Sometimes it’s hard to know if it's okay for your partner (or family member, or friend) to treat you in a certain way, or if it's fine that you feel a certain way about a relationship. A healthy relationship is one that makes you feel good about yourself, and feel good about the other person.
If you think you are in an unhealthy relationship, you can do a few things. Talk to the other person. Open and honest communication is really important in a healthy relationship. You can also talk to a counsellor or call a helpline to talk to a third person who is not involved in your life.
What does a healthy or unhealthy relationship look like?
In a healthy relationship, you and the other person:
- Trust and respect each other
- Communicate clearly and honestly
- Feel secure about your relationship
- Are sexual by choice
- Have more good times in the relationship than bad
In an unhealthy relationship, you and/or the other person:
- Are verbally or physically abusive
- Try to control or manipulate the other
- Make the other feel bad about him/herself
- Don’t let the other get close with anyone else
- Are overly possessive and get jealous easily
Who can I talk to if I need relationship advice?
If you can’t talk to your family or friends about the relationship, you can talk to a counsellor in person, or call a helpline to talk to someone. Here are a few helplines you can call – none of them will ask you for personal information so you can stay anonymous:
Sexual Health Info Line (Toronto only) - 416-961-3200
SpiderBytes also has MSN Messenger sexual health support.
- Kid's Help Phone
- Lesbian Gay Bi Trans YouthLine
Are you LGBT and have questions about your relationship with a partner, friend or family member? Call this number for free counselling.
I’ve tried everything - my relationship is just getting worse. What do I do?
If your emotional and physical health gets worse no matter what you try, you have a few options:
- You can break up with your sexual or romantic partner. This can be hard, but good for you.
- With friends, you can choose to end your friendship.
- With family, things are more complicated. You may need someone who is not a part of the family, like a close family friend, or a counsellor, to intervene on your behalf.
Protect Yourself - Make a Safety Plan!
A safety plan (or, escape plan) is a plan you make to protect yourself against abuse. To make a safety plan, think of people you can call to talk to, or places you can go, if you need space from your abuser.
These resources can help you - they are worksheets from LoveIsRespect.org. Creating a safety plan by yourself can be hard. Think about asking a counsellor or a friend to help you fill the worksheets out.
This article has been adapted from these two resources:
- "Why do people stay in abusive relationships?"
written by LoveIsRespect.org
- "Potholes and Dead Ends: Relationship Roadblocks to Look Out For"
written by Heather Corinna for Scarleteen.Com