Is your relationship good for you?
16 days of activism against gender-based violence is an international campaign. Getting It On is looking at intimate relationships as part of this campaign.
As we grow up and learn more about ourselves, it is highly likely that you will start to develop feelings for someone that goes beyond those of a friendship you may have.
If the other person starts to feel the same way about you, then a relationship may develop – you may find yourself with a boyfriend, a girlfriend, or a partner, and as exciting as this is, it can also be quite scary.
All relationships you have should help you to feel good about yourself and help you to grow as a person, become more confident and help you love life and learn together.
But what happens when a relationship doesn’t feel like that? What happens if you are with someone who makes you feel bad about yourself, puts you down with words and tries to control who you see and what you do?
Well, this page is here to help you understand this a little more and point you in the direction to go for some more help or information.
What might a healthy and happy relationship feel like?
It is good to remember that this isn’t a list of things that MUST be in a healthy relationship – not everyone is perfect, so the important thing is that your partner will grow and learn with you and build you up to feel good about yourself and feel happy with life.
Talk openly, honestly and regularly. Listening is also a part of good communication.
Respect one another for the differences you have and the things you enjoy together. We all have different beliefs, value and ways of doing things and thinking about things but this is what makes our relationships exciting.
Trust is really important in a relationship. Take time to build trust with each other.
Be honest about how you are feeling and how things make you feel – the key to good communication and building trust. Your relationships should be a safe space where you can feel ok to be honest and be listened too without judgement.
All good relationships are built on equality. If you don’t feel like an equal partner in the relationship, then you may need to talk with your partner about this and explore this in a spirit of openness and honesty.
Allow yourself to relax and let your own personality shine through. A healthy relationship should allow you and challenge you to grow and flourish. A partner should give you space and freedom to grow and learn.
So, what might you see in an unhealthy relationship?
If you recognise any of these in your relationship, then it may be that things aren’t what they should be, and you can always seek more help and information from the other resources we have listed here.
Lack of emotional support from your partner – doesn’t listen to you or makes you feel stupid or silly for expressing your feelings. This isn’t healthy behaviour.
Your partner may try and cut you off from family and friends and limit who you see. This can be quite controlling and may be a warning sign that things aren’t right in the relationship.
If you aren’t comfortable with something in the relationship and you say ‘no’, and they do not stop – this can be a warning sign that the relationship isn’t equal and you aren’t being listened to.
A relationship should build you up and help you to feel good about yourself – if the relationship is making you feel bad about life, or about your image or who you are, then this can be a warning sign.
Signs of Domestic Abuse
If you notice any of these following signs in your relationship, then there are things you can do to seek help.
If your partner…
- Criticises you
- Gets aggressive when angry
- Tells you what to wear or how to look
- Shouts at you
- Threatens you or those close to you
- Keeps cash and credit cards from you
- Controls how you spend money
- Stops you from working in a job you want
- Cuts you off from family and friends
- Stops you from eating or sleeping
- Forces you to do something sexual to which you haven’t consented
- Purposely gives you a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI)
- Won’t stop messaging you if you go out without them
- Checks on your social media
- Says they will hurt themselves if you ever split up
For more information take a look at these pages on our website:
Cranstoun – access services in Sutton for help with domestic abuse.