About this Series
This is the 4th in a series of posts on safety from outside advocates. These posts focus on safety topics that are important to our partners, our company, and our users. We started with members of our Match Group Advisory Council, but we’ve expanded it to include other important voices in safety. We have asked our guest posters to contribute their expert insights to our Trust and Safety Center to increase awareness among our members and amplify our collaborative work to improve safety both on our platforms and in our greater community.
See the Signs of a Healthy Relationship with One Love
Relationships are so central to our lives and who we are, yet we’re taught so little about them. Growing up, we learn that love is a feeling. We see it onscreen in our favorite movies, hear about it in songs, and even see it play out in front of us, but truth be told, these aren’t always the best examples of healthy relationships. The reality is, we’re often left to figure out love on our own.
At One Love, we help people understand, build, and give language to healthy relationships. We believe Love is Learned and the signs of a healthy and unhealthy relationship can and should be identified from a young age. By learning these important signs, we then are empowered to see an unhealthy relationship in our lives and hopefully avoid abuse.
While we focus on educating people early to prepare them for their first relationships, the truth is, it’s never too late to see the signs and understand how to have happier, healthier, and safer relationships. As you embark on a new relationship or take the time to reflect on your current one, use the following signs to guide you.
*Remember, healthy relationships bring out the best in us and make us feel good about ourselves. A healthy relationship does not mean a “perfect” relationship — no one is healthy 100% of the time — but the signs below are behaviors we should all strive for in them.
Comfortable Pace: A relationship should move at a speed that feels enjoyable for each person. In a healthy relationship, you’re not rushed or pressured in a way that makes you feel overwhelmed or uneasy (i.e. like being pushed to make things “official” or moving in together before you’re ready).
Trust: Trust takes believing your partner and respecting their privacy and boundaries in return. When it comes to technology, it’s not okay to demand passwords or to track someone’s location without their consent.
Honesty: You can be truthful and candid without fearing how the other person will respond. A healthy relationship is one where you can comfortably be yourself at all times and not feel like you’re performing or acting in a way that’s inauthentic.
Independence: You have the space to be yourself outside of your relationship. That means being able to connect with your friends and family, maintaining your hobbies, and planning needed time for self-care.
Respect: You value one another’s beliefs and opinions and love one another for who you are as a person. A healthy partner will understand, and most importantly, respect any boundaries you set for yourself, and the relationship.
Equality: The relationship feels balanced and everyone puts the same effort into the success of the relationship. When you’re a team, both people feel like their needs, wishes, and interests are equally important. It’s totally normal to not always want the same things, and when that happens, you make compromises that you’re both comfortable with.
Kindness: You are caring and empathetic to one another and provide comfort and support. There’s no way to “measure” kindness, since it can take form as both big and small acts, but what’s really important is how you make the other person feel.
Taking Responsibility: Owning your own actions and words. When you take responsibility for your behaviors, you demonstrate to your partner your willingness to be honest and vulnerable, which in turns encourages your partner to be open and authentic with you.
Healthy Conflict: Openly and respectfully discussing issues and confronting issues in a non-judgmental way. Remember no relationship will be 100% free of conflict. Having differing opinions or experiences can cause disagreements, but it’s how we resolve conflict that determines the health of our relationships.
Fun: You enjoy spending time together and bring out the best in one another. Any healthy relationship should feel easy and make you happy. You can let loose, laugh together, and be yourselves! No relationship is 100% perfect, but the good times and good feelings should outweigh the bad.
If you feel like these signs don’t show up in your relationship as much as you’d like, or you’re worried about a relationship, trust your gut. Go check out One Love’s 10 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship to make sure the healthy signs are outweighing the unhealthy ones.
Need to talk to someone? Get advice and information 24/7 from trusted partners. For more ways to learn about love and healthy relationships, visit JoinOneLove.org for free resources.