Healthy Relationships in February

Healthy relationships are a vital part of a happy, fulfilling life. In addition to its more famous holiday – Valentine’s Day – February is Healthy Relationships Month. 

While Valentine’s Day typically emphasizes romantic relationships, Healthy Relationships Month seeks to understand and celebrate all types of healthy, fulfilling relationships. College campuses across the country observe the month by encouraging students to learn how to build healthy relationships with others and with themselves. 

Human beings are social creatures, and having strong relationships with others is important for our emotional and physical health. Connection with others who support and encourage us promotes our own feelings of well-being and confidence. It can be easy to prioritize other things over people and relationships, but healthy relationships take time and effort. And most people’s happiness hinges on the quality of their relationships more than success, health or wealth. 

Harvard Health Publishing writes that people with strong support systems aren’t just happier emotionally, they may be at lower risk for serious health conditions like cardiovascular disease (February is also American Heart Month). 

People in contentious relationships, whether with spouses, family members or in other areas like work, church or school, may have weakened immune systems. They’re also likely to have higher levels of cortisol, a hormone released during periods of intense stress, which over time can lead to weight gain and other health hazards. 

To have healthy relationships, it’s important to learn what they do and do not look like. Healthy relationships are built on trust and positive communication. You should feel comfortable expressing your feelings and desires. In healthy relationships, people respect one another’s boundaries and encourage each other to enjoy their own hobbies and interests. 

Unhealthy relationships are marked by poor communication and a lack of respect. If one person is especially controlling or unsupportive, it is not healthy and may even be abusive. 

For more information on how to identify what makes a relationship healthy or unhealthy and tips on how to improve your own relationships, visit the National Institutes of Health or
If you are in an unsafe relationship and need help, contact us or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233).