Relationships: How do you know if they’re healthy?
There's no such thing as a normal relationship. They’re all different, because we’re all different. But some relationships are healthy and others are not.
Could you tell the difference between the occasional argument and a relationship that's become unhealthy?
Here are some signs that will help.
How do they react when you do well at something?
People in healthy relationships celebrate achievements and encourage each other to keep going when something’s difficult.
In an unhealthy relationship, people show insecurity or jealousy if the other person 'gets ahead'. They say things to put them down, whether it’s in private or around others.
Are they happy for you to see your friends?
In a healthy relationship, you feel happy to have 'me time' and hang out with your friends. You’re both comfortable socialising apart, with your own separate groups.
People in an unhealthy relationship feel pressured to spend all their time with their partner. The other person makes them feel guilty for spending time with others.
Do you feel like they trust you?
People in a healthy romantic relationship trust each other. They’re faithful to their partner and they feel secure that their partner is faithful to them.
In an unhealthy romantic relationship, people monitor each other's phones or social media accounts. They want to know where the other person is all the time, and accuse them of cheating.
What happens if you talk about your feelings?
In a healthy relationship, you listen to and respect each other's opinions even when you disagree. You both feel confident talking to each other about your feelings.
In an unhealthy relationship, people are unable to share their opinion or voice concerns because the other person won’t listen, or they’re scared of how they’ll react.
Do you feel like it’s okay to be yourself?
In a healthy relationship, you accept each other for who you are and give each other freedom to do what you enjoy. You also try to do some of the things the other person likes.
People in unhealthy relationships try to change the other person or feel under pressure to be something they're not. They don’t make any effort with the other person’s family or friends.
Need to talk?
There’s no relationship guide book to tell you exactly how to make things work. Mostly, we figure it out with trial and error.
Learning to recognise the traits of a healthy relationship, and communicating with the other person, is the key to keeping yours happy and healthy.
If you’re concerned that your relationship is unhealthy and you want to talk about it, you can contact your local Nightline.
If you feel unsafe, scared or threatened, you can contact the Victim Support helpline on 08 08 16 89 111. Victim Support is an independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. In Scotland, you can call Victim Support Scotland on 0345 603 9213.