Qualities of a Healthy Relationship & Signs of Unhealthy Relationships

Recognizing Red Flags and Green Flags in a Relationship

What are some of the characteristics of a healthy relationship? We get the idea of what a “happy” relationship looks like from social media nowadays; couples are always happy, traveling and doing fun things. Every relationship has their happy moments but it also comes with some disagreements and different points of view. A healthy relationship is able to navigate disagreements and “not so happy times” and work out differences. 

Below you can find some of the qualities that makes a relationship healthy:

  • Having fun together more often than not and enjoys spending time separately with friends. The couple is able to give each other space to spend time away from each other, as well as plan for things together as a couple and with others. 
  • Feels safe with each other and trusts each other. 
  • Are faithful to each other if they have made a commitment. 
  • Supports each other’s individual goals in life such as jobs & school decisions.
  • Solve conflicts without putting each other down and are able to be honest about what they feel. 
  • Both accept responsibility for actions and accept when they are wrong. 
  • Have equal decision making. 
  • Encourage each other’s interests and have privacy (phone, diary).
  • Never feel like they are being pressured for sex if relationship is sexual. 
  • Allow each other space when needed and seek help when needed. 

Below you can find characteristics of unhealthy relationships. The point of this list is to identify some of the behaviors in the relationship that could improve and could also signal to a toxic relationship.  While everyone does unhealthy things sometimes, we can all learn to love better by recognizing unhealthy signs and shifting to healthy behaviors. If you are seeing unhealthy signs in your relationship, it’s important to not ignore them and understand they can escalate to abuse. 

  • Gets extremely jealous and/or accuses the other partner of cheating
  • Puts the other person down by calling them names, cursing or making them feel bad about themselves. 
  • Blames the other person for their behavior (you make me mad…this is your fault)
  • Had threatened to hurt the other person or hurt themselves if they leave.
  • Frequently criticizes partners and their family or friends. 
  • Smashes, throws or destroys things. 
  • Tries to keep the other person from working, going to school or making decisions about their own life. 
  • Has grabbed, pushed, or physically hurt the other person. 
  • Ignores or withholds attention as a way to punish the other person. 
  • Tries to control the other person’s behavior by telling them how to dress, what to do or not to do, who to be friends with etc.

If you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship you can reach out to a mental health professional that can assist in guiding you.


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