What is a healthy relationship? 

From dating to "it's complicated", relationships can be…. complex!

 

Here are some values that help relationships stay strong

  • Honesty

  • Respect for each other

  • Shared responsibility

  • Communication

  • Trust

 

Of course, these values are not candy that people get at the store. It takes time to get to know each other and it is important to be humble to learn from our own mistakes. Every relationship we have, even if there is a breakup, shows something about ourselves and is an opportunity to get to know each other better.

 

Ask yourself

  • What are your values?

  • What skills are important in the people you hang up with?

  • What are your weaknesses and strengths?

  • How can you help the people in your environment?

  • How can people in your environment help you?

  • Are you good at asking for help?

  • What are your dreams and what do you envision for your future?

  • Are the people in your life on the same page as you?

 

If you’re worried that your relationship might be unhealthy or abusive, you should go to relationship myths and unhealthy relationships sections.

 

What is an unhealthy relationship? 

Unhealthy and abusive relationships are about someone having power and control over the other person. Unfortunately, many people experience abusive relationships or domestic violence. That includes young people. Each year, 1.5 million high school students in America experience intimate partner violence.

There are some signs that a relationship is unhealthy or abusive. Keep in mind that abuse can either be physical, psychological, or both. There are many ways a person can have power and control over others. 

 

Relationship bill of rights

In my relationships, I have the right to

  1. Be treated with dignity and respect.

  2. Have a partner who encourages and supports me.

  3. Say no and not feel guilty.

  4. Feel safe.

  5. Ask for what I want.

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

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

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

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

  10. Talk about issues and conflicts with people I am in a relationship with.

  11. End a relationship without fear, harassment, or being made to feel guilty. 

 

Relationship myths

We learn about relationships from a lot of different places like social media, family, friends, and tv. But sometimes what we hear are myths and not true.

 

Here are some common myths about relationships

 

MYTH: My partner and I need to have each other's passwords to trust each other.

FACT: Passwords to your social media accounts and email are private, you don’t have to share that information if you don’t want to.

 

MYTH: They paid for the date and I flirted with them, so I owe them sex.

FACT: Nope! You never owe sex to anyone for any reason. And you can change your mind at any point.

 

MYTH: Love means never having to say you are sorry.

FACT: Everyone makes mistakes, so hopefully we will all say sorry at some point. Apologizing and working to do better in the future is an important way to build trust.

 

MYTH: If my partner really loved me, they should be willing to change for me.

FACT: Everyone has the right to be loved and respected for who they are. If your partner wants you to change part of your personality or your life goals to fit them, it could be a sign that the relationship is unhealthy.

 

MYTH: It is normal for my partner to tell me not to be friends with someone or that I should spend all my time with them.

FACT: You have the right to be friends with and talk to whomever you want. Jealousy and possessiveness can be unhealthy. Just because you’re in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean that person owns you and can control everything you do.  

 

MYTH: Constantly calling/texting to see where I am is normal. It means my partner cares.

FACT: Constant checking in can be a sign of a partner who is trying to control you, and a sign of an unhealthy relationship.

 

MYTH: Only men can be abusive.

FACT: Anyone, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation, can do things in a relationship that are unhealthy or abusive.

 

MYTH: Obviously it is not an abusive relationship. If it were abusive, they would want to leave.

FACT: People stay in abusive relationships for a lot of reasons including kids, fear, guilt for being with this person, and not knowing what to do. Staying doesn’t mean the relationship is not abusive or that you are okay with it.

 

MYTH: Abuse happens only in straight relationships.

FACT: LGBTQ+ relationships can be unhealthy or abusive. Anyone experiencing harm in their relationship deserves support and help.

 

MYTH: Women make false rape accusations all the time and men have to pay the price.

FACT: It can be really hard to make an accusation of rape or sexual assault. When someone experiences sexual violence, they might feel like it was their fault or it isn’t a big enough deal to report even if that isn’t true. Very few rape accusations are found to be false after an investigation.

 

MYTH: We are not dating, so it is not abuse.

FACT: You have the right to feel safe in any relationship, even if you are not officially a couple. If they disrespect, control, threaten, harass, stalk, or manipulate you, it is an abusive relationship.