What is a relationship?

There isn’t one right way to be in a healthy relationship. However, all healthy relationships have some things in common: each person considers the health and growth of their partner, encourages independence, and feels safe to interact and communicate with their partner openly. Healthy relationships can be formed between all types of people, no matter what their gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, or other background might be.

What are signs of a healthy relationship?

Healthy relationships are safe, encourage each partner to be themselves, and promote happiness. Healthy relationships should also include:

  • Respect- each person should have equal control in the relationship and should show that they value the qualities, beliefs and efforts of their partner.
  • Honest communication- In a healthy relationship, discussing your feelings, thoughts, and plans are important.  Each person should feel safe to speak freely.
  • Mutual decision-making about sex- Deciding whether and when to be sexually active, as well as what contraception and/or STD prevention methods to use is a team effort. Consent and respect are essential during conversations about sexual activity, STD prevention, and contraception.

What are signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Signs of an unhealthy relationship can sometimes be hard to understand. If a person is feeling sad, fearful or abused, they are not in a healthy relationship. Most unhealthy relationships are based on power and control. If you think you are in an unhealthy relationship, there are resources available to help you.

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