The Importance of Relationships


Relationships encompass a wide range of social connections, from casual friendships to intimate relationships to cooperative partnerships. Some are short-term, like a summer fling, while others are long-term, such as a marriage or parental role. Relationships can be a source of great satisfaction and joy as well as a source of stress and anxiety.

In healthy relationships, people feel a sense of belonging to something larger than themselves. Whether it’s a family with shared cultural traditions, a community with similar values, or a cause to which they are committed, these relationships foster a deep sense of meaning and purpose.

People who are in healthy relationships have a sense of balance between giving and receiving affection, energy, love, and support. They are able to respectfully communicate their needs, and can resolve conflict without humiliation or degradation. In addition, they are able to say no when they need to.

Healthy relationships involve the sharing of responsibilities, goals, and dreams. In particular, they provide a sense of security and stability by supporting people as they take risks and chase their dreams. People can also count on their relationships for emotional and practical support, particularly during times of adversity.

Many people stay in unhealthy relationships because they’ve heard that relationships take work, but the type of work required may not be as intense as some think. It’s more like working on a hobby or school project that you find interesting, motivating, and engaging—or perhaps even a little fun!