By A’Davion Bush, Youth Partner

Our personal lives are affected by the quality of relationships we have with our partners, family, and close friends. This is why we often look to other people for relationship advice. This is especially true for younger people who are looking for healthy relationships and advice on modern dating.

Stable relationships with friends, families, and partners can be beneficial and essential for youth, as they can influence physical health, promote self-esteem and a sense of belonging, and assist in the development of problem-solving and social skills. Healthy relationships with your partner and family members can enhance your life and make everyone feel good about themselves. They don’t just happen though; healthy relationships take time to build and need work to keep them healthy. The more positive effort you put into a relationship, the healthier it should be.

Sustaining a  healthy relationship consists of a multitude of things, such as maintaining a meaningful emotional connection with each other, being respectful during disagreements, and communicating openly and honestly. Healthy relationships are founded upon mutual respect, which you can exhibit through positive behaviors such as listening to your partner’s feelings, honoring their boundaries, supporting their passions, and even talking kindly about them to others.

Affection can be part of maintaining and building healthy relationships with people. It can create a sense of harmony in a relationship. Through giving and receiving affection in ways that feel comfortable to us, we understand our own emotional boundaries. 

One of the most important relationships is the one we have with ourselves. It is essential to respect and value ourselves before getting into intimate relationships with other people. When each partner and/or friend has a good sense of personal identity and self-esteem and contributes to the relationship in a balanced way, this will set a foundation to establish strong, healthy relationships with others. A healthy relationship involves an awareness of our own feelings.

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