Healthy relationships include acting in accordance with your values, knowing and respecting boundaries (both yours and your partners’), and consent.
Healthy romantic and sexual relationships can take many different forms. Some people like to date one person, while others prefer to date several people, or none at all. Relationships can include more than two people. Romantic relationships may or may not include sex. Any of these relationship styles can be healthy, as long as all involved feel like their needs and wants are being respected.
In the media, we sometimes hear about how relationships require “sacrifice.” Some negotiation and compromise is expected and all relationships have some conflict, but healthy relationships are a source of support and happiness, most of the time. Visit OSCR for more on navigating conflict.
More Signs of a Healthy Relationship
In a healthy relationship, all partners:
- Are respectful and caring in their words, emotional expression, and physical treatment toward each other
- Support each other’s self-esteem
- Support and encourage each other to pursue interests, relationships with friends and family, and academic/career goals
- Check in with each other (ask for consent) before sexual activity
- Respect each other’s personal boundaries and feelings
- Are free to leave the relationship at any time
If you could use some support in thinking about your relationship(s), or if you think you might be in an unhealthy relationship, see:
Counseling and Psychological Services provides mental health care for individual and couples
Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center offers assistance to people who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment, or stalking. Their 24-hour crisis line number is 734-936-3333.