Why are healthy relationships important?

Relationships are the bedrock of our lives. They shape our experiences and emotions and are crucial to our overall wellbeing.

Healthy relationships play a crucial role in shaping our well-being, personal development, and overall quality of life.

Here are some of the key reasons why relationships with others matter:

Emotional Support

Relationships provide emotional support during challenging times. When we face difficulties, having someone to confide in, lean on, and receive empathy from can be invaluable for our mental and emotional health.

Social Connection

Humans are social beings. We have a natural need for social interaction and connection. Healthy relationships fulfil this need, reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Sense of Belonging

Being a part of a social network, whether it's a family, group of friends, or a community, gives us a sense of belonging and identity. It helps us understand our place in the world and provides a source of meaning and purpose.

Personal Growth

Interacting with others exposes us to different perspectives, experiences, and ideas. This diversity in relationships can lead to personal growth and a broader understanding of the world.

Mutual Learning

In relationships, we learn from others and teach them in return. This mutual exchange of knowledge and experience enriches our lives and helps us develop as individuals.

Stress Reduction

Healthy relationships can act as a buffer against stress. Knowing that there are people who support and care for us can make life's challenges more manageable.

Happiness and Well-Being

Healthy relationships are strongly correlated with happiness and overall well-being. People in supportive and fulfilling relationships tend to report higher life satisfaction.

Conflict Resolution

Relationships provide an opportunity to learn conflict resolution and communication skills. Learning how to navigate disagreements and maintain healthy connections is a valuable life skill.

Shared Experiences

Shared experiences, such as celebrations, milestones, and adventures, are more meaningful when enjoyed with others. Relationships add depth and joy to life's memorable moments.

Health Benefits

Positive relationships are associated with better physical and mental health. They can lead to lower stress levels, improved immune function, and increased longevity.

Love and Intimact

Romantic and familial relationships offer opportunities for love, intimacy, and companionship. These bonds can bring deep emotional fulfilment and a sense of purpose.

Sense of Security

Strong relationships provide a sense of security and stability. Knowing that you can rely on others when needed can reduce anxiety and increase feelings of safety.

Network and Opportunities

Our relationships can open doors to new opportunities, whether they're personal or professional. A strong network can help us advance in our careers and pursue personal interests.

Accountability and Motivation

In close relationships, we often hold each other accountable for goals and commitments. This accountability can be a motivating force for personal growth and achievement.


Legacy and Connection to the Future

Relationships with family and close friends often provide a sense of continuity and connection to the future. The bonds we form can extend beyond our lifetimes through the influence we have on those around us.

Now we can see how our relationships with others are central to our well-being and personal growth. They provide emotional support, social connection, and a sense of belonging, and they contribute to our happiness and overall quality of life. Cultivating and maintaining healthy, positive relationships is a fundamental aspect of human existence.

When our relationships are strained, it can lead to a cascade of negative effects. Resentments fester, and communication breaks down, creating stress that seeps into all other aspects of our lives. The consequences of unresolved relationship issues are far-reaching. They can affect our self-esteem, self-worth, and even our physical health. 

So, what can we do to improve strained and challenging relationships?

One of the most important relationships we have is the relationship we have with ourselves. The relationship we have with ourselves serves as the foundation for all our other relationships. The better the relationship we have with ourselves, the healthier our relationships are with others and vice versa. 

The relationship we have with ourselves strongly influences our self-esteem, self-worth, and overall emotional well-being. When we have a healthy and positive relationship with ourselves, we are more likely to engage in healthier and more fulfilling relationships with others.

If we have an unhealthy relationship with ourselves, we struggle to recognise our own self-worth.

This leads to feelings of insecurity that cause us to doubt and criticise ourselves, making it difficult to form and maintain healthy connections with others:

The key, therefore, in improving strained and challenging relationships is to improve our relationship with ourselves first and foremost. When we understand our own emotions, needs and boundaries, we are better equipped to communicate these. They are fundamental tools for building understanding, trust, and mutual respect and essential components for conflict resolution. Clear communication helps prevent misunderstandings and enables both parties to work together. 

