Healthy relationships are one of the most important parts of leading a good life. A 2017 study by Harvard University found that people with strong relationships were happier, healthier, and live for longer. This does not just mean romantic relationships – it also includes ties with family and friends.

All positive relationships need the same things: respect, trust, kindness, and good communication. Talking to friends and family about your feelings is vital for your mental health. Our relationships are there to support us through difficulties.

Ups and downs are natural in all relationships. There are times when friends need your help, and times when you don’t get along. Whether your friend has upset you, or you have a disagreement with a romantic partner, it is always worth talking about it honestly – and it often strengthens the relationship.

Relationships also need clear boundaries. You should never feel forced to do something that you don’t want to do. If you feel uncomfortable in any relationship, reach out to someone you trust at school or in your family.

You can read further about friendship and changing relationships in our Connection.

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Has romance killed love? An animated video by the School of Life explains how “romanticism” (an 18th-Century set of ideas about art, literature, and music) has put pressure on relationships, making them much harder. It suggests that love is not an emotion, but a skill to be worked at. Do you agree?


  1. Without looking them up in a dictionary, write definitions for the following words: relationship, respect, consent, love, and trust.
  2. Look up dating traditions from the Victorian times. Find three you find most interesting or unusual.
  3. Write a haiku on what you think makes a good relationship.