Relationships are associations that may be intimate, platonic, positive or negative. Typically, when people talk about being in a relationship, they are referring to a romantic association that includes emotional and physical intimacy and some level of commitment. This can take a number of forms, from marriage to casual dating to ethical nonmonogamy.
Getting in and maintaining healthy relationships requires work. However, the work doesn’t have to be difficult or exhausting. Think about how a hobby or a school project that you really enjoy takes some time and effort, but in the end it is rewarding. This is how a healthy relationship should feel.
In a healthy relationship, both partners are committed to nurturing the connection they have with one another. This is a commitment that extends beyond the daily routines of meal planning and household chores to include caring for each other’s mental, emotional and physical wellness. It can be a partnership of support, encouragement and love that is mutually beneficial and enduring. People in this kind of relationship often refer to one another as a boyfriend or girlfriend, husband and wife or partner.
A relationship can also be an important part of a person’s life by involving friends, family, colleagues and other acquaintances. These connections are based on trust, respect and shared values and can be short-term, like a summer fling or long-term, such as a lifetime marriage. There are even a number of different types of professional and business relationships.