While improving our relationship with ourselves is a key component of improving strained and challenging relationships, it’s important to acknowledge that relationships involve two or more people. Both parties play a role in the dynamics, and sometimes, the other person(s) may also need to work on their own relationship with themselves. While they may not choose to do so, we need to remember that improving our relationship with ourselves not only makes us to feel better, but also changes the dynamics of the relationship we are struggling with for the better.

What can we do if a relationship is close to breaking point or has already broken down?

Improving our relationship with ourselves remains critically important, even when a relationship with someone else is breaking down or has already broken down.

There are many reasons for this:


Strengthening our relationship with ourselves provides a foundation of emotional resilience. When facing the challenges of a failing or ended relationship, our self-esteem, self-compassion, and self-care can help us cope with the emotional upheaval and stress.


A healthy relationship with ourselves improves our independence and self-sufficiency. This self-reliance is crucial during relationship breakdowns because it ensures we can take care of ourselves and make decisions independently.


Relationship difficulties can be an opportunity for self-discovery. By improving our relationship with ourselves, we can gain a better understanding of our own values, needs, and aspirations.

Emotional Healing

Focusing on ourselves can facilitate emotional healing. It allows us to process grief, anger, and other emotions that often accompany relationship breakdowns. By nurturing self-compassion, we can provide ourselves with the emotional support needed to heal.

Reduced Co-Dependency

Building a strong relationship with ourselves helps prevent or break the cycle of co-dependency, where our emotional well-being is too dependent on others. This reduces the risk of repeating unhealthy relationship patterns.


Better Decision Making

Clarity in our relationship with ourselves enables us to make more rational, clear-headed decisions regarding the failing relationship. We're less likely to act out of desperation or fear.

Healthy Boundaries

A positive relationship with ourselves empowers us to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. This is crucial both within a broken relationship (for managing the process of separation) and for future relationships.

Preparation for Future Relationships

When we have a healthy relationship with ourselves, we're more likely to attract and engage in healthier future relationships. We've learned from past experiences and can make choices that align with our own values and needs.

Personal Growth

Shared experiences, such as celebrations, milestones, and adventures, are more meaningful when enjoyed with others. Relationships add depth and joy to life's memorable moments.

Reduced Vulnerability

A strong relationship with ourselves can reduce our vulnerability to emotional manipulation and toxic relationships, helping us make choices that prioritise our well-being.

Positive Impact on Others

Improving our relationship with ourselves positively influences the way you relate to others. As we become more self-compassionate and confident, we're likely to engage in healthier, more empathetic interactions.

Modelling Healthy Behaviour

If we have children or close friends who look up to us, improving our relationship with ourselves can serve as a model for healthy self-care and personal growth.

A healthy relationship with ourselves serves as a source of strength and resilience during challenging times like relationship breakdowns. It empowers us to navigate these difficulties with greater wisdom, self-awareness, and emotional stability. Ultimately, investing in ourselves is a lifelong endeavour that not only benefits us but also positively impacts our interactions with others and the quality of our relationships in the future.

How can New Dawn Psychology help?

New Dawn Psychology’s psycho-educational programme is designed to support you to improve your relationship with yourself. By improving your self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance, you will connect and communicate with those around you with newfound clarity and integrity and be able to navigate conflicts and challenges in a more constructive way.

Dr Dawn is a highly skilled and empathetic psychologist with years of experience in helping individuals navigate relationship issues. Her programme is designed to provide you with insights into the underlying dynamics of your challenges and equip you with the tools needed to overcome them.

Dawn’s approach is rooted in sensitivity and skilful communication. She understands that each relationship is unique and complex, and her guidance is tailored to address your specific needs. Whether you’re dealing with communication breakdowns, separation, or divorce, Dawn will empower you to make informed decisions that improve the way you move forward in your life, all while upholding your integrity.

Here's a glimpse of what you can expect: