There are many risks that people are apprehensive about when it comes to entering relationships including abuse, embarrassment and the waste of time and resources - but while taking your chances on someone may be scary, the right kind of relationship can be very rewarding health-wise! Getting into a healthy relationship is only possible when you're both prepared and ready to support each other without neglecting yourselves as a priority. As relationships are naturally a give-and-take experience, when done right, they can be magically beneficial for everyone involved! Here's how the right type of relationship can enhance your health (a lot of these points are applicable to good friendships too!):
- having someone that values what you say and how you feel is very emotionally freeing. A strong emotional support system can do wonders for your mind. Someone that actively goes out of their way to share your problems and prolong your happiness is a great form of stress and anxiety relief, this can also be very therapeutic for sufferers of depression!
- kissing, hugging and other forms of physical intimacy increase levels of oxytocin! Not only does this give you butterflies in your tummy and makes you feel closer to you partner, it reduces your blood pressure, likelihood of developing heart disease (high blood pressure and heart disease are no strangers to African-Caribbean communities), stress and can contribute to a longer life span!
- external affirmations are reassuring! Having a partner that encourages you, compliments you and supports you is very likely to increase your levels of confidence. The words spoken by our loved ones are easily internalised due to the value that we place on them. High confidence levels normally contribute to higher academic/career/social trajectories.
- sharing responsibilities relieves stress! Whether it's splitting a bill, completing a task together or overcoming a common obstacle, knowing that you are able to depend on someone whilst sharing an experience with them can make the situation easier to solve and in turn, reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. It also means that you have someone that understands exactly what your circumstance feels like.
- reduction of loneliness. Many mental health problems thrive in isolation. Having a romantic partner generally reduces the likelihood of prolonged periods of isolation due to the unique dedication that they have to your companionship.
The health benefits of good relationships are plentiful and over long periods of time can manifest in higher earnings, better life quality and longer life-spans (these factors are currently mostly evident in men that are in relationships with women). However, this is only relevant to safe and mutually respectful relationships. Toxic relationships can have extremely negative health and life implications. When partnering up, make sure that you are doing so in your best interest!