For some, the prospect of being in a relationship feels like a breath of fresh air. It can cut down on the constant stress of trying to figure out how to meet someone and whether you click, 1st dates that feel like interviews, etc. It can also help people be more adventurous and willing to try things they might not have done because they know they have a partner to go with them.
A relationship can mean different things to different people, but in most cases, a healthy and happy one means you and your partner have an emotional connection with each other, share some of the same values, care about each other, and want what is best for the other. A balanced relationship also includes a healthy amount of giving and taking, with each person still maintaining their own identity.
Intimacy often translates to sex, but it can be more than that. It can also mean sharing time and activities together, kissing, hugging, cuddling, and having deep conversations. It can even include sleeping together. However, sex isn’t necessary for a healthy relationship. Many healthy relationships do not involve it at all.
The benefits of a relationship are numerous and have been proven by research. These benefits can be romantic or non-romantic, and are not limited to marriages or civil unions (which have different rules and don’t provide federal protections). In fact, some research shows that people who have strong social connections live longer than those who don’t.