The importance of healthy relationships.

Healthy relationships are essential to maintain a healthy, happy, and well-rounded life. Evidence suggests that there are vital benefits to healthy relationships such as a longer life span, the ability to better cope with stress, and improved mental health.

Healthy relationships are essential to maintain a healthy, happy, and well-rounded life. Evidence suggests that there are vital benefits to healthy relationships such as a longer life span, the ability to better cope with stress, and improved mental health. Personally speaking, the more my relationships with my partner, family, and friends have improved, the more my health has improved also.

Don’t believe me? A review of 148 separate studies found that those with strong social relationships are 50% less likely to die prematurely than those with poor relationships. Men frequently joke about their ‘nagging’ wives, but Dan Buettner’s Blue Zone research found that falling in love and committing to a life partner can add an extra three years to your life span. And not only that but various researchers have found that men benefit more than women from healthy, happy marriages. 

Another great advantage of a healthy relationship, be it romantic or platonic, is the ability to help shoulder stress. Therefore, halving it.

Although they may not be able to fight your battles for you, just talking about it and receiving support enables us to cope better and recover quicker. This has never been more apparent than in my own life. Although my partner and I have faced our challenges, they became easier the more we worked on our relationship. So much so that when I lost my grandfather in December, I was able to cope and recover quicker with the help and support of a loving and supportive husband. The same can also be said for him when his grandfather passed just two weeks later. Because we both felt able and willing to open up to each other about our emotions, we were better able to cope with grief. 

Finally, the evidence suggesting that healthy relationships also benefit our physical health is overwhelming. You see, it all ties back to being able to cope with stressors. Stress reduces our life span by increasing the risk of physical conditions such as bowel complaints, headaches, and general pain. Not to mention the severely detrimental mental impacts of prolonged or even acute stress. By reducing that through healthy relationships (among other things) we even eliminate such issues from occurring. Or we can at least reduce the damage done. 

Image from Streetwindy

But what is a healthy relationship

There are many aspects to a healthy relationship. Although the majority are universal, like many things, what works for you might not work for me.  With that in mind, I reached out to Twitter for their take on what makes a healthy relationship, whether it’s romantic or platonic.

Set clear boundaries.

This goes for romantic, platonic, or family relationships. Nothing works without clearly defined boundaries. We need to respect our partner or a friend’s need for time alone or in the company of others. Likewise, they should also respect the fact that you might need some time to yourself.

This goes double if you’re currently looking for love. Although it can be wonderful to connect with someone, be aware of red flags when it comes to your personal space and time. If they start to overstep the mark, even when it’s clearly laid in front of them, it’s either time to talk or time to walk away.

Ensure that you take the time to establish boundaries in all relationships. Remain calm while doing so and don’t allow anyone to pressure you into letting go of your personal space. As someone who has spent a great deal of time without boundaries for protection, your mental health can begin to suffer when the needs of others come before your own. Yes, even your partners!

Do fun things together, but also learn to spend time apart.

These points were brought to my attention by Jenny and Foxxie. It’s important to take time to spend having fun together, especially in romantic relationships. Friendships often entail doing things we enjoy together such as cocktails and game nights. But in romantic relationships, things can get caught up in the momentum of everyday life, especially if you live together.

It’s so important to find ways to add fun to everyday tasks and to take the time to relax together. Whether that’s playing video games, watching your favourite TV show or even making pizza together. My husband and I purposely set aside time to watch anime together and, on occasion, we can also be spotted raiding dungeons in World of Warcraft.

As important as time together is, it’s also important to spend time apart doing the things you love. I’m not as avid a WoW player as my husband, and so I often find myself curled up in front of the TV playing Animal crossing instead. There are some evenings during the week when we only meet up to make tea together and grab snacks, after which we retreat back to our solitary cocoons. It helps us to unwind in our own separate ways and builds on the confidence we have within ourselves to spend time alone. That and I would surely kill him if we were to spend every waking moment together.

Communication is a two-way street.

You should be able to talk openly and honestly to each other in healthy relationships of all kinds. Whether it’s your partner or best friend. By closing off vital communication, we’re often left playing the guessing game which seldom works. Furthermore, one-sided relationships can be exhausting and frustrating to deal with.

You as a friend, partner, or family member should also be prepared to listen. I mean really listen. Connect with what the other person is saying, let them have the floor, and make subtle motions to show them that you’re taking it on board. This can be simple nods of the head or by utter ‘yes’ periodically. Simply acting like you’re listening isn’t enough, and I often clock my husband for this. People will know if you’re not really paying attention.

Mutual Trust.

Trust is built on the ability to believe in what your partner, friend, etc are saying without the need to ‘prove anything.’ It works both ways, and also means we have to act in such a way that allows us to be trusted. Relationships build on second-guessing and lying are not healthy in any way, shape, or form.

Supporting each other.

