Basics of a Healthy Relationship
Relationships are never perfect; maintaining a strong one takes some work—by both people. It’s not always easy, but it shouldn’t feel like a chore. It’s a good idea to keep some relationship basics in mind to keep things moving forward on a healthy track. Following these basics will help you and your boyfriend or girlfriend create a safe and happy relationship.
1. Good communication: Good communication means that you can discuss your feelings and thoughts in an open and honest manner without being concerned of how the other person in the relationship will act or respond. A good partner will respect how you feel regardless of whether they agree or not.
2. Fairness and Equality: A relationship needs to be a 50-50 exchange of give and take by both partners. Taking turns for which movie to see or where to grab dinner are examples that you may identify with. If a relationship becomes a power struggle, more serious issues may arise in the future. Communication is a great way to promote fairness and equality.
3. Separate identities or having “you” time”: In a relationship everyone needs to take time for themselves. You should be able to spend time with friends, family and doing the same activities you did prior to dating a new person. Adding a romantic relationship should enhance your life, not compromise who you are.
4. Support and “fighting fair”: There will always be a time when you or your partner might not see eye to eye. In a healthy relationship, a partner will support you and encourage you to feel, do, think, dream the way you see fit. A good partner is someone who you can lean on for support when life gets difficult or be the one you cheers you on or is excited for you when something special happens in your life.
5. Trust: Jealousy is a natural feeling everyone experiences. Asking your partner, honesty and having good communication skills will promote trust. Think calmly and rationally, don’t jump to any conclusions. Assuming things will not promote trust, good communication or a healthy relationship.
6. Honesty: Honesty is an important feature to any relationship, including teen relationships. It goes hand in hand with trust and good communication
7. Respect for each other: Each person in any healthy relationship should feel the other person is awesome, special and valuable. Each person understands where their partner’s boundaries are and does not cross them.
These qualities indicate a healthy relationship. You are a valuable person and you deserve to be treated as such. If you feel your relationship is missing any of these feature or simply need to improve them, reach out to those around you and discuss them with your partner. Respecting and valuing yourself will increase your ability to choose a healthy partner and build a healthy relationship. Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship. You’re worth it!