What does a Healthy Romantic Relationship look like?

by Katie Bogusz on February 16, 2017

Relationships can be confusing and when romance is added to the mix things can become more complicated.  It’s important in a healthy romantic relationship to always have the following factors: respect, honesty, trust, and communication.  There should be mutual respect in the relationship where you learn about the other person and what they value.  It’s necessary to be honest in a romantic relationship about your thoughts, feelings, and goals.  A healthy relationship means that you feel you can count on each other and that the other person will be there for you.  Communication is the glue that holds the other three factors together because it’s how we show honesty, respect and trust.  Read on for more details about healthy relationships!

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Respect

BSU’s own Sexual Violence Advocacy and Support center states that a healthy relationship includes respect.  This means that, “Both individuals value one another and view one another as important.  Boundaries, opinions, privacy, other relationships, and personality traits are respected”.  The opposite of this is disrespect which occurs when your partner may not consider your feelings or does not treat you the way that you would expect to be treated.  When a relationship becomes abusive that is when we see violent disrespect.  This occurs when, “The abusive partner is violent and disregards their partner’s emotional or physical well-being.  Uses hurtful language, threats, coercion, or physical strength”.

Communicating respectfully is important in any relationship.  If you have disagreements in a relationship try and understand your partner’s point of view.  This will build empathy and respect within a relationship because you will build an understanding and appreciation for your differences.  This is because “Respect reflects the value, validation, and the worth of another person”.

Honesty

In an honest relationship, “Both partners tell the truth even when they were not asked.  Both partners are honest about matters that will affect the relationship”.  Honesty comes with respect and is usually followed by trust because when you’re honest with your partner it shows you respect them and it creates more trust in your relationship.  When a relationship becomes dishonest one or both “Partner(s) lies on occasion and chooses to not open up about matters that affect the couple”.  In an abusive relationship one or both “Partner(s) lies often and purposely does not share important information related to the relationship”.

When you are honestly communicating with your partner that is when you really are able to get to know who they are.  In a healthy romantic relationship your partner wants to know who you really are and that means you have to be honest with one another.  The best way to do this is communicating your feelings honestly and openly.

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Trust

A healthy trustworthy relationship occurs when, “Partners have confidence in one another.  Both partners must give and earn trust”.  Trust for many people is created over time and it really shows you and your partner that you will be there for them when they need it most.  An unhealthy relationship includes distrust, which is when, “One or both partners question and doubt each other or may not always believe what the other says to them”.  When a relationship becomes abusive it includes jealousy, which is when, “One or both partners display extreme jealousy, or constantly questions or accuses their partner of cheating or flirting.  Partner may act physically violent”.

To build trust you need communication.  If you feel like your partner isn’t truly listening to you and doesn’t understand you than you cannot build trust.  When you feel like trust has been broken in a relationship it’s important to communicate that so your partner is aware of how much it has hurt you.  Communication in a relationship can create trust because you are able to understand what you need to support and love your partner.

How to get Support

If you find that you are in an unhealthy or abusive relationship it’s important to know that you have resources to support and guide you out of your relationship.  If you would like to receive counseling services on campus please visit the Counseling Center in Weygand Hall, their phone number is 508-531-1331 Monday thru Friday 8:30AM-4:30PM.  If you need medical services Health Services in Weygand Hall.  Their phone number is 508-531-1252 Monday thru Friday 8:30AM-4:30PM.  If you feel more comfortable accessing GLBTA resources please visit the GLBTA pride center in the Rondileau Campus Center, room 109.  Their phone number is 508-531-1408.

If you would like to learn more about the Sexual Violence Advocacy and Support Center please visit their website, https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/SexualViolenceAdvocacy/SitePages/Home.aspx.  If you would like to access resources off campus please visit, https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/SexualViolenceAdvocacy/SitePages/SVASC-Off%20Campus.aspx?WikiPageMode=Edit&InitialTabId=Ribbon.EditingTools.CPEditTab&VisibilityContext=WSSWikiPage.  If you would like to access resources online please visit, https://my.bridgew.edu/departments/SexualViolenceAdvocacy/SitePages/SVASC-Online.aspx?WikiPageMode=Edit&InitialTabId=Ribbon.EditingTools.CPEditTab&VisibilityContext=WSSWikiPage. To learn more about Outreach Education as well as the BSU Peer Educators: like the BSU Outreach Education page on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @bsuoutreach, and check out our calendar for upcoming events on the Involvement (IN) Network,  https://bridgew.collegiatelink.net/ and search for the BSU Peer Educators.

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