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10 Reasons Why Being In A Relationship Makes Your Life Better And Healthier

10 Reasons Why Being In A Relationship Makes Your Life Better And Healthier

Dating can be fun sometimes‒meeting new people, going out to new places, feeling the excitement of a potential new relationship. But be honest‒do you really enjoy it? Do you like the stress of figuring out where to go, how to dress, and what to talk about? Do you have fun while you’re struggling to make it through dinner without climbing out the bathroom window? Do you laugh while waiting for the second date call?

Exactly. It’s just not fun after a certain point. But don’t feel like you’re settling down when you find that special someone. Relationships don’t have to be boring! In fact, being in a relationship makes your life better and healthier! Here’s why.

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1. You act less selfishly.

How many times have you been too tired to cook dinner for yourself? I’m raising my hand. But knowing my sweetie also had a long day lights a fire inside of me, and I’m willing to go above and beyond just to make him feel good. Being in a relationship makes you think about someone other than yourself‒which isn’t limited to just your partner! Considering the feelings of one person in particular leads you to think about the feelings of others in general‒which is a benefit for you and everyone around you!

2. Your stress levels are lowered.

Having your partner by your side means you have someone to carry some of the weight of your life. If you’re having a busy day, your partner can help you out with the chores when you get home. If something’s weighing on your mind, you have someone to talk with. Don’t forget about how stressful it is to go to a party or a bar and feel like you have to catch someone’s eye. You have your partner by your side or waiting for you at home. There’s no pressure to meet someone and impress them. In fact, being in a committed relationship has been shown to hinder the production of a stress hormone called cortisol!

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3. Your risk of depression is reduced.

One of the major starting points of depression is feeling alone. When you’re with your sweetie, you’re not alone! Just knowing you have someone there for you makes you feel happier. You have someone to talk to, someone to cuddle with, someone for the good times and the bad.

4. You feel happier.

Common sense, right? There’s less stress, less depression, of course, you’re happier! There are even scientific studies that show married people being happier and living longer than their unmarried peers. That doesn’t mean you need to go tie the knot today, and it doesn’t mean that being single is a crime, but from a health standpoint, it just makes sense.

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5. You feel invincible.

OK, not really. But you’ll certainly feel like it. You know that all-over good feeling you get when you’re happy in a relationship? That’s your body releasing the love hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin not only makes you feel good; it also boosts your immune system so you’re less likely to get sick, and your wounds heal faster. Love might not actually be a drug, but it certainly can feel like the best one!

6. You feel like someone gets you.

How many times have you and your partner said the same thing at the same moment, gotten each other the perfect gift without a wish list, or exclaimed “That’s exactly what I was thinking!” It’s fun, right? And more than fun, it means they can tell when you’re happy or sad, and act accordingly to help you blow off some steam and feel better. Having someone who knows you deeply is an amazing feeling.

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7. You learn about yourself.

It seems like being in a relationship means you’ll learn about your partner, right? And you will. But in that time, you’ll also learn a lot about yourself. You’ll see how you act with someone else, or how considerate you are. You might learn about some hidden good things, and they might make you a better person and turn your life around. But you’re definitely going to learn bad things. Thankfully, these too can make you a better person and help you turn your life around. Every bad quality you have is going to come out in a relationship, but once you learn about it, you can address it and remedy the issue. Knowing yourself makes you a better person‒and a better person to be in a relationship with.

8. Your world is expanded.

Being in a relationship means you get to hear about your partner’s interests. You’ll be exposed to new authors, musicians, and movies‒and you’ll already know they’re good! You get to meet new friends to talk and hang out with, and you’ll meet his family and hopefully become close with them (or at least realize yours isn’t that bad!).

9. You learn to compromise.

In a relationship, you have to share. You share living space, dinner plans, and nights out with friends. You split holidays with families. You learn how to give a little and how to get a little. This makes you a better person because you’re showing your love, you’re showing your flexibility, and you’re showing that you care enough to work together. A bonus is that this talent will come in handy in other areas of your life‒especially in your career!

10. You can stay healthy together.

Sure, all of these tips make you see how your life is better and healthier with a partner. But what about actually getting healthier with your partner? You have someone to join a gym with, to go on runs around the neighborhood with, or to inspire you to work out in the living room. Having a partner can be the best motivation for a workout.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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