How to Nurture Your Relationships
Relationships are a big part of life. They help us connect with others and build the social support network that is important to our physical and mental well-being. Different types of relationships can be challenging and complicated, but they can also provide us with a sense of belonging and meaning.
There are many ways to define a relationship, but most commonly it is used to refer to a romantic partner, significant other, or someone that you spend time with and share emotional intimacy with. The term relationship is also used to describe an arrangement between two or more people that involves some kind of sharing of resources, responsibilities, or rights.
In a healthy relationship, there is mutual respect and consideration for each other’s needs, interests and values. This is shown by listening attentively to your partner and letting them know that you value their opinion. Respect can be a challenge to maintain in a relationship, but it is important for both people to speak openly and honestly about their feelings. This helps avoid misunderstandings that may lead to frustration or anger.
It’s also important to be able to ask for help and to accept help when you need it. This is especially true when a relationship gets tough. In addition, healthy relationships make you happy. Being around the person you love stimulates certain areas of your brain and makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. This feeling is even stronger when you are in a committed, long-term relationship.
Other benefits of being in a relationship include being able to share happy and sad news with your partner. When you have a partner to lean on, you can be more adventurous with your life choices and take risks because you have a safe place to fall back on if things don’t work out. This feeling of security can also reduce stress and anxiety.
In addition, you can learn valuable skills from your relationship, including how to communicate effectively and resolve conflicts. Practicing these skills will make you a better person, which will benefit your relationship in the long run. You can also learn to set boundaries and be a more self-sufficient person, which will help you feel empowered and confident.
To learn more about how to nurture your relationships, we spoke with 10 nationally based relationship professionals – three men and seven women – who are renowned experts in their fields. The majority of them are psychotherapists and counsellors with extensive experience working with couples and individuals on relationship issues. They were all chosen for this interview based on their recognised expertise in the field and their knowledge of research and current practice. We asked them to offer their insights and advice on the key aspects of relationships, and the factors that contribute to success or failure. They have kindly shared their responses below. (Note: The quotes have been edited for length and clarity.) —Courtney Coutu, Editor, Psycomm