The Psychology of Relationships

The psychological study of relationships examines the motivations behind human behaviour. Some argue that we act in certain ways because they are gratifying to us. This theory claims that we seek out positive relationships in order to improve our chances of procreation and survival. Others say that we act based on biological needs. Interpersonal relationships help us procreate and group living improves our chances of survival. Whatever the reasons for our behavior, we do so because we find comfort and security in relationships.

Healthy relationships

The definition of a healthy relationship varies greatly, depending on what the people involved need in the relationship. The following characteristics are shared by healthy relationships: adaptability to change, respect, honesty, and trust. Couples in healthy relationships talk about what’s important to them, and communicate openly about their lives. They also respect one another’s differences and their personal space. Relationships that are healthy are mutually rewarding. Ultimately, the key to healthy relationships is communication.

Codependent relationships

Those in codependent relationships often don’t have a high sense of self, and their relationship revolves around meeting their partner’s needs rather than their own. This type of relationship is particularly damaging to both parties, as the dependent person often lacks confidence and is very needy of approval. They may also be overly controlling and have trouble separating from their partners. However, there are many ways to deal with codependent relationships.


While polygamy has been illegal for decades, Utah recently decriminalized it. This change reflects a recent court decision that downgrades the crime from a felony to a misdemeanor. Despite the legal challenges, polygamists and polyamorists have done much to improve the image of polygamy. The Darger family of Herriman, Utah, recently published a book about their polygamous lifestyle. At the time, polygamy was still a felony and their efforts inspired other families to come out about their lifestyle. After a two-decade lobbying campaign, Utah now decriminalizes polygamy.

Insecurely attached couples

Insecurely attached couples in relationships are unlikely to attract each other, and the best way to prevent this from happening is to be aware of these traits. Anxiety-avoidant couples are typically more self-reliant and do not engage in fantasy bonding. Insecurely attached couples may even be more distant than their anxious-avoidant counterparts. In either case, a healthy relationship should be based on a shared value system, and couples should strive to work through their issues in partnership with a professional.

Ups and downs in every relationship

While ups and downs are common, you must be realistic. No relationship is perfect. Whether you’ve been together for years or only recently, you’ll experience ups and downs. Don’t confuse this with a toxic relationship. For example, if your partner constantly puts you down or mocks your ideas, that’s a sign of a toxic relationship. You must also remember that stress affects different people in different ways. Getting into a relationship when both partners are constantly stressing out about a particular situation can quickly escalate into an angry and frustrated argument.

Variables that influence attraction in long-term relationships

There are many variables that influence love and attraction. Many of these variables are related to the same underlying mechanisms. In many cases, people report that they find their long-term partner attractive when they are passionately in love with them. While intense emotional attraction will not likely persist in long-term relationships, physical intimacy will still be very important. The psychology behind this phenomenon is still being explored. Despite its limitations, it is still possible to learn about how to make your long-term partner more attractive.

Signs of a healthy relationship

One of the first signs of a healthy relationship is mutual affection. True love makes you feel safe and empowering. It is easy to confuse infatuation and passion, but true love is a different kind of love. A healthy relationship allows you to share dreams and hopes. It is based on respect, trust, and care. A healthy relationship allows you to talk about any issues or concerns without making your partner feel resentful.