Understanding Healthy Relationships
What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like?
Isn't it funny how easy it seems to spot something going wrong in someone else's relationship? So, what does a healthy relationship look like, anyway? Here are some good ways to tell...
- Mutual Respect - When two people are in a relationship, there is mutual respect for each person as an individual.
- Trust & Honesty - Do we know the other person, and who they are? Can we count on their promises?
- Support - A supportive partner is there to provide support when bad things happen and to celebrate with you when things are going right.
- Fairness/equality - There should be a balance of give and take. Healthy relationships shouldn't be a power struggle.
- Separate identities -Both people should feel equally empowered to pursue their own interests, friends, and dreams.
- Good communication - Communication is critical to the other ingredients mentioned above. It is how we show our honesty, our respect, our trust.
A relationship is unhealthy when it involves disrespectful, controlling, or abusive behavior. Someone who exhibits those qualities may need professional help before he/she is ready for a relationship.
Ask yourself, does my partner:
- get angry when I don't drop everything for him or her?
- criticize the way I look or dress?
- keep me from seeing friends or from talking to others?
- want me to quit an activity, even though I love it?
- ever raise a hand when angry?
- try to force me to go further sexually than I want to?
If your partner is using these or other tactics to control you, make you feel bad about yourself, isolate you, or harm you physically or sexually, then it may be time to end the relationship.
The Women's Resource Center (WRC) offers help - free and confidential counseling for students, faculty, and staff who feel they may be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship. If you think you may be in an abusive relationship, contact us at (205) 348-5040. Please note that to protect your confidentiality, we ask that you call or come by in person. E-mail and other web interfaces are not recommended as secure methods of communication.
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