What is a healthy relationship?

While all relationships are different, there are a few key aspects of healthy relationships:

  • Should be based on equality, respect and trust.
  • Shouldn’t be any imbalance in the relationship.
  • Should work to address any imbalances in the relationship.

No relationship is perfect and there are always things that you can work on. Indeed some of these things take time to establish, such as good communication. However, you should always feel safe in a relationship and feel that you are equal with your partner and you both respect each other. This also applies in relationships with family and friends.

Important Aspects of a Healthy Relationship


You and your partner, family or friends should view each other as equals.


Includes respecting human beings as unique individuals to include: respect of dignity and seeing value in each other.


You should feel comfortable expressing your thoughts, ideas and feelings. You should be able to agree to disagree in a constructive way.


Being able to trust others is key to a healthy relationship. Trust is established over the course of a relationship through showing consistency in words and actions.

Responsibility & Accountability

  • Being responsible and accountable to others.
  • Not placing blame on others and owning up to mistakes.
  • Doesn’t mean having to constantly check in or report to the other person.


  • Encourage others to grow separately and together.
  • Have enthusiasm for your dreams and goals and for those in your circle.
  • Be supportive in good and difficult times.


Honesty is important in a healthy relationship. You can’t build a good foundation on lies.


Boundaries should be respected at all times.

  • Establishing what you are comfortable and uncomfortable with.
  • Includes personal/physical boundaries and being able to say no.
  • Includes giving consent.

Maintaining your own friends and separate interests can be a form of having boundaries.

Non-threatening behavior

You should always feel safe in your relationship. You should never have to worry that your partner is going to intentionally harm you. Neither partner should try to maintain power and control over the other. (Concept includes friends and family)

Aspects of an Unhealthy Relationship

Lack of Communication

Without communication there is not foundations to build a healthy relationship.

  • Unable to talk about difficult topics.
  • There are a lot of misunderstandings that never to get worked out.
  • Engaging in arguments versus discussion.


Continual and repeated dishonesty is not a good foundation for any relationship.


Disrespect includes name calling, breaking boundaries, and constantly questioning and criticizing the other person’s choices and decisions.


Every person deserves a certain level of independence. If someone is dependent on someone financially, emotionally, or psychologically that could indicate an unhealthy relationship.


Jealousy becomes unhealthy when its constant or excessive and becomes about one partner possessing the other.


Manipulation can take many forms to include: mind games, convincing a partner to ignore their wants/desires/needs and using guilt to manipulate others.


Using criticism to tear the other person down could be a form of emotional abuse.


Isolation is an often used tactic by abusers to make the victims/survivor dependent on them by cutting off their ties to support networks, thus increasing their power and control in the relationship.

Constant fighting

While all relationships will have some conflict in them, if you are constantly fighting, this could be a bad sign. You shouldn’t have to feel combative when you’re with your partner, family or friends.

Controlling behavior

Domestic violence is about power and control. Behavior includes controlling where others go, see and do. Other examples include demanding social medial passwords, checking text messages, and using intimidation or coercion to get their way. Emotional, verbal and physical abuse is also a form of control.