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What makes a relationship? 

Healthy Relationship Traits
  • Trust

  • Honesty

  • Fun

  • Fairness

  • Safety

  • Respect

  • Support

  • Kindness

  • Happiness

  • Consent

  • Independence

  • Acceptance

  • Comfortable pace

  • Communication

  • Ability to be yourself

  • Taking responsibility

  • Respectful conflict and resolution

  • Respecting boundaries

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Unhealthy Relationship Traits
  • Physical or emotional abuse

  • Isolation

  • Possessiveness

  • Guilting or manipulation

  • Unreliability or unpredictability

  • Pressure

  • Passive aggressiveness

  • Overwhelming or intense feelings

  • Deflecting responsibility

  • Betrayal

  • Lacking many of the traits of a healthy relationship

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Take this quiz if you are questioning if your relationship is healthy. 

Or read about what qualities make a relationship healthy here.

See more: 

10 Signs of a Healthy Relationship and 10 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

Join One Love

Any kind of relationship can be abusive. You may experience abuse from a romantic or sexual partner, but could also be experiencing abuse from a friend, a parent, another family member, or another adult. People of all genders and sexual identities experience abuse or can be abusers. 

Forms of abuse often found in relationships:

  • Physical - when someone tries to influence or control you through force 

  • Verbal and/or Emotional - when someone tries to influence or control you by playing with your emotions or through insults, lies, or mind games 

  • Financial - when someone tries to influence or control you through money or your economic situation 

  • Sexual - when someone tries to influence or control you through sexual pressure or aggression 

  • Digital - when someone tries to influence or control you using technology, the Internet, or social media 

Warning signs that a partner might be physically abusing you
Warning signs that a partner might be digitally abusing you
Warning signs that a partner might be financially abusing you
Warning signs that a partner might be verbally and/or emotionally abusing you
Warning signs that a partner might be sexually abusing you

Recognizing Abuse

The Cycle of Abuse:
The Abuser's Behavior

Patterns of abuse can be described by the cycle of abuse. This cycle may not look the same in every relationship, however, it follows roughly the same pattern. The cycle may also vary in terms of how quickly one moves through the entire cycle – from a few hours to months. It is important that you can recognize this cycle, as it can continue to repeat itself many times throughout a relationship. Use the previously mentioned resources to learn how to manage this situation. 

Cycle of Abuse.png
  • Insults

  • Threats

  • Sarcasm

  • Jealousy

  • Accusations

  • Fault finding

  • Controlling your actions

  • Quick mood changes

  • Emotional distance

  • Apologetic

  • Respectful

  • More attentive

  • Promises to change

  • Improved communication

  • Helpful around the house

  • Gift giving and compliments

  • Spends time with you and the family

  • Intimidating body language

  • Keeps you from leaving

  • Throwing things

  • Slamming doors

  • Silent treatment

  • Name calling

  • Swearing

  • Yelling

How to support a friend in an
unhealthy relationship: 

  • Listen to them  

  • Believe what they are telling you and validate their feelings  

  • Assure them that it is not their fault and that they do not deserve what is happening to them  

  • Be available and willing to help  

  • Show them the resources on this page  

  • Ask them what they want from you (Do they want you to tell someone? Do they want you to come with them to tell someone? Do they just want you to hear them out? Something else?)  


If your friend tells you that they think they, or someone else, might be in imminent danger, then tell a trusted adult, even if they have told you not to.   


If you think you may be in an unhealthy relationship reach out to one of the resources bellow and/or tell a trusted adult. 

Building Healthy Relationships with
Trusted Adults and Parents

How do I enter a relationship in a healthy manner? 

When dating or starting to date, it's important to generate boundaries so that you can make healthy decisions in relationships. 


It is important to keep a good balance between significant others, friends, family, academic life, and personal interests. This helps keep good mental health and a well-rounded life.

Peer Pressure

Avoid making decisions based on other people’s desires, but rather because you genuinely want to do something. This can be applicable when you are dating or being intimate with someone, but also in non-romantic or sexual relationships.

Don't Rush

When getting to know someone, spending time with them, or potentially moving on to intimate acts such as sex, remember that it is okay to go at your own pace! This will help you feel more comfortable and will help make the experience more enjoyable.

Take some time to think about the boundaries you want to set, and then communicate these boundaries to your partner, friend, or family member. 

Love vs Lust

In sexual or romantic relationships, it is important to find someone who you are attracted to, but also someone who loves and appreciates you for you! Love is compassionate and emotional. Lust is intense physical attraction, which can be the result of hormones or the desire to have sex. It can sometimes be difficult to tell the difference between love and lust.  

Healthy Communication


Every couple needs to find a way of communicating that suits their relationship. Healthy communication styles require practice and hard work as everyone has different communication styles. When you talk to your partner, try to: 


  • Reflect on what is happening in your relationship and how it makes you feel

  • Know what you want to say before you talk to your partner

  • Talk without interruption (turn off phones and television)

  • Be direct and clear with your message

  • Use "I" statements ("I feel" or "I need" or "I want")

  • Be careful of your tone (raising your voice for example)

  • Listen to your partner and try to understand where they are coming from

  • Accept responsibility for any of your wrong actions

  • Don't forget to share anything you appreciate or admire about your partner

  • Try to find a compromise between you and your partner

Resources for those in unsafe relationships

Remember that you NEVER deserve to be in an unsafe relationship. People are here to help you.

Love is Respect

Love is Respect has a live chat that is completely confidential, and where you can ask for help. There are also texting and calling options. This site also has helpful information about relationships and safety.

National Domestic Violence Hotline

This hotline has text and chat options, as well as calling options. You can directly call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233. 

If the situation is not an emergency, you can make an appointment with a healthcare provider and Violet can also help connect you to resources. 

In case of emergency, remember that dialing 9-1-1 is always an option. 

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