People are social beings. Whether you have a partner and enjoy engaging with a large group of friends or you like a more solitary lifestyle, science has shown that interpersonal relationships are important for our overall health. The right relationships give you people you can rely on for love and compassion, support you can turn to in a crisis, people to help you with tasks, and more
A variety of strong relationships of different types can create a valuable support network for you. Here are some of the most common relationship types and what they can offer in terms of your mental wellbeing.
4 Relationships Worth Cultivating
Not everyone will have every type of relationship. For some people, certain relationships may not be possible, such as those estranged from family. For others, particular relationships may not be desired, like a romantic relationship for aromantic people.
But at least some of the following relationships are essential to have in your life:
- Romantic Relationships – A relationship with one’s partner is often the most important relationship for many people. In addition to reciprocal love and support, you may also share children, finances, and living spaces with a romantic partner, adding more pressure to this relationship. This makes the romantic relationship one of the most fulfilling, but also one of the most challenging to maintain.
- Friend Relationships – Your friend group may include dozens of people or only a couple close friends. Either way, many friends offer another source of care and companionship outside of romantic or family relationships. They may be people you can confide in or share experiences with. Friends are one of the relationship types that are universal and necessary. With so many different friendships, you may even have a variety of friends that fulfill different roles for you.
- Family Relationships – This includes your relationship with parents, siblings, and extended family. For most, it is the first relationship you experience and is ideally one that provides ongoing guidance, support, and unconditional love throughout our lives. A strong family relationship in childhood and teen years sets you up to build strong relationships in the future. Because of its integral role in our lives, however, challenges in familial relationships can be particularly traumatic.
- Professional Relationships – Professional relationships form between you and your supervisor, employees, coworkers, clients, and business network. These are often the least personal of your relationship, but they can be important, both because they help you grow in your career and because you may spend 40+ hours a week with those individuals.
There are other interpersonal relationships beyond these – acquaintanceships, relationships with animals, and even relationships with enemies – and all of these can add or detract from the fulfillment in your life. But it is the relationships with those people you engage with daily that you will rely on for companionship, love, trust, and support.
Yet many relationships also mean a variety of challenges when a relationship is not as strong as it could be. We offer individual and couples counseling to help you create stronger, more fulfilling relationships of any type. Call us today to learn more.