Mental Health and Relationships


Relationships are the connections that people share with each other. They can be personal, professional, or familial and they can involve romantic feelings, trust, commitment, honesty, and intimacy. Relationships are often seen as an important part of a person’s life and research shows that they can improve mental health.

A healthy relationship is one where both partners make an effort to understand each other, respect each other’s views and opinions, and work collaboratively as a team rather than as two self-serving individuals. It also involves mutually agreeing on values and principles to guide the relationship, including how to solve problems.

The term “relationship” can mean different things depending on your culture and beliefs. In the United States, we often think of a romantic relationship as a long-term commitment that includes emotional support, shared finances, and physical intimacy. However, many people also use the word to describe a connection with a close friend that may or may not include sex or other forms of physical intimacy.

Other cultures define relationships in more formal ways, such as a marriage or civil union. These can be a form of committed relationship that provides stability, structure, and legal benefits. Other types of relationships can be cohabitation, a platonic friendship, or an informal “going steady” arrangement. These types of relationships may not offer the stability or benefits of a committed relationship, but they can still provide emotional support and companionship. People who are happy in their relationships can feel more confident and self-assured, which can help them take risks and pursue their dreams.