Relationships

Relationships are made up of more than one person and can include family, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, partners, colleagues, acquaintances, really anytime where two (or more) people are connected in some way.

Relationships are something we actively they are not something we have or own and definitely not something that just happens to us.

All relationships are unique depending on the individuals involved so it is really up to the people involved to decide what works for them and what doesn’t. However, we often see the same traits over and over again in good, healthy relationships and in bad, unhealthy or abusive relationships so it’s worth having a bit of a think about these traits.

Healthy relationships

Healthy relationships will usually have most of the following in common even if it looks different in each relationship.

  • Communication
  • Trust and Honesty
  • Good Conflict Resolution
  • Respect for each other
  • Equality
  • Separate Identities
  • Flexible
  • Safety
  • Care and Support

When we talk about unhealthy relationships, we often talk about red flags. Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour that might be able to help you identify abusive or unhealthy behaviour in a relationship.

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They are disrespectful to you.

This might include insults, rudeness, criticism and a lack of respect for your opinions. Treating you disrespectfully in front of other people is a big red flag too.

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They are controlling

This might include planning everything that you do together without listening to your ideas/plans, telling you how to dress, look or behave or pressuring you to spend all your spare time with them.

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They are possessive

This might include calling or texting too much to check in with you or getting upset or annoyed when you speak to other people.

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

Nothing is ever their fault

They blame everyone else, including you and ex partners for anything that goes wrong.

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They are self-centred

They care more about themselves than they do about you, the relationship or anything else

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They pressure you for sex

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

The relationship gets too serious, too quick

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They blame you for their jealousy and insecurities

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They scare you when they are angry

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They have double standards – one rule for them and another rule for everyone else (including you)

Red flags are little warning signs in someone’s behaviour

They treat you differently around other people than they do when you are alone.

Not all red flags automatically mean a relationship is abusive but all red flags suggest there might be a few issues. Some red flags don’t immediately look abusive or unhealthy and many people will try to explain that they only act badly because they ‘care’. We don’t think this is ever an excuse. Loving someone means you treat them well and with respect. Love is not violent or abusive. No one should have to put up with abusive behaviour. Most importantly, if someone is violent or abusive to you, it is never your fault, there is nothing you have done to deserve this treatment.

Check out how healthy your relationship is by taking this quick quiz.

For more information, particularly if you are worried about your relationship, check out this safety plan.