Relationships are close connections people have with other individuals or groups. Sometimes a relationship involves romantic feelings while at other times it is based on friendship or family connections. Relationships are related to the way in which people feel or behave towards one another.
Some relationships are ‘ready-made’, such as those between family members. A child has an in-built relationship with a parent or guardian because they rely on this person to fulfil their personal and physical needs — e.g. food, care, shelter, warmth, protection etc. Other relationships are developed over a period of time, such as romantic connections.
There are many types of relationships that we develop during our lifetime.
Types of Relationships
The first relationships we develop are family bonds which are formed with our parents, siblings and extended family including aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins etc. These relationships have a major impact on us as individuals and they help us develop good social skills such as how to communicate with others, as well as listening skills, cooperation and empathy.
As we grow we begin to develop friendships with people outside the family. Our friends are people we trust and respect. We usually have a lot in common with our friends and we enjoy spending time with them. We may feel closer to some friends than others and will feel comfortable confiding in them and spending time with them.
Romantic relationships develop when we meet someone that we are romantically attracted to and the feelings are reciprocated. We will feel a strong physical and emotional connection to this person and the bond will strengthen as we develop a closer attachment. A successful romantic relationship is built on love, respect, trust and acceptance.
A business relationship is one that we develop on a professional level. It can be a relationship with a client, an employer or employee, a supplier or a business associate. Building trust and loyalty is crucial when fostering good business relationships and these qualities take time to develop. However, business relationships are an investment which can reap rewards in the future.
How Relationships are Formed
The need to connect with others is an intrinsic part of being human. We seem to be born with a desire and ability to form warm, loving relationships with others. As children mature into adults, they tend to rely more and more on their peers for advice and pull away from their parents. This is natural and is a healthy way to develop. Forming friendships is a key skill and is all part of growing up. However, developing long-lasting, healthy relationships with a significant individual does not always come naturally. It takes time and requires care, communication, tact and honesty.