Every relationship is complex and unique. But no matter what type of relationship you have with your partner, it’s important for it to be a healthy one!
Generally, a healthy relationship should make you and your partner feel good about it. Here are some key traits of a healthy relationship.
Talk openly and honestly with your partner. This can bring the two of you closer together. It can also make your relationship stronger.
Be an active listener when having conversations with your partner. Be respectful about their opinions and feelings. Ask questions if you need help understanding them better.
Healthy communication also means being able to resolve conflicts in a constructive and respectful manner. Talk about what’s bothering you, and encourage your partner to do the same. Giving one another the cold shoulder will not resolve any problems.
It’s okay for you and your partner to agree to disagree and to have different opinions. However, it is also important for you to give each other the freedom to be who each of you wants to be.
Boundaries and space are also essential in any relationship. You should be able to devote time to your own goals, hobbies, and friends, including those you do not share with your partner.
When it comes to sexual consent, respect the other person’s boundaries. Mutual consent must be given before you engage in any type of sex. Silence never counts as consent.
Trust and Honesty
Honesty helps build trust between you and your partner. It’s okay to keep some things private as long as it won’t harm your relationship. Always be truthful to your partner, including about the things you do, think and feel.
Support and Empathy
Support one another to help your relationship grow and thrive. If your partner does something you think is amazing, let them know! This can strengthen your connection. It also encourages personal growth.
Also, be empathetic when your partner is having a bad day or going through a difficult time. This is another way to be supportive.
Spotting Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
Every relationship requires commitment and dedication for it to be healthy. It also helps to know the signs of an unhealthy relationship so you and your partner can make it better.
Signs of an unhealthy relationship include:
- Poor communication, or lack of communication
- Controlling behaviors (for example, one person may insist on making all the decisions)
- Disrespect and ignoring boundaries
- Constant criticisms
- Escalating arguments and being unwilling to resolve arguments
- Psychological, emotional or physical abuse
- Lying and dishonesty
Relationships can be amazing and fulfilling as long as you and your partner are devoted to making it healthy. Keep in mind that no relationship is perfect and that you may experience bumps in the road from time to time. But as long as you work together, you and your partner can experience a happy union.
The New Jersey Family Planning League is dedicated to providing access to sex education and sexual and reproductive health services for all people regardless of their gender identity, sexual orientation, income or insurance status. Visit NJFPL to find a health center near you today.
If you are experiencing any form of abuse and/or violence, please know that you are not alone, and that help is available. The New Jersey Domestic Violence Hotline is accessible 24/7 at 1 (800) 572-SAFE (7233). They offer lifesaving tools and immediate support to empower victims and survivors to find safety and live free of abuse. Your safety comes first, so all calls are totally confidential. You can also call New Jersey’s 24-hour Statewide Hotline at 1-800-601-7200. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1. The New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence has a long list of other resources as well. NJ Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) has additional resources, including a listing of county-based programs where you can find help.