Healthy relationships are built on support. If you don’t take the time to let someone know you believe in them or to ask if they’re okay, then what’s the point? When someone passes away we would like to hope that our best friend or partners would be there to help, even if it’s just a text. Sometimes that might mean texting to ask if you’re okay but accepting no reply. While other times it might mean spending time talking it through. Support can even come in the form of knowing when you, or someone you love, need a shoulder to cry on or a distraction.

Life can be rough and it can be made tougher if we don’t have people who encourage us, listen to us, and believe in us.

Mutual respect.

Respect in any relationship means that the other person values you, your opinions, and your feelings. It’s also a great breeding ground for mutual trust. You should be respected in your family circle, your friendship, and your romantic relationships. Never allow anyone to tell you otherwise and make you feel lesser than them.

Have you any other ideas on what makes a healthy relationship?


  1. What a poignant post! Going through all the points I would want to add another point. A healthy relationship is also a shoulder to cry on, no judgements, no questions asked, no fear

  2. Nnniiiccceeeee…I will add, “taking care of one another”! Many people often neglect their partners and yet, this is what forms the core of the healthy relationship.

  3. I agree that surrounding yourself with relationships based on trust, respect, support, and love is so important. They help us stay sane and thrive.

  4. I agree with all your point especially the one about spending time apart and trusting and respecting each other. This is crucial and I live with that in mind even with my kids.

  5. LOVE this post and you are so right Love knows boundaries. A healthy balanced respectful relationship is key for a good life balance x

  6. I have a good and healthy relationship with almost everyone on the family and friends list. But with my girlfriend, we have a special relationship. These are great tips and information!

  7. Healthy relationships are absolutely important. Setting those boundaries and not letting anyone cross the is good for you mental health too.

  8. Having some healthy relationships in life make such a difference. As I read through this, I thought of my husband at first. But I also thought of the amazing friends I’ve made in the last few years and how much those relationships mean to me, too.

  9. Relationships do take work, and these are all important things to keep in mind. Communication is such a big issue and it is a big thing to focus on.

  10. Agreed. I used to be in toxic relationships and it wasn’t until I learned how to set boundaries that I was able to see what I type of relationships I needed to build. Being able to articulate my needs and what I expected also helped distinguish between long lasting relationships and the ones that wasn’t.

  11. Great article, I especially agree with the communication part. So important! One thing that’s really helped my relationship is learning to adjust expectations as things change in our lives.

  12. These are great tips. A healthy relationship is so important, it can affect out mental health.

  13. healthy relationship are the only relationship you need. alas, we don’t always get it until we are in such relationship

  14. Strong social connections help us to navigate our stressors, solve problems and overcome challenges. There are many types of relationships we have throughout our lives.

  15. A healthy relationship is something that I’d like to find one day. It’s extremely important as it gives us some needed support instead of additional stress. 🙂

  16. This is such an interesting post. I thought it was neat the research showing that having a healthy relationship can actually extend your life. Just shows the importance of maintaining good relationships.

  17. Accepting each other’s flaws is also a way to a healthy relationship. None of us is perfect so it is important that we understand and we accept people around us. Positive vibes all the way!

  18. Yes, we need to have not only a healthy diet or lifestyle but also healthy relationship. It’s so important to take care of little things that make the relationship healthier!

  19. You have given some great points here on a healthy relationship. Trust and respect are very important. It can make make or break the relationship. Going out on dates with your spouse is a very good way to refresh the romance in the marriage.

  20. Well written. Healthy relationships benefit our life in so many ways. An insightful read.

  21. Yes, healthy relationships are a must. I would not settle for anything less. I don’t have the patience.

  22. Healthy relationships are so important to have. Unhealthy ones can be very damaging to ones self esteem and self worth

  23. Trust and respect, absolutely. So many couples forget to implement these in there relationships when they are stressed.

  24. A healthy relationship is important especially if you are yearning for a peaceful and happy life. Thank you for sharing this. It’s such a great post.

  25. Boundaries are very important, and something we don’t read much about. I’ll be sharing this with my college aged kids.

  26. Spending fun time together is so important. My husband and I have at least 3 couple vacations alone without taking the kids. It’s always a time to bond and rekindle the relationship.

  27. This is such a great post. It’s very important as well. I think staying in a healthy relationship is great. You both want to work together to make things work.

  28. I have just started to appreciate enjoying things I love to do. Many many years I focused on everyone else. It makes a difference.

  29. Having a healthy relationship is key to having a healthy life, without it, there could be no unity, peace, and harmony.

  30. I agree to all these. Thus,if your on an unhealthy one. Just get out of it. Not easy but possible.

  31. Healthy relationships are key. The only thing that sucks though is that you usually have to be in an unhealthy one first to truly appreciate a healthy one!

  32. This is such an important topic to discuss. So much focus is put on being in a relationship that often we don’t remember that the most important part is that it is the right relationship. The right one is always a healthy one.

    We spend a lot of time together but we make time for our own interests, that is so important to us and means our time together is not distracted and is quality time x

  33. This was such an interesting read! There’s plenty of positives from good relationships, trust and respects are so importtant! Thanks for sharing x

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