What is a Healthy Relationship?
Different people define relationships in different ways. But for a relationship to be healthy, it needs a few key ingredients!
Open, honest and safe communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship. The first step to building a relationship is making sure you both understand each other’s needs and expectations—being on the same page is very important. That means you must talk to each other! The following tips can help you and your partner create and maintain a healthy relationship:
- Speak Up. In a healthy relationship, if something is bothering you, it’s best to talk about it instead of holding it in.
- Respect Each Other. Your partner’s wishes and feelings have value, and so do yours. Let your significant other know you are making an effort to keep their ideas in mind. Mutual respect is essential in maintaining healthy relationships.
- Compromise. Disagreements are a natural part of healthy relationships, but it’s important that you find a way to compromise if you disagree on something. Try to solve conflicts in a fair and rational way.
- Be Supportive. Offer reassurance and encouragement to each other. Also, let your partner know when you need their support. Healthy relationships are about building each other up, not putting each other down.
- Respect Each Other’s Privacy. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you have to share everything and constantly be together. Healthy relationships require space. You never have to share your passwords or PIN
Creating boundaries is a good way to keep your relationship healthy
and secure. By setting boundaries together, you can both have a deeper
understanding of the type of relationship that you and your partner want.
Boundaries are not meant to make you feel trapped or like you’re “walking on
eggshells.” Creating boundaries is not a sign of secrecy or distrust — it’s an
expression of what makes you feel comfortable and what you would like or not
like to happen within the relationship.
Remember, healthy boundaries shouldn’t restrict your ability to:
- Go out with your friends without your partner.
- Participate in activities and hobbies you like.
- Not have to share passwords to your email, social media accounts or phone.
- Respect each other’s individual likes and needs.
WHAT DOES A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP LOOK LIKE?
- Having more good times in the relationship than bad
- Having a life outside the relationship, with your friends and activities
- Being prepared to compromise at times
- Dealing with conflicts by talking honestly
- Feeling comfortable and being able to be yourself
- Feeling supported and encouraged by your partner
- Partner is accepting of change
- Accepting each other for who you are
- Being trustworthy
- Mutual respect
WHAT DOES AN UNHEALTHY/ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP LOOK LIKE?
- Focusing all your energy on your partner
- Dropping friend and family or activities you enjoy for
- your partner
- Feeling pressured or controlled a lot
- Having more bad times in the relationship than good
- Feeling sad or scared with your partner
- Being afraid to bring things up/talk to your partner
- Constantly putting you down or name calling
- Hurting you physically
- CONTROLLING BEHAVIOUR
SIGNS OF CONTROLLING BEHAVIOUR
- Demanding your phone/social media passwords
- Constantly texting/messaging asking where you are
- Pressuring you to get serious very quickly or do things you don’t want to do
- Pressuring you to do what they want all the time
- Acting very jealous or bossy
- Threatening to hurt themselves if you break up with them
- Isolating you: not wanting you to hang out with your friends or family
What is consent? Consent is permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Consent is
- Freely Given
You have the right at ANY point leading up to or during sex to change your mind. What if I don’t get consent? STOP and don’t proceed. Respect the person’s decision. Make sure the person is okay. Do not try to convince the person to change their mind….this is NOT consent.
If any sort of sexual activity occurs without consent – it is sexual assault.
HOW TO SUPPORT A FRIEND
- Listen to and believe your friend
- If your friend asks you to keep it a secret, ask them if you can tell a supportive adult who will help. If your friend is worried, ask them why
- Tell your friend that what happened is not their fault
- Support your friend through their difficult time
- Ask your friend what they need from you and how you can best support them
- Offer to go to tell a safe adult with your friend
How To Tell an Adult:
Write a note or text to your parent or another safe adult explaining what’s happening and asking for help. Have a friend or a safe adult accompany you when you go to speak with your parents
Have a safe adult (e.g. Teacher, counsellor, another relative) speak with your parents on your behalf. Practice what you are going to say before approaching your parents or another safe adult. You can make notes about what you want to say. This may help you figure out how to approach and respond to any possible reactions.