Many people will tell you that being in a relationship will make a good life better, but it won’t make a bad life good. While everyone is different, that sentiment can apply to most people in their lives and most romantic relationships. While being in a relationship won’t necessarily pull your mental health out of a bad place, it can give you a bit of a boost, especially if you’re already satisfied in life. Just like friendships and family relationships, romantic relationships offer support and companionship that can improve your life.
While it’s unhealthy to rely on someone else for your mental health, there’s something to be said for leaning on others and allowing those who love you to influence you in a positive way, and that’s exactly how relationships can boost your mental health. So, if you’re in a healthy relationship, here are a few things you can appreciate that you may not have even thought about before.
Humans are social beings, but not all people like to be around others and be “on” all the time, and that’s understandable. Some people are introverts. But that’s the beauty of a relationship — you can be yourself around your significant other, to the point where it doesn’t exactly feel like social interaction, simply companionship. When you spend time with someone you love, it can reasonably make you happier.
2. Support in tough times
Your partner obviously isn’t just around to offer support when the chips are down, but it’s definitely part of the package. People have different challenges in their lives, and offering your strengths to help one another get through tough situations can make life less stressful for the both of you — both on a practical level, and simply by offering the knowledge that you’re not alone in whatever you’re going through.
3. Feeling understood
While you can’t choose your family, you can choose your friends and your romantic partners. And one of the benefits of being with someone you chose is the opportunity to truly understand one another. When you’re in a relationship, you know what makes your partner tick, what makes them laugh and how they think about the world. And they know those things about you. Loneliness is a large reason why many people feel sad, and in a healthy relationship, these things can help you feel the opposite of loneliness.
4. Making the good times better
While relationships can offer significant support when it comes to tough times, they can also offer a mental health boost during the good times. For those who enjoy being around others or feel energized by spending time with loved ones, being with a partner when things are going well can offer continued encouragement and happiness. While it isn’t the key to life, it can definitely offer a bit of a boost.
5. Navigating the world together
Like mentioned before, loneliness can often bog down mental health, and one benefit of a relationship is that you have someone to navigate the world with. While a romantic partner isn’t the only way to have someone to share important moments and life paths with, it’s a common one. Having someone by your side as you take new steps and learn new things can make the world much less stressful, and it can make things more exciting when you have someone you love to share things with.
6. Learning communication skills
Both in a romantic relationship and in all other relationships in life, communication is important. And when you’re in a relationship with someone — especially a healthy and proactive one — you tend to practice positive communication habits regularly. By being a better communicator, you not only learn how to interact with your partner, but you also learn to have an easier time with others around you and even yourself. You can understand people better and communicate your needs better, and that can help you get those needs met.
7. Caring for someone you love
When you love someone — especially someone you see and interact with often like a romantic partner — you tend to do things for one another and care for each other in ways that work best with your relationship. And when it comes to your mental health, showing kindness and doing things for others can actually make you happier overall. When you help others, you get a warm fuzzy feeling that’s actually proven to make you happy. Additionally, you bring joy to your partner, and your relationship continues to bring joy to the both of you.
Relationships can boost your mental health
While simply being in a relationship won’t fix what’s broken, a heathy relationship can serve as a supportive environment to grow and be happy together. By being there for one another through the good times as well as the bad, offering companionship, navigating the world side by side and caring for each other as best as you can, you can experience mental health boosts from your relationship, and that’s just another thing you can appreciate about the person you love.
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