Hi! I’m Udara, and I’m passionate about helping people have stronger, healthier, and more fulfilling relationships, at scale.

Relationships are a foundational unit of society. The National Survey of Family Growth indicates that about half of all Americans over the age of 18 are married, with another 7% cohabiting.

Close relationships are good for our well-being. Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, says “The clearest message that we get from this 75-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.” Some findings from the study are:

  • People who are more socially connected to family, to friends, to community, are happier, physically healthier, and they live longer than people who are less well connected.
  • It’s quality and not the quantity of your close connections that matter — the people who were the most satisfied in their relationships at age 50 were the physically healthiest at age 80.
  • Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains. People in a securely attached relationship at age 80 had memories that stayed sharper for longer

Good relationships are also good for our children’s well-being. Children whose parents are divorced scored significantly lower on measures of academic achievement, conduct, psychological adjustment, and social development versus a control group. Studies also indicate that such children have a higher incidence of psychological disorders, drug and alcohol use, and high-risk sexual behavior.

Yet many of us suffer from loneliness A 2018 study by Cigna revealed that at least two in five surveyed sometimes or always feel as though they lack companionship (43%), that their relationships are not meaningful (43%), that they are isolated from others (43%), and/or that they are no longer close to anyone (39%).

And relationship breakdown rates are high. For women aged 15-44 entering their first marriage between between 2011-2015, the National Survey of Family Growth estimates a 45% chance that the marriage would be disrupted (ended in separation, divorce, or death) within 15 years.

Creating and maintaining healthy relationships involves a set of learnable frameworks, skills, and practices. These include relational self-awareness, emotional regulation, developing healthy attachment patterns, cultivating empathy and compassion, creating a space of psychological safety, and effective communication and conflict management.

We are not explicitly trained in these skills. We are not taught these skills in our schooling. Many of us have no relational role models or mentors. Media gives us idealistic and unhelpful narratives.

We seek help when it’s too late. According to a 1991 study, approximately a quarter of couples who receive marriage therapy report that their relationship is worse two years after ending therapy, and up to 38 percent of couples who receive marriage therapy get divorced within four years of completing therapy.

Cultivating knowledge about relationship frameworks, skills, and practices before we face relational problems will help us create and maintain healthy relationships, increasing our overall well-being and the well-being of those around us.