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Though all relationships are different, healthy relationships involve trust, communication, boundaries and support. Healthy relationships help you thrive, support you in achieving your goals and honor all your boundaries. These relationships involve a level of independence, you are still your own person outside of the relationship and are supported in maintaining that identity.
We all have more to learn when it comes to cultivating healthy relationships with everyone we care about, including significant others, family and friends. Take a moment to learn more and consider sharing this information with someone you care about.
Learn more about the spectrum of relationships and visit the education page to browse additional topics.
The foundation of a healthy relationship, communication, trust, boundaries and support, can be found in all healthy relationships. It is common to assume that these are only characteristics of romantic, sexual or dating relationships, but in actuality these are necessary characteristics of all healthy relationships. For example, healthy friendships require that your boundaries be respected and that your friend supports your goals and aspirations. The same is true for our family members, professional colleagues and more.
No relationship is perfect. That means that even healthy relationships involve conflict. In healthy relationships, conflict can be addressed respectfully and without judgment. Both partners are able to feel heard as they work to ascertain the causes of the concern. Healthy conflict does not involve yelling, belittling or shaming.
It is common to compare your relationship to others, particularly when it comes to social media and how relationships are often presented in their best light via these platforms. All relationships are different and no relationship is perfect, instead of turning outward, turn inward to explore how the relationship is making you feel.
Healthy partners trust you and the decisions you make. Unhealthy or abusive partners may require you to prove where you were or control who you can talk to.
Healthy partners exhibit kind communication, even when a concern arises. Unhealthy or abusive partners may guilt-trip or give ultimatums.
Healthy partners respect your boundaries. Yes, this means all of them: sexual, physical, spiritual, and emotional. Everyone goes at their own pace in relationships and everyone’s pace must be respected.
Healthy partners support you in reaching your goals and care about what matters to you. Unhealthy or abusive partners limit or control you in a way that is not conducive to your goals.
You may begin to notice some red flags in your relationship, or a friend’s, but feel unsure about what to do next. It is normal to want to talk to someone to formulate a plan:
Healthy relationships build you up rather than break you down. Healthy partners and friends encourage you to reach your goals while maintaining independence outside of the relationship. This can mean your partners or friends assist you with studying for a stressful exam, offer a listening ear or give you additional space during a particularly tough week.
All relationships are different, but all healthy relationships help you thrive by:
Healthy relationships mean that everyone’s boundaries are respected and that consent is present. Consent is a sober, enthusiastic “yes!” given by all partners. It is active, which means consent must be present before every act and can be removed at any time.
No relationship is perfect and every relationship is different. Comparing your relationship to others online can:
Instead of looking to social media for the answer, turn inward and ask yourself how the relationship makes you feel.