Are you in a healthy relationship?

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The first couple of months of dating can be thrilling in the best way, especially when you’ve found someone that you think you could be with for a long time. Unfortunately, some people get lost in the adrenaline and lose sight of what the point of a relationship really is: having someone to grow with and learn life lessons together, and not having someone to claim you as their property. Take some time to ground yourself and consider your transactions between you and your partner.

What is an unhealthy relationship?

An unhealthy relationship will leave you constantly questioning your decisions and have you feeling controlled at most times. Debating or discussing some constructive criticism in a relationship can be a good thing. In fact, it’s probably necessary to speak your mind to your partner to ensure that you both have similar goals and aspirations.

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If you ever find that you are scared to tell your partner about your opinions because you’re worried that they will blow up, you need to take a moment to think about if their reaction is reasonable. Being disappointed or upset with you because you made a mistake is a normal response, but when it turns into verbal abuse such as screaming, threatening or any non-consensual physical act in the slightest it is an immediate red flag.

If you feel that your partner lacks trust in you for no justifiable reason, it’s not because they care. It’s because making you feel guilty for nothing gives them power so they can manipulate you whenever they want to. No matter what, you are entitled to your privacy. No one has the right to your personal passwords such as your social media or phone pass code unless you want them to.

You shouldn’t ever feel pressured to do things you don’t want to do. If you ever feel unsafe or that you are being put in situations that are not beneficial for all participants involved, you have a right to be angry and a right to leave. If a person claims to care for you and love you, they won’t put you in any situations that make your heart drop from your chest into your stomach.

If you don’t trust your partner and constantly find yourself questioning them, maybe you need to take some time to consider if they are making good decisions for the relationship. You should also try to be aware of your own behaviour in new relationships.

Make sure to go over topics like boundaries between yourselves and to clarify that you’re on the same page. Learn to give them some space if they seem more agitated than usual and keep an eye out for warning signs that there may be some toxic energy in the relationship. Some heated discussions don’t have to be a deal breaker; no relationship is perfect and does require some work.

The important part is that you don’t find yourself sacrificing important parts of yourself just to please your partner out of fear. If you ever feel even the slightest bit of discomfort from the idea of being around your partner, take some time to consider if this person is right for you.

What is a healthy relationship?

Knowing that you are with the right person is difficult, but defining your relationship as healthy is much easier. In simple terms, you should just feel good in general about the person. Communication, honesty and joyful anxiety (commonly known as butterflies in your stomach) are all good signs that your relationship is heading in the right direction.

You should be curious about them and their lifestyle, as well as they should be of you. There should be an even amount of give and take, or at least an effort to be even if there’s some spoiling going on. There should be expectations of respect in place, including no peer pressure to do anything you don’t want to, and all your actions are consensual.

Your partner should be encouraging you towards your goals and doing what they can to support you, because your life doesn’t stop where your relationship starts. Remember that it’s okay to have some discussions about conflicted interests, but you should be experiencing more good times than bad.

Compromising is also a skill that is necessary in relationships to ensure that you are both getting what you’re looking for. You should also always be able to access your own space without upsetting your partner. Your own personal ‘me’ time is a right that you have and so do they. Being able to act independently while still maintain a relationship with them is a good sign that your relationship is helping both of you grow. You also have a right to your own privacy. Your phone shouldn’t be both you and your partner’s phone.

The beginning of a relationship is usually when the gestures are big. That’s when you and your partner are trying to show how fond you are of each other, but the gestures shouldn’t stop after the first month. You should always be giving and receiving little signs of admiration to keep things fresh. When things start to feel boring, you and your partner should be ready to try new things together whether if it’s taking up a new hobby or spicing things up in the bedroom.

Your partner should be willing to meet and hang out with your friends. After all, your friends are a part of who you are too. This allows you to see how your partner acts around everyone, not just you. You should be happy about your partner’s behaviour no matter the situation, to have someone that handles situations irrationally can be stressful.

Remember that a relationship is essentially being part of a team, so there should be equal parts care, effort and respect for you to be functioning properly.