involve emotional and physical intimacy, some level of commitment, and monogamy. They can take a variety of forms, from marriage to casual dating to ethical nonmonogamy.
In healthy relationships, both partners feel loved and respected. They don’t get stuck in the “honeymoon phase” and start to take each other for granted, but instead build a deeper sense of love over time. They communicate openly and honestly, addressing issues that may arise. They support and care for each other emotionally, which is especially important in times of need.
They respect each other’s autonomy and independence, but they also work together as a team to meet needs. For example, they might agree to share a car or bank account, but each person still has their own hobbies and interests that they can pursue independently. They also don’t try to control or micromanage each other. They let each other have some privacy, but they make sure they are always accessible when needed.
Relationships provide opportunities for self-reflection and growth. They can teach us about our own strengths and weaknesses, so we can learn to communicate better and be more understanding of others. They can also help us develop a healthier sense of self-esteem, since we can see how our own actions affect those around us.