Love & Friendship

Strong healthy relationships—whether romantic, family, or friendship—are vital to our happiness as human beings. These resources will help you learn the skills you need to repair old connections and build meaningful new ones.

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Love & Friendship FAQs

What is sex?
Sex is intimate physical activity between people, whether it’s intercourse, oral stimulation, or another act. Sexual activity can be a fun way to explore desires while building intimacy and trust in a relationship. Research shows that a healthy sex life can come with a variety of benefits, including decreased stress and reduced risk of anxiety and depression. However, to reap these benefits, it’s important for all partners to enjoy the activity, feel safe, and be open about their wants and needs. Taking physical precautions when necessary, such as using condoms and birth control, can also be important to maintaining a healthy and satisfying sex life.
What is oxytocin?
Oxytocin is a powerful hormone linked to social bonding. It is produced in the brain and released when a woman goes into labor, serving to help with childbirth (by stimulating contractions) and breastfeeding. Outside of child care, oxytocin is released by both men and women during various forms of intimate touch, whether that involves sex, cuddling, or platonic hugging. Oxytocin is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone” because it encourages trust and bonding in relationships.
What does being polyamorous mean?
A person who is polyamorous is romantically, emotionally, or sexually intimate with more than one partner. A key aspect of polyamory is that it is consensual, with all partners understanding and agreeing to the arrangement. This style of relationship comes with unique challenges, such as the need to balance time spent between multiple partners, but it can be just as satisfying as monogamy (having one partner). Polyamory should also not be confused with polygamy, which is when a person is married to multiple partners.
What is a platonic relationship?
A platonic relationship is a close emotional bond between two people without sexual or romantic feelings. A person might have this type of connection with someone of the same or different sex. As with any close friendship, a platonic relationship can come with all sorts of health and mood benefits. It can improve your outlook, reduce depression and stress, and enhance your self-esteem. Building a platonic relationship can also help both partners find support, whether it’s in achieving your goals or getting through tough times.
What is intimacy in a relationship?
Intimacy in a relationship is a sense of closeness and emotional connection with another person. You might feel emotional intimacy with friends as you share your hopes, fears, and struggles with each other. You may experience physical intimacy with a partner when you have sex, cuddle, or kiss. One way to boost intimacy in your relationships is to strengthen your emotional intelligence (EQ). EQ is your ability to understand, manage and use your emotions in healthy, productive ways.