Dating someone can be lots of fun. They take you out, and you get butterflies in your stomach when you see them, and slowly but surely you start developing feelings for that special person. They have a way of making you smile and making you feel special. It’s a wonderful feeling to explore a romantic relationship with someone, as long as you check your safety first. Studies have shown that 1 in 10 youth are involved in an unhealthy relationship. Sometimes the person in an unhealthy relationship does not even notice. Do you know if you are in a healthy or unhealthy relationship? There are signs to look out for and evaluate the relationship you’re in, or maybe a close friend is in a relationship and you’re not sure whether or not it’s a healthy one.
Signs of a healthy relationship:
– Both you and your partner feel respected, supported, and valued
When you are in a relationship you become close and comfortable with your partner over time. This, however, does not mean that you can disrespect or be disrespected. You want to be with someone who values you enough as a person to always treat you with respect whether things are good or bad.
– Both have friends and interests outside of the relationship
It can be easy to get sucked in to your relationship. You may want to be with your partner at every possible moment and you might think this is not a bad thing, but it is. It is important that you do not lose yourself in your relationship. You may be in a relationship, but that does not transform you into one individual. You are still two separate individuals with beautiful qualities and differences, and its those qualities and differences that you each fell for. Do not cut off your friendships or stop doing the things you love. It’s important to hold on to these things so that you do not lose who you are, and trust me, it’s okay to do things without one another. It will be fine, I promise.
– Disagreements are dealt with through open and honest communication
This goes back to being respected. Disagreements do not need to be settled violently or with raising voices. In any relationship there will be times that you may disagree, it’s inevitable, but how you handle it is up to you. The best way to settle disagreements is to listen and to be heard. We sometimes feel like we have to automatically become defensive when we feel that our point of view is being attacked. Instead, why not listen to your partner, ask questions to understand where they are coming from, and do not interrupt them. This does not mean that you have to agree with them, but it tells your partner, “I hear you”. Moving forward when both parties feel heard then becomes easier and there is a lot less hurt.
Signs of an unhealthy relationship:
– One person tries to change the other
There are instances where you try and change your partner for the better, and because you see their value and potential and encourage them to push into the amazing person they are, and that is great; but there is also a flip side to that. If one tries to change the other for their own selfish benefit, this is where it becomes a bad thing. It is not about them caring about who you are, but about what they want and what best fits them.
– One person makes most or all of the decisions
Relationships are about working together and discussing with one another about decisions that need to be made. If only one person in the relationship is the one who makes all the decisions, it is an unhealthy relationship. One person is not getting their voice heard. There should be equal power in a relationship where both parties are heard and taken into consideration.
– One or both people drop friends and interests outside of the relationship
Friendships are very important to hold onto. A relationship should be something that you want to share with your close friends and family, not something that pulls you away and sever the close relationships you already have. It is not healthy because it isolates you from those you love and cherish. It makes it so that you are dependent and feel like you only have your partner to rely on. If things were to not work out, you may feel alone. Interests are also another thing that you should not give up. Do not let go of the things that make you you.
– One or both people yell, threaten, hit, or throw things during arguments
No matter what the argument or how mad someone feels, violent outbursts are not the way to handle the situation. If either party is in any physical danger, it is a sign that it is an unhealthy relationship. Do not hesitate to call 911 if you are scared for your safety.
– One person makes fun of the other’s opinions or interests
Some jokes and poking fun are okay from time to time, but there is a limit. If one person feels like their opinions or interests are always made fun of or joked about, they may feel embarrassed to share in the future. This can then lead to them not feeling like they can be themselves or share with their partner without the fear of being put down, even if it is in a “joking manner.” Relationships are about supporting one another.
– No trust
If one or the other is constantly looking through the other’s phone calls, text messages, facebook, email, etc. because they do not trust their partner, it is a warning sign. There should be trust in a relationship, especially if neither has done anything to make the other not trust them.
These are a few of the signs of healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.. Take them to heart and pay attention. Even if you are not in a relationship, it is important that you know the signs so that you are aware the day you do start getting into a relationship. Relationships are meant to be fun and a growing experience. So, make it a HEALTHY, fun and growing experience.