Relationships exist on a spectrum, from healthy, to unhealthy, to abusive. Healthy relationships are based on trust, support, and respect. You should never feel intimidated, humiliated, or afraid.
Essential to any healthy relationship is a strong foundation. When laying the foundation of a relationship, it is important to consider relationship readiness, communication, and boundaries to maintain a healthy relationship.
- Relationship readiness: Deciding if you are ready for a relationship is a personal choice, and there is no one way to decide. However, the best way to be sure if you are ready for a relationship is making sure the relationship you are soon to begin feels safe, comfortable, and fun.
- Communication: Communication is important in all relationships, whether serious or casual. Being honest, conscientious of the timing and environment, and paying attention and listening to your partner are all key in effective communication.
- Setting Boundaries: Communication is crucial in setting boundaries early on that will keep your relationship healthy.
It is normal for relationships to evolve as time passes. To ensure that your relationship remains healthy, keep in mind the value of honesty, making time for activities that you both love, and checking in with yourself and each other. Spending time alone and with other people is also necessary. Keep in mind that there will be disagreements and that effective communication is helpful in working through conflicts.
If you believe that you are in an unhealthy relationship, it is possible that you are in an abusive relationship. For more information on the types of abusive relationships, visit loveisrespect. You can also reach out to Resources for Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) on campus to talk more about your relationship(s).
Ending a relationship for any reason can be difficult. If you’ve chosen to end your relationship:
- Think in advance of what you will say.
- Have the conversation in person if you feel safe doing so.
- Be aware and accept that you and your partner may experience different emotions.
- Allow you and your ex-partner some space.
If you are concerned for your safety, loveisrespect provides advice on making a safety plan to get out of your abusive situation. Visit the UChicago CARES website for information on how to get immediate help.