Sunday, September 13, 2009

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

Know Respect
Do you respect each other’s opinions, decisions, and boundaries?
Respect means that each person values who the other is and understands the other person’s boundaries. Respect means that one partner doesn’t push the other in to doing things that he or she is not comfortable with, such as drinking, using drugs, and sexual contact. Respect also means that a partner appreciates who the other person is as an individual and does not try to change his or her partner or control the way he or she acts, dresses, or does. Mutual respect is an essential component every healthy relationship.

Know Equality
Do both of you have equal say in the choices made about the relationship?
As an equal partner in a relationship, both of you need to have equal say on everything – from the types of activities you do together, the people you hang out with together, the sexual contact you engage in, to the amount of time you spend together. If one partner makes all the decisions in your relationship it is not a healthy relationship.

Know Individuality
Do you encourage your friends to have other friends and activities?
In a healthy relationship friends encourage each other to be themselves; after all, being an individual is what makes you you. Individuality is what attracted your friends to you in the first place. As a good friend you should encourage your friends to maintain their individuality. Support your friends in doing the things that they love – sports, music, academics, etc. – maintaining friendships with people other than yourself, and having their own sense of style. Remember, it’s the differences in people that make them interesting.

Know Safety
Are your relationships the places where you feel safest of all?
In healthy relationships partners feel safe both emotionally and physically. Emotional safety means that you feel comfortable being you – expressing your opinions, having feelings, and enjoying activities and people that you like – without fear of being made fun of or put down. Physical safety means that you are not being hit, slapped, punched, restrained, or being forced to engage in unwanted sexual activity, or threatened with any of the above. If you do not feel physically or emotionally safe in your relationship, you are not in a healthy relationship.

Know Support
Is your boyfriend or girlfriend concerned for you and want what is best for you?
In healthy relationships both partners care for and support each other. Your partner should want you to succeed in school and other activities you may participate in. For example, your partner should understand if you need to miss his or her basketball game to study for a big test; at the same time, you should encourage your partner and support him or her to continue having fun and playing basketball. If you don’t feel like you are being supported in your relationship, it may not be the best relationship for you.

Know Acceptance
Do you pretend to be someone you aren’t to keep a relationship going?
In healthy relationships both partners accept each other for who they really are – including religious background, friends, activities they enjoy (both together and apart), and each individual’s sense of style. You shouldn’t have to change who you are, or compromise your beliefs to make someone like you

Know Trust
Are your relationships built on honesty?
Honesty and trust are the cornerstones of any healthy relationship. If you have ever caught your friend or dating partner in a huge lie, you know that it takes time to rebuild your trust in him or her. You should always be honest in a relationship because it strengthens the relationship and builds trust and there is no way to have a healthy relationship with out trust. Partners in healthy relationships choose to trust in each other – for example, a partner believes the other when he or she says they are at the mall with friends and the partner doesn’t demand proof. If your partner doesn’t trust you and give you the benefit of the doubt, you may not be in a healthy relationship.

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