Stuart Valentine, Chief Executive of Relationships Scotland
Today we have heard the news that the Scottish Government has begun the process that may lead to the introduction of same sex marriage in Scotland, the first part of the UK to make such a move. This week also saw the publication of the UK Government’s ‘Happiness Survey’ which found that people in relationships (married, unmarried, living together, in civil partnerships, etc.) tended to be happier than those who were single, widowed or divorced.
It is clear that the public’s interest in the whole area of relationships is exceptionally high right now.
Relationships matter to people. A lot. And not just their own, but other people’s relationships too. Whilst some people feel the move towards same sex marriage is wrong, there are many others for whom this decision is an affirmation of who they are and an acknowledgment that their love is every bit as valid as anyone else’s.
Relationships make us happy. Whilst clearly this is not always the case, such as in abusive relationships, in general people aspire to having close interpersonal relationships with others and spend significant amounts of time pondering their own relationships and those of others. By trying to define ‘happiness’, I think the UK Government has helped highlight again the incredible role that relationships play in our lives, and the need for us to take care of ourselves and the people with whom we share our lives.
Each year over 20,000 people receive support from services that are part of the Relationships Scotland network. Many of these people will be struggling with problems within their relationship or might be dealing with the fall-out from separation or divorce. Our counsellors, mediators, staff and volunteers have been trained to help people in such circumstances.
Our services are open to everyone, single, married, unmarried, in same sex relationships, or experiencing separation or divorce. I am proud to be part of an organisation that supports all people in Scotland to have strong, loving and respectful relationships.
Who makes you happy? Tell us something good about the people you love!