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Healthy Relationships

Understanding the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships is important to help ensure a positive and safe college experience. 

Many of us could list things that we feel make up a healthy or unhealthy relationship. Sometimes, recognizing that we ourselves are in a situation or relationship that is less than ideal, or even potentially physically or emotionally damaging, is not easy.

Take some time to review the information below, and remember that the college and local community have resources available to discuss concerns or questions. Onelove also provides a nice visual document with 10 signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships.

Some Traits of Healthy Relationships Include:

  • Mutual Respect - Each person values who the other is and understands and abides by the other person's boundaries.
  • Consent - Agreement to do things, including anything sexual, should be mutual and clear. No one should feel pressured/forced to do anything they are not comfortable with. Learn more about consent here.
  • Safety - In healthy relationships, individuals feel physically, emotionally, and even financially safe.  
  • Open Communication - Individuals should be able to talk openly and honestly in a trusting relationship, and in their own time. In a healthy relationship, you can talk to your partner without being afraid they'll get mad or shut you down.
  • Independence - Individuals should have a life outside of their relationship and be able to have their own hobbies or visit family/friends on their own, for example. 
  • Respecting Privacy - People have the right to their own privacy, including not sharing passwords or phone and email messages.
  • Support - In positive relationships, people can rely on each other to be there to listen, and to provide feedback and compassion when needed.

Some Warning Signs of Toxic Relationships Include:

  • Intensity - Relationships that move at a fast-paced speed can be a bad signHealthy relationships tend to be slower-moving and deliberate, allowing time to learn about each other.
  • Controlling or manipulating behavior - Things like isolating a person from friends and family, governing a partner’s personal style choices, and trying to limit where they go or how late they stay out shows controlling or manipulating behavior.
  • Extreme jealousy - When just talking with others (even possibly family) sparks jealousy and fears of cheating or not liking them, it can be a sign that normal jealousy has gone too far.
  • Belittling or Humiliation - This includes things like making fun of interests, down playing talents or undermining viewpoints. No one should feel like their self-worth is not valued and face constant criticism.

Have More Questions? 

Don't hesitate to take advantage of the local various resources available to you. The SNC Heath & Wellness Counseling Services can assist with learning about the various onsite and offsite services, or learn more about other support resources here.

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