Teen Dating Tune-up: Is your Relationship Healthy?

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Did you know …

  • 1 in 3 teens experience physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from their partner?
  • 1 in 5 teens say their friends are in an unhealthy romantic relationship?
  • Teens who identify as LGBTQIA+ experience higher rates of dating violence?

These facts are scary.  Knowing the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one is important.  Let’s find out!

What does an unhealthy teen relationship look like?

A healthy romantic relationship between two partners takes effort, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.  When you are in a healthy relationship, both partners should:

  • Respect privacy and space – you do not need to spend 24 hours a day, seven days a week with each other.
  • Feel safe, supported, and respected.
  • Feel comfortable talking and expressing feelings, opinions and wishes.

What does an unhealthy teen relationship look like?

An unhealthy romantic relationship can start healthy or unhealthy.  If you are unsure if your relationship is unhealthy, here are some warning signs:

  • Your partner is disrespectful and dishonest.
  • Your partner wants to control whom you hang out with and talk to.
  • Your partner constantly hurts your feelings or physically (or sexually) hurts you.
  • Your partner makes you feel unsafe and that you cannot trust them.

What can I do if I think my relationship is unhealthy?

 If your relationship is starting to feel unsafe, it can be scary, and you might not know what to do. 

However, the first step is spotting that your relationship is not healthy.  Once you do that, it’s helpful to find a trusted adult to talk to.  This could be someone in your family or outside, like a teacher, coach, counselor, or even your doctor.  When you feel ready to talk to that person, you can work with them to create a plan and next steps.  Please know it’s normal if you feel like you are not ready to end your relationship but trusting your gut is important too.

The butterflies in your stomach.  Finding out that they like you too.  Falling in love.  All these feelings are magical, but your relationship should also make you feel safe, respected, and trusted.  Unsure about your relationship?  Take this quiz to see where you and your partner are. If you do not feel like your relationship is healthy, it’s important to find an adult that you trust to talk to.  Love is respect.