5 Healthy Relationships Every Man Should Have
Learn about the five types of healthy relationships every man should have to get through life’s hurdles and beyond.
With the demands of today's fast-paced world, most people find themselves left with little time to make, build, and maintain fulfilling and healthy relationships.
According to Sheehan D. Fisher, Ph.D., a relationship expert and psychologist from Northwestern Medicine, "Social support is a very important part of being a human, and therefore when social relationships break down or are damaged, it can have a big impact on our mental health and well-being."
With that in mind, here are five healthy relationships every man should have to help them get through this crazy little thing called life.
1. The Mentor
Maintain healthy relationships with people who have more life experience; they can help when you need to make crucial life decisions. A good mentor figure will give you honest, well-thought advice when you ask for it. They'll call you out on bad choices without flinching because you need to hear it.
Your mentor is always five steps ahead of a potential problem and offers solutions for swift damage control. He won't always be your favorite person because he's committed to telling you things as they are – even when you're trying to avoid the truth. This guiding, tough-love relationship with a mentor is essential for growth and maturity.
2. The Work Buddy
Most men spend at least 40 hours at work every week. That amounts to about a day and a half. Having a work buddy to crack jokes and take breaks with will take the edge off your busiest days on the job. Your work buddy will also have your back when things go south.
If they happen to be your superior, your rapport should make it easier to communicate goals and expectations. They'll set reasonable standards since they already know how good you are at your work. There's less pressure to prove yourself because you know someone who recognizes your savvy is rooting for you.
3. The Gym Buddy
Depending on how much time you devote to physical activity, your gym buddy can be your best friend or worst enemy. If you already have an active lifestyle, this friend is your constant. When pumping iron, they'll spot you. They'll motivate you and get you out of a training funk. They'll coach and push you to be the best version of yourself, in and out of the gym.
If , your buddy will relentlessly ask you to train with them until you finally give in. You have nothing to lose from keeping a relationship like this – except for maybe a few unwanted pounds. Keeping these healthy relationships can help you achieve goals you didn't even know you had.
One way to motivate yourself to stick to your training schedule is to leave your gym bag in the car. Make sure it includes a toiletry bag with all your essentials, like the Dove Men+Care Deodorant Spray Clean Comfort. It helps fight sweat and odor for up to 48 hours, so you can still smell fresh during those post-workout meals with your gym buddy. Plus, it has Dove's signature 1/4 moisturizing cream to protect skin against irritation!
4. The Significant Other
One of the most nurturing relationships a man will ever have in his life is the one he has with his first support system: his family. As he enters adulthood and leaves home, it's only natural to look for that comfort and support elsewhere – like in serious partners and spouses.
Being in a committed relationship lowers the production of cortisol, the hormone your body releases when you're stressed. If you're , chances are you and your partner are more equipped to deal with psychological stress. There is also enough evidence to suggest that couples who live together are happier than those who don’t.
"Knowing someone loves and supports you when you're going throughout your day, even if the person is not physically present, is a mental health booster," says Dr. Fisher. Show your SO a little extra love today by telling them how much you appreciate them.
"It's important to not focus on trying to get everything you need from one relationship," explains Dr. Fisher. "Instead, focus on having a network of social support with a variety of different types of relationships — from romantic, to friendship to associate — to hold up your well-being and quality of life." The relationships you keep are investments you make.
5. The Childhood Friend
They say the first real friends you have are your cousins. Your childhood friend might even be your brother or a neighbor you played basketball with at the park. He’s seen you grow and evolve from that toy-collecting nerd you were to the hot-shot executive you are now. He’s your oldest friend and knows you like the back of your once-adolescent hand.
You never tire of revisiting stories from the past while continuing to make new memories. Your friendship with your longtime buddy has stood the test of time and, like a fine wine, this last type of relationship only gets better with age.
Building healthy relationships helps fill in gaps at any given life stage. The foundation of a successful relationship is built on good communication, mutual respect, and the ability to give and take. Life can get crazy, but you should always make space for the people who mean most to you. It's how everybody stays sane through it all.