Am I in a healthy relationship?

A healthy relationship makes you feel good about yourself and the other person.

How do I know if I'm in an unhealthy relationship?

It can be challenging to determine whether or not a relationship is healthy. Sometimes, you might wonder if it's okay for your partner to treat you a certain way. Or you may be unsure if your feelings about the relationship are right or worth exploring. 

Kids Help Phone created a quiz to help you recognize whether or not you are in a healthy relationship. 

What does a healthy or unhealthy relationship look like?

Some of the main characteristics of a healthy relationship are: 

  • Communication: In a healthy relationship, you and the other person talk openly and honestly without fear of the other’s reaction. 
  • Trust and Respect: You should feel respected and trust the other person to always have your best interest in mind. Mutual respect and trust are essential. 
  • Feeling Secure: A healthy relationship makes you feel safe and secure.
  • Choosing to Be Sexual: Being sexual should be a choice that both partners agree on and are excited about. No one should ever pressure you into doing something you're uncomfortable with. Understanding consent can help you understand what is involved in creating a dynamic where it feels safe to say no and good to say yes. 
  • Good Times Outweigh the Bad: While every relationship has ups and downs, the good times should outweigh the bad in a healthy relationship.

Abuse is never okay. Learning about the different types of abuse is important so you can recognize them. 

Here are some signs of an unhealthy relationship:

  • Control and Manipulation: Trying to control or manipulate your partner is a red flag. Both partners should have the freedom to be themselves.
  • Feeling Bad About Yourself: If your partner constantly criticizes you and makes you feel bad about yourself or makes you doubt your worth, it's unhealthy. According to the Canadian Women's Foundation, healthy relationships involve both parties feeling safe, respected, and free to express their thoughts, pursue their interests, and change their appearance without fear of embarrassment.
  • Isolation: Isolating your partner from their friends or family is a form of control. Healthy relationships allow both partners to maintain their own social circles and independence.
  • Jealousy and Possessiveness: Constant jealousy and possessiveness are signs of insecurity and can lead to an unhealthy dynamic. Freedom and mutual respect form the foundation for trust in a healthy relationship.

My relationship keeps getting worse; what do I do?

If you can’t talk to your family or friends about the relationship, you can speak with a counsellor or contact a helpline to talk to a trained professional or volunteer who can listen without judgment and offer guidance. Here are a few helplines you can use. They are confidential, and none of them will ask you for personal information so that you can stay anonymous:

  • Kids Help Phone
    • For kids, teens and young adults in Canada. 
    • Call 1-800-668-6868 or 
    • Text CONNECT to 686868
  • LGBT YouthLine
    • For 2SLGBTQ+ youth in Ontario.
    • Use the chatbox on their website or
    • Text 647-694-4275
  • TeenHealthSource
    • For teens in Toronto aged 13-19. You can chat with trained volunteers directly on their website or use the numbers below.
    • Text: 647-933-5399
    • Phone: 416-961-3200

Find more options on PREVNet’s website. 

How can a safety plan protect me?

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 trust or places you can go if you need space from your abuser. According to Kids Help Phone, the goal is to map out what might help in situations where you feel unsafe or harm may occur.

Creating a safety plan by yourself can be challenging. Think about asking a counsellor, a friend, or a helpline worker to help you make a plan, and use the resources below: