Relationships are the foundation of our social support network, which is pivotal to our physical and mental health. These relationships can be positive or negative, close or distant, and may range from intimate to casual. They can also be complex and challenging. The word relationship can also be used to describe interactions between different groups, such as a business and its clients or a family and its members.
A positive relationship can bring you security, comfort, and companionship. It can help you manage stress, feel supported during life’s ups and downs, and be more adventurous because it gives you a safety net to take risks. It can also help you live a more meaningful life and feel more fulfilled because it gives you purpose.
In a healthy relationship, you are both respected as individuals with unique strengths and interests. You can talk openly about issues and disagreements, and you can trust that your partner will respect your boundaries. In addition, you can grow as a person by learning how to listen and compromise.
In a toxic relationship, you are often made to feel like you need to sacrifice your own needs to make the other person happy. You may feel like you have to put up with your partner’s bad habits or tolerate their abusive behavior because you know they will leave you if you speak up about it. This type of codependent relationship can be dangerous to your health because it can destroy the individual identities that attracted you to your partner in the first place.