Relationships can be defined in many different ways depending on who is involved. Healthy relationships share a few key elements:
- Communication. You talk openly about problems and listen to one another. You respect each other’s opinions.
- Respect. You value each other’s opinions, feelings, and needs, and give each other the freedom to be yourself and be loved for who you are.
- Trust. You believe what your partner has to say and don’t feel the need to “prove” each other’s trustworthiness.
- Honest. You’re honest with each other but can still keep some things private.
- Equal. You make decisions together and hold each other to the same standards. You and your partner have equal say with regard to major decisions within the relationship. All partners have access to the resources they need.
- Boundaries. You enjoy spending time apart, alone, or with others. You respect each other’s need for time and space apart. You communicate with each other about what you are and aren’t comfortable with.
- Consent. You talk openly about sexual and reproductive choices together. Partners always willingly consent to sexual activity and can safely discuss what you are and aren’t comfortable with. Partners respect when someone does not consent.
- Parenting supportively. All partners are able to parent in a way that they feel comfortable with. You communicate together about the needs of the child(ren), as well as the needs of the parents.
All partners deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and deserve a healthy and loving relationship.