Navigating Healthy relationships and boundaries is an essential part of our community. 

Characteristics of Healthy Romantic Relationships 

Does your romantic relationship exhibit these qualities? 

  • caring: partners care for each other and profess that caring openly 

  • friendship: partners are friends first and have fun together 

  • acceptance: partners accept each other as they are 

  • open communication: partners listen to each other and say what's on their minds 

  • trust: partners trust each other and are trustworthy 

  • equality: partners are equal in power and share decision-making 

  • safety: partners respect each other's boundaries and resolve conflicts without violence 

  • mutual support: partners support each other's goals and values 


Warning Signs of Unhealthy Relationships 

Watch for these warning signs in your partner: 

  • Controlling behavior: Your partner insists on always knowing where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing; your partner tries to prevent you from seeing friends and family 

  • Jealousy: Your partner flies into a rage any time you pay attention to someone else and accuses you of being unfaithful 

  • Disrespect: Your partner is mean or rude to you 

  • Violence: Your partner hits, slaps, shoves, kicks, punches, or otherwise physically abuses you 

  • Alcohol & Drugs: Your partner abuses alcohol or drugs and pressures you to do so as well 

  • Exploitation: Your partner makes you do things sexually that you are uncomfortable with 

  • Secrecy: Your partner doesn't acknowledge you or your relationship openly 

Watch for these warning signs in yourself: 

  • You feel controlled, threatened, isolated, or put down by your partner 

  • You always feel drained, anxious, or unsure of yourself around your partner 

  • You argue about the same things again and again 

  • You often have sex but rarely go out together 

  • What you like most about the relationship is what your partner does for you (money, gifts, etc.) 

  • You're so wrapped up in the relationship that you have no energy for your studies, hobbies, friends, or family 

  • You would feel incomplete without a partner 

If this describes your relationship, talk to a counselor for help. 

Signs That a Friend May Need Help 

Those who experience intimate partner violence or sexual abuse can be deeply affected.  They may feel vulnerable and need support to establish a new sense of normalcy.  Here are signs of concern: 

  • strong emotions like anger, fear, anxiety, or depression; 

  • low self-esteem, self-blaming, or suicidal thoughts; 

  • numbness, withdrawal, or lack of trust; 

  • increased alcohol or drug consumption. 


Appropriate sex is... 

  • consensual: partners agree about what they do together 

  • non-exploitative: partners have equal power, and neither pressures or forces the other 

  • mutually pleasurable: both partners enjoy the experience 

  • safe: low risk of unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, or emotional pain 

  • developmentally appropriate: suitable to the age and maturity of the persons involved 

  • caring: partners have mutual expectations and affection for one another 

  • respectful: partners value honesty and keeping commitments made to others 

  • private: in your own space, not viewed or shared by others