In my morning reading today, two things got my goat. The first was one of those sweetness-and-light sites on the "natural" or "paleo" end of the spectrum. It was linked by someone who is in a facebook group i sometimes read -- not like i had a lot of faith that it was going to tell me anything particularly enlightening, but i frequently skim unpromising articles and am pleasantly surprised occasionally. This time, i was struck by the "headlines" which repeated paleo/primal truisms ... which are not ALWAYS good ideas.
Something that correlates with a positive outcome in the general population can be a big mistake down at the personal level. "Good relationships are vital to your health." To some this might just put a warm healthy glow around their pre-existing tendency to do stuff with their friends and families, and that's fine. IF you have good relationships, cherish them! If "relationships" is a word that makes you shudder a little bit -- and i know people to whom this applies -- fercrissake, don't rush out into the world and try to make friends in the wrong places! I look at that quoted sentence from its flip-side: bad relationships are HAZARDOUS to your health, so if yours are NOT good, DTMFA (as Dan Savage says).
Not-good relationships undermine your self-confidence, ADD to the stress in your life, keep you on emotional tenterhooks, waste precious time, and suck away your joy. SEARCHING for good relationships often does the same damned thing.
A lot of people live very full and happy lives in a solitary mode -- don't let some stupid new-agey website suggest otherwise! Some time ago, i read about a study in which it was found that the most happy group in the US were married men, next were single women, then unmarried men, and most miserable were the married women. Now, society has always tried to convince women that their greatest fulfillment and joy is to be found in the married state, and THAT IS TOTAL BULLSHIT. Ask any intelligent and realistic woman (ignore the ones who are obviously trying to convince themselves...) -- would your life be more peaceful and less stressful without ... uh ... you know....
What's good for "everybody" may not be good for YOU.
Even our best friends seem to bite us in the butt occasionally, and friends don't "have to" put up a pretense of affection, as family members seem to. And family members!!! Some of our deepest and most lasting emotional scars come from those who (society says) "love us most."
The most important relationship is the one we have with ourselves. THAT is the good relationship we need to cultivate! We each have to like and respect ourselves, because if we approach an outside friendship/romance WITHOUT this in place, it's doomed to imbalance and misunderstanding.