What is Healthy?

There are so many different kinds of relationships in our lives. From dating to friends, to "it's complicated", relationships can seem a little overwhelming. Even your family counts as relationship. So, what does a healthy relationship look like? Your relationship is unique to you and your partner and no one can tell you what your relationship should look like. But, if you are in an unhealthy relationship, there are some things to look out for:

1.  Does your partner respect your boundaries and individuality?

2.  Do you have time in your relationship to focus on what makes you feel happy, safe, and appreciated?

3.  Are you able to express your feelings and desires to your partner without fear of consequences?

4.  Does your partner give you time and space to maintain friendships and family ties?

5.  Does your partner show interest in and encourage you to pursue your interests and hobbies?

Healthy Relationships Value:

  • Non-Violence: violence is never acceptable in a relationship

  • Respect: valuing opinions, listening non-judgementally

  • Trust and Support: respecting your rights to friends and family, and supporting your life goals

  • Honesty and Accountability: open and honest communication, admitting when you are wrong

  • Negotiation and Fairness: being willing to compromise, accepting change, finding a solution to fights that is fair

  • Shared Responsibility: mutually agreeing on shared work, making family decisions together

  • Economic Partnership: making money decisions together, making sure both partners benefit

  • Responsible Parenting: sharing parenting responsibilities, being a positive and non-violent role-model for children

6.  Are you able to tell your partner when you are uncomfortable with their behavior, words or attitudes and are they receptive to this?

7.  Can you and your partner fight fairly?

8.  Does your partner respect your wishes when you do not want to engage in sexual activity?

 

Although answering "no" to any of these questions may not mean that your relationship is abusive or toxic, it may be a sign that your relationship is not completely healthy and could use a checkup. However, if you answered no to several of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

A Relationship Bill of Rights

In my relationships, I have the right to:

  1. Be treated with dignity and respect.

  2. Say no and not feel guilty.

  3. Feel safe.

  4. Ask for what I want.

  5. Leave conversations with people who make me feel put down or humiliated.

  6. Not be responsible for other people's behavior, actions, feelings, or problems.

  7. Set boundaries about sex, privacy, and emotional needs.

  8. Make decisions based on my feelings, my judgments, or any reason that I choose.

  9. Be angry at someone I love.

  10. End a relationship.

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