A relationship is a connection with someone you value, love, and trust. This can include sex, intimacy, companionship, deep understanding, and help when you need it. People in healthy relationships enjoy a sense of belonging and are better able to deal with stress and other negative life events.
Relationships can be a big part of your life, but they also come in all shapes and sizes. Some are casual “acquaintances,” like people you smile at in the halls or say hi to when you pass them. Some may be “friends” or “flings,” while others are more serious and involve sex, dating, and mutual exclusivity. Some relationships last a lifetime, while others fizzle out or end with the passing of time.
The key to a good relationship is balance. A balanced relationship involves giving and receiving, respecting each other’s boundaries and individuality, trust, honesty, and positive reinforcement. For example, showering your partner with little gifts or staying in touch if you are apart are ways to show your care and attention.
If one of you makes a mistake, accepting it is another way to demonstrate your commitment. However, repeated mistakes that threaten the stability of the relationship should be avoided at all costs. Intimacy is a huge component of a good relationship. It can include sex, but it doesn’t have to — intimacy could be as simple as kissing, hugging, cuddling, or sleeping together. Emotional intimacy is also important, as is support.