Relationships are a vital part of your social support network. Having positive relationships can add meaning to your life, help you manage stress and even contribute to your longevity.
When you think of the word “relationship,” you may picture two people in a romantic relationship, where they’re committed to each other for the foreseeable future. They’re often referred to by identifiers like Bf/gf or partner, and they spend time together, communicate frequently, and work on their connection.
However, the term “relationship” actually encompasses a wide range of human connections, both romantic and nonromantic. These connections can be casual, intimate, formal, or platonic, and they can take many forms:
While everyone has unique needs and preferences when it comes to relationships, there are some clear benefits that come with being in one. A few major ones are:
1. Being in a healthy relationship makes you happier.
Having someone by your side to celebrate with, listen to you talk about your worries and anxieties, or share a laugh with can make a huge difference in your happiness. Studies show that when you’re with the person you love, parts of your brain get excited.
2. Having strong social connections increases your lifespan.
Having supportive friends and family members can give you the courage to take risks or pursue your dreams because they’re there for you. They can also help you navigate the difficult parts of life by providing emotional support and reducing your risk of depression. Research shows that being socially isolated is as bad for your health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.