Healthy Relationships


Whether romantic or nonromantic, healthy relationships are a huge part of our lives. Psychologists know that strong connections between people have the power to influence our physical and mental health—for better or worse. In fact, many of the most effective treatments for issues like anxiety, depression and addiction are rooted in relationship therapy.

Relationships are any connection between two or more people, including those based on limerence, love, solidarity, cohabitation, regular business interactions or other commitment. They can be dyadic (two people), triad (three people) or group relationships that may have more formal rules and regulations, such as membership in a social club.

Healthy relationships are mutually satisfying and characterized by a deep emotional connection, closeness, frequent communication and shared responsibility. In addition, they are based on mutual trust and support.

People who are in good, healthy relationships listen to each other and try to understand what the other person is saying, and they make a point of remembering details about their partners’ lives. This prevents miscommunication and misunderstandings, which can lead to frustration and hurt. They also help each other stay on track with their wellness goals by being a supportive and encouraging presence.

In unhealthy, toxic relationships, the partners often put themselves down or try to control each other. They may be jealous of each other’s friendships and social activities and feel insecure about their own abilities. In the worst cases, a partner’s negative behavior can become so entrenched that it affects every aspect of their life.