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Healthy Relationships

It is important to understand what a healthy relationship looks like and begin to recognize whether you and your partner share a relationship that is healthy, fulfilling and safe.  
 
What does a healthy relationship look like?
All relationships are different, but healthy relationships share at least five things in common - the S.H.A.R.E. qualities.
  • Safety - in a healthy, equal relationship, you feel safe. You do not have to worry that your partner will harm you physically or emotionally, and you are not tempted to harm them. You can change your mind about something - like having sex - without being afraid of how your partner will respond.
  • Honesty - you don't hide anything important from your partner, and can say what you think without fear of being ridiculed. You can admit to being wrong, and you resolve disagreements by talking honestly.
  • Acceptance - you accept each other as you are. You appreciate your partner's unique qualities, such as shyness or spaceyness, and do not try to "fix" them. If you don't like your partner's qualities, you should not be with that person.
  • Respect - you think highly of each other. You treat each other as equals – neither one of you is “the boss.”  You do not feel superior or inferior to your partner in important ways. You respect each other's right to have separate opinions and ideas.
  • Enjoyment and Equality - a good relationship is not just about how two people treat each other – it also has to be fun! (If it is not fun, why bother?) In a healthy, equal relationship, you feel energized and alive in your partner's presence.  You can play and laugh together.

The opposite of a healthy, equal relationship is an abusive relationship.

Get informed about deciding to have sex or notsafer sex, and what to do if you have been assaulted.
 
Source: The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada Retrieved from www.sexualityandu.ca.