Everyone deserves a healthy relationship and a supportive partner, but what exactly does that mean?
Relationships can be tricky because each one is different. It can be difficult to tell when the line from healthy to unhealthy is crossed. In a healthy relationship, both partners work together to establish a baseline of trust, honesty and good communication. Having a supportive partner is essential to a healthy relationship. It’s more than being told how great you are or being posted on their social media.
Supporting healthy, nonviolent relationships could reduce teen dating violence. During the pre-teen and teen years, it is critical for young people to begin learning skills to create and maintain healthy relationships, including managing feelings and communicating in a healthy way.
What Are Signs of a Supportive Partner?
Trust: Your partner believes you without your having to “prove” it, such as letting them look through your phone. There is a shared level of trust between both people and you both can rely on each other. You feel safe with them and know you aren’t being manipulated, misled, or taken advantage of.
Honesty: Your partner is open, sincere, and truthful with you. Having an honest partner creates a sense of security and comfort in the relationship.
Good Communication: You are able to talk openly with one another without the fear of feeling “judged.” You can discuss problems safely and respectfully, even if your opinions differ.
Respect: Your partner values you for who you are. They honor your emotional, physical, spiritual, and digital boundaries. Your partner respects your viewpoints, opinions, beliefs, and decisions.
Equality: There is a balanced amount of power between both people in the relationship. You and your partner make decisions together and both of you are held to the same standards. You both have a voice in the relationship.
Personal Time: You and your partner are able to spend time together, alone, or separately with other people. You both know it is important to make time for yourselves as individuals.
A supportive partner encourages you to be the best version of yourself. They celebrate your accomplishments. They don’t make you feel guilty for spending time with friends. Unhealthy relationships are based on attempts to control the other person.
Does your partner respect you and your individuality?
Do you and your partner have an equal say in decisions?
Does your partner respect your needs?
Does your partner pressure you into making certain decisions?
Does your partner get upset if you spend time with your friends?
Does your partner make you feel worthless?
Nobody is perfect. Even healthy relationships experience conflict. When conflict appears in your relationship, does your partner make space for your opinions and respect your boundaries? The line between healthy and unhealthy isn’t always clear. If you think you may be in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, help is available.
Alena Schuckmann is the Digital Communications Specialist for The Center for Family Safety and Healing. Alena graduated with a degree in communications and a minor in art from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. Alena is a skilled digital content creator who has had various articles and photographs published locally and nationwide.
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