Building Strong Relationships

People in healthy relationships care about each other, they support and respect each other. They prioritize meaningful conversations, listen attentively and engage in a wide variety of activities that build strong bonds. They also know how to disagree with each other respectfully without blaming or shaming each other. And they are dependable, and they follow through on their commitments.

There are many different kinds of relationships, but the most common are those involving a partner, family or friends. Relationships can be casual, long-term, platonic or intimate. They can be a source of fun, excitement and companionship or they can be a source of stress and pain.

Generally, the term “relationship” refers to a close bond with another person that includes emotional and/or physical intimacy. In the case of romantic relationships, the connection usually begins with a feeling of passionate love and intense emotions. Over time, this often changes to compassion, trust, and intimacy.

Some relationships are more formal than others, such as those involving marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships. Depending on the type of relationship, there may be a legal aspect to it and it is often expected that the two partners will live together, share household expenses, and/or have children together.

Other relationships are more casual, such as those with acquaintances that you might pass in the halls at work or say, “Hello,” to when passing them on the street. These relationships don’t involve sharing a meal or hanging out, but they help you feel connected to the outside world.

The benefits of positive relationships are numerous and include social support, mental health, emotional well-being, and even physical health. Studies have shown that people in more positive relationships are healthier and live longer than those who are less socially connected.

While some people stay in unhealthy relationships because they have heard that all relationships take “work,” the work required to maintain a healthy relationship is not necessarily difficult or exhausting. The work can be fun, inspiring or engaging, and it should be something that the couple enjoys doing. For example, working on a hobby, taking part in a shared interest, volunteering, or simply spending time outdoors are all ways to connect with one another and build strong bonds.

In a healthy relationship, both partners encourage the parts of their personality that might be more reserved or shy to come out more. They learn to appreciate their differences and celebrate what makes them unique. They make time for each other and make a conscious effort to spend quality time together on a regular basis, whether it is just chatting over coffee or dinner, playing a sport, watching movies, or doing a home improvement project. They prioritize communication, and they are able to express themselves calmly and without judgement, while being empathetic and listening attentively to their partners. They also know how to resolve conflict and are able to set limits when necessary. This is the kind of work that we at Love Is Respect believe in!