Relationships For Dummies
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In a healthy relationship, the overall quality of your life improves. You grow as a person because your partner in the relationship gives you the support you need to take more risks and face more challenges.

A healthy relationship helps you feel good about yourself, other people, and your life. It allows you the freedom to relax, to be yourself, and to reach out to others in friendship. It emphasizes the positive and joie de vivre, bringing sunshine into your world and radiating it to those around you.

A classic psychology experiment was conducted ages ago by Dr. Harry Harlow. He separated monkeys from their natural mothers at birth, and compared their behaviors. When he gave them a warm, soft, stuffed-animal-of-sorts surrogate mother, the monkeys took time from clinging to her to explore various items placed in the cage. When they didn’t have that mother surrogate, they anxiously rocked back and forth in the corner instead.

While you may feel sad thinking about those monkeys, the “Love In Infant Monkeys” study was vitally important because it said a lot: When people feel loved and supported, they’re able to venture out into the world and take risks, always returning to that love and support for more. As people repeat this pattern, they gain confidence, wisdom, and maturity. And they enjoy living so much more.

No relationship is ever perfect. But in a healthy relationship, both partners weather life stresses together as a team, and the fun times outnumber the bad overall.

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Dr. Kate Wachs is America's only Psychologist-Matchmaker. She runs The Relationship Center™ in Chicago, the only full-service introduction and counseling center of its kind. She has helped millions of people through matchmaking, counseling, and her media appearances.

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