Relationships are a vital part of your life. They help to make up your social support network, which is critical for your physical and mental health. Different types of relationships can offer support, encouragement and motivation. They can also provide a place to learn how to communicate effectively, resolve conflict and be a good partner.
In a healthy relationship, you are able to be yourself around your significant other. Your significant other should understand your goals, values and beliefs. They should respect your boundaries and be willing to work through disagreements. They should also encourage your growth and development and be supportive of your passions. They should not be judgmental, and they should always take responsibility for their mistakes.
You and your significant other share similar interests. Whether it’s playing video games together or watching your favorite shows, you enjoy spending time with each other. You may also share a common vision for your future. For example, you might both want to pursue personal growth or career goals, and you are both willing to flex your schedule and other obligations to help achieve those objectives. You are able to discuss these things openly and honestly, and you are not afraid of (respectful) conflict.
In a marriage, or civil union, you are legally bound to one another. This is a formal agreement that grants you state-level legal protections and privileges. Generally speaking, this is a lifelong commitment that involves sharing many of the same responsibilities and benefits of a romantic relationship.