Healthy Relationships

Am I In A Healthy Relationship?

Healthy Relationships Are …

  • Respectful, inclusive, and mutually rewarding.
  • Provide space as well as togetherness.
  • Include shared interests and open communication.
  • Rely upon mutual respect, acceptance, appreciation of differences, and safety.

Visit the University of Texas Counseling and Mental Health Web site for more infomation about healthy relationships.

Relationship Bill of Rights

  • I have the right to an equal relationship with my partner.
  • I have the right to be respected.
  • I have the right to change my mind.
  • I have the right to reject unwanted attention.
  • I have the right to be myself as long as I am respectful of others.
  • I have the right to terminate a relationship when my feelings change.
  • I have the right to choose not to be physically or sexually intimate with my partner at any time.
  • I have the right to say “no”, and have my decision be respected.


Relationship Abuse:

A systematic pattern of behaviors aimed at gaining or maintaining control of a partner.

Abuse can be:

  • Verbal
  • Physical
    • Sexual
    • Emotional
    • Economic
  • Abusive Relationship Warning SignsDoes your partner…
    • Call you names, put you down, or humiliate you?
    • Push, slap, punch, kick, or restrain you?
    • Threaten or intimidate you?
    • Pressure or force you to have sex?
    • Say it’s your fault when he/she hurts you?
    • Use jealousy and love as an excuse to control you?
    • Make you feel isolated from the rest of your friends or limit the amount of time that you spend outside of your relationship?
    • Lose their temper quickly, and then become sad, depressed, apologetic, or romantic?
    • Believe that you should be passive and submissive?

    Relationship Violence

    • Occurs in all socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, nationality, and religious groups.
    • Occurs in heterosexual and same-sex relationships at about the same rates.
    • Affects people of all ages, genders, and physical abilities.

    For more information about relationship abuse click here.

    Intoxication, trauma, stress, or relationship conflicts do not cause violence. Abuse is a choice your partner is making.

    How To Help a Friend

    If you witness signs that your friend may be in an abusive (and perhaps violent) relationship, do not hesitate to act.

    • Listen, accept, and validate your friend’s feelings.
    • Support your friend in a non-judgmental, non-attacking way.
    • Be clear that the abuse is not your friend’s fault.
    • Provide information on the warning signs of abusive relationships.
    • Provide information about resources that are available to help.
    • Allow a friend to make his/her own decisions, even if it means he/she isn’t ready to end the abusive relationship.
    • Acknowledge that it is difficult to talk about relationship violence. Tell your friend that they don’t deserve to be threatened, hit or beaten.
    • If asked, help your friend seek the support needed.