Relationships and Mental Well-Being

Relationships are interpersonal connections that may involve emotional or physical closeness, sexual intimacy and feelings of romance or love. They can be either intimate or casual and may be monogamous or nonmonogamous. People can be in a relationship with anyone from a spouse or partner to friends, family members and coworkers. A healthy relationship can have a positive effect on mental well-being and contribute to greater happiness and a longer life.

Being in a relationship can help people feel less lonely and more content with their lives, even during difficult times. It is thought that this is because being with “the one” can alleviate the sting of loneliness and provide a feeling of safety and security, a sense of being able to lean on each other during hardships and a sense that they will never leave.

In addition, being in a relationship can make people happier by providing them with social support and the feeling of belonging to a group. Research suggests that having a committed relationship can lead to lower stress levels, more restful sleep and better overall health.

Some people choose to date casually and engage in many relationships without a commitment from one or both partners. This can allow them to develop their communication and other relationship skills while also discovering what they want in a romantic partner. In contrast, other people prefer to find a long-term partner and commit fully to them. They may choose to be in a monogamous relationship or a nonmonogamous relationship and may decide to marry.

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