This year has been especially challenging for dating and relationships as a whole – whether you’ve been isolating with a significant other, spending time apart for safety, or trying to navigate dating someone new – the pandemic has added an extra layer of complications to our relationships.
And while physical health is on all our minds right now, your emotional health and safety is just as important. Everyone’s relationship is different, but we all deserve a healthy relationship that involves trust, honesty, open communication, and respect.
Below are some signs that can help you determine if your relationship is healthy and how ACCESS can support you.
Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship
- Boundaries. You and your partner are able to find ways to meet each other’s needs that make you both feel comfortable.
- Communication. You and your partner can share your feelings – even when you don’t agree – in a way that makes the other person feel safe, heard, and not judged. Your partner listens and shows that he is listening to you.
- Trust. You and your partner trust each other and can be vulnerable with one another.
- Consent. A healthy relationship has consensual sexual relations. Your partner is not forcing you or guilting you into doing anything that you don’t want to do. Consent can be given and taken back at any time. Giving consent once does not mean you automatically give consent in the future.
- Curiosity. You both have flexible mindsets, and both are interested in learning more about each other.
- Playfulness. A healthy relationship is lighthearted to help relieve tension.
- Teamwork. Both you and your partner work together to support and help each other.
- Respect. Your partner respects your choices and decisions and supports you with anything you want to do.
How do I know if I am in a healthy relationship?
Being in a healthy relationship will make you feel like your partner respects your privacy and space. You feel comfortable and safe expressing your opinions and concerns to your partner. Your partner respects your wishes and feelings, and you can compromise and negotiate through any disagreements or conflicts. Hopefully, you and your partner feel like you can be your best selves.
Why is a healthy relationship important?
A relationship that is healthy offers you comfort, happiness and contributes positively to your behavioral health and well-being. At ACCESS, we treat the whole person and consider behavioral health as an critical part of one’s overall heath. We are here to help you understand how to have and maintain healthy relationships.
Access Community Health Network’s (ACCESS) Illinois Family Planning Program can help.
ACCESS’ Illinois Family Planning Program wants to help you make choices that are right for you so you can take control of your health. Our program offers inclusive and confidential relationship counseling, birth control, sex education and referrals to other comprehensive health care services.
To learn more about our program and to schedule an appointment, visit www.achn.net/teenhealth.
Healthy Relationships: 32 Signs, Tips, Red Flags, and More (healthline.com)
What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like? | The State of New York (ny.gov)