by Stevi Dinizio
An age-old idea says being in relationship with another person gives you purpose and meaning – and honestly, although it may appear cliché, a relationship really can do just that. Committed relationships can find the couple more positive than others. However, those same relationships can cause a deluge of unnecessary negativity for both parties involved. Either way, whether you are introverted or extroverted, when you have a close relationship with someone your overall health will be affected.
Your physical health can be damaged or made stronger when you are in a relationship. For many, it seems weight gain is the normal progression for couples in the first year or so of marriage, but at the same time, having a life partner can keep you motivated and accountable to fitness and diet. And because a good relationship gives you purpose, you often feel it is necessary to take steps to protect yourself from disease and illness.
Emotionally, relationships can leave you contented or distraught, similar to the physical pros and cons stated above. Hugs and holding hands can lower your stress, especially for women. However, small disagreements and seemingly insignificant daily friction can cause stress to go up without us even realizing it. Of course, within any kind of relationship with unresolved problems, anxiety and depression can find their stronghold. But positive, long-term relationships can ease these issues for those who are prone to them, as closeness with a person gives you feelings of security and being cared for.
Naturally, your social health skyrockets in a good relationship. When you know you are loved and listened to, your self-confidence goes up and your ability to return the feelings strengthens. This can lead to the “settling down” that seems to come with marriage, because you feel most comfortable and at peace with the one you are married to. On the other hand, you may also feel more at ease in social situations because you have the steady support of another person. Now you feel you can try to connect with others but you can fall back on a significant other when you are disappointed. As in physical and emotional health, there are less than positive effects in our social lives when we are stressed or anxious in a relationship. These can cause you to withdraw from social life and become isolated, which can lead to depression.
The way a close relationship affects your health is completely up to you. Choosing to be in a relationship can build you up, shut you down or just leave you feeling confused. Either way, experiencing the intimacy of relationship can improve your overall health and leave you satisfied in everyday life.