Take the first step to love better! According to One Love, “We’re all born with the ability to love better, but it’s an acquired skill. The first step toward having healthy relationships is learning to recognize the difference between unhealthy and healthy behavior.”
10 Signs Of A Healthy Relationship
Healthy relationships bring out the best in you and make you feel good about yourself. A healthy relationship does not mean a “perfect” relationship, and no one is healthy 100% of the time, but the signs below are behaviors you should strive for in all of your relationships. Healthy relationships manifest themselves as healthy communication; another important part of a healthy relationship is loving yourself. Here are some characteristics and behaviors of a healthy relationship.
- Comfortable Pace: The relationship moves at a speed that feels enjoyable for each person.
- Trust: Confidence that your partner won’t do anything to hurt you or ruin the relationship.
- Honesty: You can be truthful and candid without fearing how the other person will respond.
- Independence: You have space to be yourself outside of the relationship. The other person should be supportive of your hobbies and your relationships with other friends, family and coworkers.
- Respect: You value one another’s beliefs and opinions, and love one another for who you are as a person. You feel comfortable setting boundaries and are confident that the other person will respect those boundaries.
- Equality: The relationship feels balanced and everyone puts the same effort into the success of the relationship.
- Kindness: You are caring and empathetic to one another, and provide comfort and support.
- Taking Responsibilities: Owning your actions and words. You avoid placing blame and are able to admit when you make a mistake.
- Healthy Conflict: Openly and respectfully discussing issues and confronting disagreements non-judgmentally.
- Fun: You enjoy spending time together and you bring out the best in each other.
10 Signs Of An Unhealthy Relationship
While everyone does unhealthy things sometimes, we can all learn to love better by recognizing unhealthy signs and shifting to healthy behaviors. If you are seeing unhealthy signs in your relationship, it’s important to not ignore them and understand they can escalate to abuse. If you think you are in a dangerous situation, trust your gut and get help. Get help from One Love or visit UMW’s You Are Not Alone Resource Guide.
- Intensity: When someone expresses very extreme feelings and over-the-top behavior that feels overwhelming.
- Possessiveness: When someone is jealous to a point where they try to control who you spend time with and what you do. While jealousy is a normal human emotion, it becomes unhealthy when it causes someone to control or lash out at you.
- Manipulation: When someone tries to control your decisions, actions or emotions. Manipulation is often hard to spot, because it can be expressed in subtle or passive-aggressive ways.
- Isolation: When someone keeps you away from friends, family, or other people. This behavior often starts slowly with someone asking you to spend more 1:1 time with them but can later escalate to demands that you don’t see certain people.
- Sabotage: When someone purposely ruins your reputation, achievements, or success. Sabotage includes keeping you from doing things that are important to you.
- Belittling: When someone does and says things to make you feel bad about yourself. This includes name-calling, making rude remarks about people you’re close with, or criticizing you.
- Guilting: When someone makes you feel responsible for their actions or makes you feel like it’s your job to keep them happy. They may blame you for things that are out of your control and make you feel bad for them.
- Volatility: When someone has a really strong, unpredictable reaction that makes you feel scared, confused or intimidated. A volatile person makes you feel like you need to walk on eggshells around them or they will have extreme reactions to small things.
- Deflecting Responsibility: When someone repeatedly makes excuses for their unhealthy behavior. They may blame you or other people for their own actions.
- Betrayal: When someone is disloyal or acts in an intentionally dishonest way. They may act like a different person around other people or share private information about you to others.