Relationships are associations or connections between people, whether intimate or platonic. Relationships can be positive or negative, and they can take many different forms, including marriage, casual dating, ethical nonmonogamy, and more. Typically, when people talk about relationships, they are referring to romantic relationships that involve physical intimacy and some level of ongoing commitment.
A healthy relationship includes mutual respect and a sense of equality. Both people should feel comfortable discussing their values, beliefs, and habits, as well as their interests and hobbies. A couple should also be able to communicate honestly about their feelings, needs, and concerns. They should be willing to admit when they have done something wrong and to make amends.
Having strong social connections is good for mental and physical health, and research shows that people in happy, long-term relationships are healthier than those who are alone or in unhealthy relationships. People in long-term, fulfilling relationships have lower stress levels, more restful slumber, and more robust emotional wellbeing.
While a partner can help meet some of your needs, it is important to have other things in your life that make you happy, such as friends, hobbies, work, and self-care. Attempting to make one person your be-all and end-all will ultimately backfire, and you will both resent it. You must learn to be independent and not rely solely on your partner to meet your needs. If you can’t be a healthy individual without your partner, then you are in an unhealthy relationship.