The relationships we have with others make up a large portion of our lives and contribute to our mental health and physical well-being. Interpersonal relationships can range from close and intimate to distant and challenging. Different types of relationships help us build the social support network that is critical to our survival.
When we’re in a relationship, our partner becomes our best friend and lover all wrapped into one. We’re almost like family to them — they take care of us, help us through our difficult times, and make sure that we get home safe after a night out. They’re there to comfort us, encourage us, and laugh with us — and they can even add years to our life.
Intimate relationships are not always easy, and they require constant work to maintain. In order to have an intimate relationship, you need to be able to talk about your feelings and emotions and share your needs and wants. It’s also important to be able to listen to your partner and understand their nonverbal cues. Intimate relationships require mutual respect, and it’s crucial that you can resolve conflict without putting yourself down or humiliating your partner.
Healthy relationships can also involve sharing a common interest, such as a sport or a hobby. You can learn a new skill together or set aside time to talk about a book you both are reading. A few other things you can do to improve intimacy include being dependable, making plans, and following through on them. Remember, however, that you shouldn’t rely on your partner to fulfill all of your emotional needs; they can only meet so many.