Why “Maintaining Healthy Relationships”?

Close relationships matter.

While creating this blog, an article in The Wall Street Journal caught my eye: “Is Your Personality Making You Put on Pounds?” I like working out (and, um, eating), and I like thinking about personality, so I took a look. Most interestingly to me, the article noted that the quality of our relationships has something to do with our physical health. Specifically, reporting on a study published in the academic journal Pediatrics, the WSJ noted, “Toddlers who had low-quality emotional relationships with their mothers are more than twice as likely to be obese at age 15 as those who have closer bonds.”

And that’s just one study. A host of research strongly indicates that the quality of our close relationships influences our physical health, as well as our mental health, our emotional state, and work productivity.

The title of this blog is “Maintaining Healthy Relationships.” But, a few words about that. By “relationships,” I don’t necessarily mean “romantic relationships.” Those are important, but so are our family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. I mean “healthy” in two senses. First, relationships are a bit like our bodies. Some possess more health than others, and without maintenance, even a very healthy relationship may turn sick (or die). But secondly, when we maintain healthy relationships, they bring vitality to other areas of our lives. In both of these senses, the chief purpose of this blog is to explore how we can maintain healthy relationships.

So, what exactly will you find here?

Well, I am a researcher, so you’ll hear about what I’m studying—in fact, unless you see me face-to-face, this blog will be the best and first place to find out about my scholarship. Maintaining relationships through technology is one of my most common research topics.

I’m also a person who cares deeply about his relationships, so you’ll hear my personal opinion as well. My faith, which I believe is a relationship with Jesus Christ, is very important to me, and I plan that some (but not all) posts will investigate what the Bible says about close relationships. You may also see occasional posts on non-relationship topics, such as the nature of academic life.

But whatever the topic, I invite you to discuss and explore with me. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I hope that, together, we can discover how best to maintain healthy relationships!

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