In a healthy relationship, both people feel good about the relationship most of the time. Although no relationship is perfect, there are many things we can do to build healthy relationships. They should be supportive, loving, fun and include:
- Healthy Communication. Both partners should feel they can speak up and express their needs and wants openly. It’s important to discuss things that each other like and don’t like. Partners should express thoughts and feelings in a respectful way.
- Respect. Respecting a partner’s likes, beliefs, opinions, values and cultural background is important. Partners may not like everything the other does, but should still act with respect and respect their differences.
- Trust. Trusting a partner to remain true to words and intentions is important. The absence of trust may indicate a larger problem.
At times, unhealthy relationships may be hard to recognize and harmful behaviors may not seem unusual. The following behaviors are warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. These, and more can be found on our Teen Dating Violence page.
- Feeling unhappy in the relationship
- Dressing different than usual
- Depressed or anxious behavior
- Unexplained marks or bruises
- Acting jealous or possessive of their partner
- Monitoring where a partner goes and who they hang out with
- Forbidding activities that the partner likes to do
- No longer participating in activities or other interests
- Ending time spent with family and friends
- Constantly texting or calling their partner
- Checking a partner’s cell phone or email without permission
- Insulting or shaming someone
- Making a partner do sexual things
- Physically hurting a person or an animal in any way (like pushing, hitting, or slapping)
Learn How to End Unhealthy Relationships