10 Signs of a healthy relationship | Pillow Talk Campaign

Whether this is a relationship with a parent, family member, best friend or sexual partner, the elements of a healthy relationship remain the same.

 Ten signs you are in a healthy relationship

  1. The relationship makes you feel happier, overall.  All relationships go through bad times and can cause stress, but overall, a relationship should make you feel happier. 
  2. You can trust the other person and feel safe and secure.
  3. You respect and value each other’s individuality
  4. You can express your needs and your feelings
  5. You feel that your needs are valued by the other. 
  6. Are able to express yourselves without fear of the consequences
  7. There is no fear of violence, emotional abuse, feeling put down and criticised
  8. You allow and encourage each other to have friendship and connection with others
  9. You can set boundaries sexually and engage only in sexual activities that you feel comfortable with
  10. You are both interested in having safe sex

Questions that might be helpful to ask:

  • Does this relationship make me feel happy?
  • Can I fully be myself in this relationship?
  • Am I free to express my thoughts, feelings and opinions?
  • Am I free to do the things that are important to me?
  • Can I safely say no?  Are my boundaries respected?

Ten signs you are in an unhealthy relationship

Relationships might have some aspects of the following, but it is cause for concern if this is the predominant pattern. 

  1. The relationship makes you feel stressed, and causes more hurt and pain than happiness.
  2. You put the other person before yourself and neglect your own needs
  3. You feel a pressure to change who you are / or you are pressuring the other person to change
  4. You feel that you are not valued for who you are
  5. You feel pressure to stop doing things you enjoy, whether it is seeing friends, or activities that you like.  Or vice versa, are you pressuring your partner to stop doing things?
  6. Where the other person is not fully emotionally available, whether they are involved in drugs/alcohol or seeing someone else
  7. Is there a fear of violence, of emotional abuse, or of being denigrated
  8. Do arguments spiral into destructive patterns of blaming, fighting over who is right or wrong, with each person trying to ‘win’ over the other?
  9. There is a lack of fairness and equality in the relationship
  10. If you feel coerced into sexual activities that you are not comfortable with/If you or your partner are not interested in having safe sex

When to seek help

  • When your relationship is making you feel unhappy and you can’t work out whether to leave or if you could improve the relationship
  • If you are staying in the relationship, just because you are scared of being alone
  • If you are staying in the relationship because the wrong reasons, e.g If you feel scared of the consequences of ending it, if you feel guilty and/or worried about the other person
  • If you have ended the relationship and are still in it

What Help Is Available:

  • You can help yourself… you can explore your relationship with yourself and do activities that help you to feel more valued.  You can embrace the things that you are entitled to in a relationship and feel that you are worth being treated well.
  • You can get support from friends.  They can sometimes provide a valuable outside perspective and mirror things that are difficult to see. 
  • You can also get professional help.  If you’re finding it difficult to value yourself, or are stuck in a difficult relationship pattern

You can come to a drop in with the wellbeing team or refer to the service if you feel you need support on any of the information mentioned in this blog. We are here to support you.

Find us here OR follow us on social media @RoeWellbeing.

The University of Roehampton changes lives by helping our students to develop the confidence, knowledge and values they need for a successful and fulfilling life. We produce world-class research that helps us understand the world and change it for the better.

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