What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect and open communication between partners and they take effort and compromise from both people. There is no imbalance of power. Partners respect each other’s independence, can make their own decisions without fear of retribution or retaliation, and share decisions. If or when a relationship ends, there is no stalking or refusal to let the other partner go.
- Respect for privacy and space. You don’t have to be with your partner 24/7.
- Your partner encourages you to spend time with friends without them, and to participate in activities that you enjoy.
- You feel comfortable expressing your opinions and concerns to your partner.
- Your feel physically safe and your partner doesn’t force you to have sex or to do things that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Your partner respects your wishes and feelings and you can compromise and negotiate when there are disagreements or conflicts.
- Boundaries: You and your partner are able to find ways to meet each other’s’ needs in ways that you both feel comfortable with.
- Communication: You and your partner can share your feelings, even when you don’t agree, in a way that makes the other person feel safe, heard, and not judged.
- Trust: Building trust can take time and allows couples to be vulnerable with one another knowing that they can rely on the other person.
- Consent: Most commonly used when you’re being sexually active, giving consent means that you are okay with what is happening, and that no one is daf forcing you or guilting you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Consent can be given and taken back at any time, and giving consent once does not mean you automatically give consent in the future.
Please keep in mind that in some abusive relationships, trying to enforce boundaries, honest communication, trust, and other healthy behaviors could put your safety at risk. Remember, abuse is about power and control and someone who is abusive might not want to give up their control over you.
Be careful. If you feel like someone is disrespecting you or is being abusive, check out the “Get Help” section. You’re not alone.
Having boundaries is like drawing a line. One side has the things you are okay with and the other side, those that you are not okay with, don’t feel ready for, or make you uncomfortable. This line looks different for everyone, so it is important for you to know where yours needs to be drawn. Setting boundaries is a way to teach your partner about your needs, and let you know when something doesn’t feel right. You are allowed to put your needs before someone else’s needs, especially if their needs make you uncomfortable.
Physical: Are you okay with public displays of affection? Does affection make you uncomfortable? Do you hate it or love it when your partner tickles you? Do you need a lot of alone time? Learn more about physical boundaries and abuse.
Emotional: Are you able to share what you are feeling right away or do you need some time to think about it? Do you need your partner to be available anytime you have a crisis? When are you ready to say I love you? Learn more about emotional boundaries and abuse.
Sexual: Do you need to get to know your partner a while before engaging in any kind of sexual activity, or are you okay getting physical right away? What sexual activity are you okay with? Learn more about sexual boundaries and abuse.