The difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships
Relationships exist on a spectrum, where healthy is on one end and abusive is on the other end. Unhealthy relationships fall between healthy and abusive. Sometimes it may even be hard to tell if you and the person you are dating have a healthy, unhealthy, or abusive relationship. Regardless of who you are, everyone deserves a healthy relationship where they are respected and loved.
What is a healthy relationship?
A healthy relationship is when both partners are:
- Respectful. Respecting each other for who you are as well as each other’s emotional, digital, and sexual boundaries.
- Communicative. Communicating openly about problems, listening to each other, and respecting each other’s opinions.
- Trusting. Trusting and believing what your partner has to say and not having to prove each other’s trustworthiness.
- Honest. Honest with each other but still are able to keep some things private.
- Happy to spend time together or apart. You are able to either spend time together or apart. Alone time away from your partner, or to spend time with friends and family, is important in relationships.
- Equal. You and your partner are equal and make decisions together.
- Making mutual sexual choices. You and your partner make mutual sexual choices together and can openly discuss what each is dealing with.
What is an unhealthy relationship?
An unhealthy relationship is when either one or both partners are:
- Disrespectful. Disrespecting or not being considerate of your partner’s feelings and/or personal boundaries.
- Non-communicative. Not communicating, not talking, or always fighting when issues come up.
- Lack of trust. Not trusting or believing what your partner has to say or invading privacy due to lack of trust.
- Dishonest. Lying and not being honest.
- Not spending time with others. Your partner’s community is the only one you socialize in.
- Struggling for control. One partner feels as if their needs are more important than the other’s needs.
- Pressuring the other into sexual activity. One partner makes most of the decisions and may pressure the other for sex or refuse to have sex to hurt the other one.
What is an abusive relationship?
An abusive relationship is when either one or both partners:
- Mistreats the other. One or both partners disrespect the feelings, thoughts, decisions, opinions, or physical safety of the other.
- Communicates in a way that is harmful or insulting. When a problem comes up or even when there is no problem, one or both partners communicates in harmful or insulting ways.
- Makes accusations. One or both partner accuses the other for their harmful actions.
- Denies that the abusive actions are abuse. One or both partners makes excuses or minimizes abusive behavior.
- Isolates the other partner. One partner spends all of their time with their partner and feels like they are unable to talk to others, especially about the relationship.
- Controls the other. One or both partners telling the other what to wear, who they can hang out with, and where they can go or do.
- Forces sexual activity. One person makes all of the decisions and forces the other to have sexual relationships for power and control.
Everyone deserves to be in a respected, loving, healthy relationship. If you think that you may be in an unhealthy or an abusive relationship, there are plenty of resources out there that include:
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence (PCADV)
- love is respect or text LOVEIS to 22522