How to Tell the Difference Between a Healthy and Unhealthy Relationship

How can you tell the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy relationship? Here's the way you know. Take a look.

You're in a relationship. Something doesn't seem right, but you can't put your finger on it. Here's how to tell if your relationship is healthy or unhealthy for you.

Being in a HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP means ...


Loving and taking care of yourself, before and while in a relationship. You care for and focus on another person only and neglect yourself or you focus only on yourself and neglect the other person.
Respecting individuality, embracing differences, and allowing each person to "be themselves." You feel pressure to change to meet the other person's standards, you are afraid to disagree, and your ideas or criticized. Or, you pressure the other person to meet your standards and criticize his/her ideas.
Doing things with friends and family and having activities independent of each other. One of you has to justify what you do, where you go, and who you see.
Discussing things, allowing for differences of opinion, and compromising equally. One of you makes all the decisions and controls everything without listening to the other's input.
Expressing and listening to each other's feelings, needs, and desires. One of you feels unheard and is unable to communicate what you want.
Trusting and being honest with yourself and each other. You lie to each other and find yourself making excuses for the other person.
Respecting each other's need for privacy. You don't have any personal space and have to share everything with the other person.
Sharing sexual histories and sexual health status with a partner. Your partner keeps his/her sexual history a secret or hides a sexually transmitted infection from you or you do not disclose your history to your partner.
Practicing safer sex methods. You feel scared of asking your partner to use protection or s/he has refused your requests for safer sex. Or, you refuse to use safer sex methods after your partner has requested or you make your partner feel scared.
Respecting sexual boundaries and being able to say no to sex. Your partner has forced you to have sex or you have had sex when you don't really want to. Or, you have forced or coerced your partner to have sex.
Resolving conflicts in a rational peaceful, and mutually agreed upon way. One or both of you yells and hits, shoves or throws things at the other in an argument.
There is room for positive growth and you learn more about each other as you develop and mature. You feel stifled, trapped, and stagnant. You are unable to escape the pressures of the relationship.



APA Reference
Staff, H. (2021, December 23). How to Tell the Difference Between a Healthy and Unhealthy Relationship, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Last Updated: March 21, 2022

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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