A relationship is a connection between two or more people that may be romantic or nonromantic, intimate or platonic. It involves some level of interdependence, and can be based on love, trust, and mutual benefit. It also usually involves some degree of commitment or exclusivity, which can be monogamous (exclusive to one partner) or nonmonogamous. Relationships can be casual or long-term, and they can take many forms, from marriage to dating and ethical nonmonogamy.
Healthy relationships are characterized by a balance of give and take, respect, and compromise. They help us feel supported, understood, and valued, which can reduce feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and loneliness. They also encourage healthy behaviors like eating well, exercising regularly, and not smoking. Research even suggests that social ties are linked to longevity, so having healthy relationships is important for our physical and mental health.
It’s difficult to define what a relationship is exactly, as it varies greatly between individuals and cultures. Typically, though, when someone says they are in a relationship, it refers to a romantic or sexual partnership that is both ongoing and serious. This type of relationship often involves emotional and physical intimacy, some level of commitment or exclusivity, and often results in a legally binding union such as marriage. However, a relationship can also refer to casual or situational relationships that are more short-term or nonromantic in nature. The word relationship can also be used to describe connections between different groups of people, such as a relationship between food and social media.