Relationships can be a source of great joy and satisfaction in our lives. They enable us to share our ups and downs with someone who understands, comforts, supports, and inspires us. They allow us to reach for the stars and take risks because we know we have a partner to cheer us on.
Positive relationships add meaning and value to our life and can even add years to our lifespan. While relationships are very personal and vary widely, there are some fundamental aspects that all healthy relationships tend to have in common.
A relationship that is respectful requires a level of trust where each person holds the other in high regard. This may be based on specific characteristics, qualities and character traits, or it could be a deeper understanding of the other person, including their values and beliefs. Mutual respect is a cornerstone of all successful relationships and may be reflected in how often one person speaks positively about the other to others or how openly they share their feelings with each other.
A balanced relationship requires an equal amount of giving and receiving in each area of the relationship. This includes affection, time, energy, love, and support. A balanced relationship is also reflected in how well the partners communicate and how often they listen to each other. When one or both of these areas are out of balance, a relationship can become unsustainable. A healthy couple will have a ratio of five positive interactions or feelings to one negative interaction or feeling.