The earliest relationship is that of a parent-child. This bond influences how an individual establishes a relationship with peers, friends, teachers, co-workers, and partners. Hence, a good early parent-child relationship can reflect the quality of future relationships one will establish with other people outside the family.
A healthy relationship is the quality of a person’s connection that is characterized by respect, understanding, trust, support, and love, whether platonic or romantic. This kind of relationship is vital to a long and healthy life.
Relationships are an important part of healthy living. They can enrich and add enjoyment to one’s life. A person hasmany needs that only healthy relationships can fulfill. These include:
- Equality and reciprocity. Partners are able to give and receive love and affection freely. At the same time, both share decisions and responsibilities fairly and equally.
- Physical Safety. Partners feel physically safe in the relationship and are aware and respectful of each other’s boundaries.
- Support. Aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, partners are able to affirm and support one another.
- Communication. Partners share their dreams, fears, and concerns with each other. They share important information with one another and each one has a sense of being heard and known by the other person. There is no fear of consequences in expressing oneself.
Healthy relationships can also help a person cope with personal trials and challenges such as:
- Preparing for Old Age and Death. To grow old and die are two inevitable realities of life. We need to accept and cope with these realities, even if they are inevitable. When they occur, we need the support of family and friends. We need to forge meaningful and healthy ties that last a lifetime.Healthy relationships help us cope with aging and death. The process of growing old becomes a rewarding experience when one is surrounded by people who love and care for you. Grieving or mourning can be alleviated when one is surrounded by people who emphasize with you.Hence, coping with aging and death rests on who you are and what kind of relationships you have built through the years. The quality of relationships will serve as an armor to weather any storm.
- Dealing with Loss and other Pitfalls in Life. Losing a friend, a family member, or even a pet, can be devastating, and coping with pain can be difficult. For some people who have poor mental health, this could be easily led to depression, but it does not mean that people who are emotionally stable will not feel the same. One should realize that there are several stages to deal with before one reach equilibrium and cope with setbacks. There are five stages in dealing with loss:
- The first stage is denial. A person pretends not to feel a setback even if faced with reality.
- The second stage involves feelings of anger. When people realize their loss, they tend to blame and get angry at others.
- After feeling angry about a loss, the individual passes through a stage of bargaining by reasoning or rationalizing and making promises to God.
- The fourth stage is depression. It involves feeling sorry for oneself and losing control over a situation. Depression can lead ultimately to feelings of weaknesses, despair, or hopelessness.
- Finally, when a person realizes that everything happens for a reason and stops blaming himself or others, acceptance is achieved. He acknowledges some benefits in all that happened to finally get over feelings of depressions.