Being social creatures, we’re always looking for that feeling of love and acceptance. That love can come in many forms such as parents, siblings, friends and special friends, to name a few. But love can also be consuming and prevent us from seeing if that relationship is good for us. As it’s Valentines week, we’ve made a quick guide on how to check if your relationship is healthy.

Whose blog do you want to read first? Grace, Emilia

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Grace’s Healthy Relationship Tips

Love is such an abstract, confusing emotion that can cause very conflicting feelings, and this can make it difficult to identify whether we are truly feeling love for another.

Despite love being different for everyone, there are a few ways of recognising when a relationship can turn into unhealthy, one-sided relationships.

1. Name-calling and humiliation.

A joke around and funny name-calling from time to time is fine, as long as there is reciprocated feeling of amusement. However, if this name-calling becomes more frequent and starts to hurt feelings rather than lighten up the mood, this could be considered as verbal abuse. You get to choose what you are called, don’t let someone else choose what you are called.

Photo by Jiroe on Unsplash part of COG Youth Services, How to recognise a healthy relationship blog.

2. Do you feel unsettled or uncomfortable in this relationship?

The feeling of ‘walking on eggshells’ suggests that there may be a sense of unpredictability in this relationship. Feeling unsure of whether to voice your opinion, scared that a sudden burst of anger will break out is a definite sign that this relationship is not serving you. The volatility of one’s extreme reactions to small things is not what a healthy relationship includes, so do take note of this.

3. Exhaustive control and manipulation.

Control and manipulation can be very hard to spot, as it can be expressed subtly or passive-aggressively. As well as this, control can accumulate over time, building up without being noticed. It is particularly important that there is a sense of equality in your relationship. One is never more superior than the other, or has more authority over certain things, such as money. To realise this manipulation, it’s important to trust your feelings. Do you feel uncomfortable doing things? Do you feel threatened? Do you do things just because your partner said so? Is it always the other person getting their way, not you? 

4. Finally, is this relationship serving you? Do you feel happy?

Love and happiness are interlinked. If you do find yourself feeling mostly suppressed, unhappy or upset with someone, this maybe a sign of the relationship turning from mutual love to something more forced, controlling and possessive. However, this is certainly not to say that relationships must be happy all the time. Arguments and feeling upset are completely normal, however, be careful if this becomes extensive.

These are just some of the many ways to distinguish between a healthy and unhealthy relationship. Just remember, love is a positive, heart-warming, deep affection, that always brings happiness and joy. Don’t jump to conclusions and assume that a feeling for someone is immediately love. Think rationally, let the relationship grow slowly and always be mindful of your own happiness.

Grace, 14, London

Whose blog do you want to read next? Emilia

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Emilia’s Healthy Relationship Advice

In modern society, we can, with mobile phones, instantly connect with other people through a screen without little means of knowing who the other person really is. Texting and snapping other people, creates a barrier which, allows people to come up with things they want to say that may or may not be true. Phones allow easy conversations, that may not happen in normal life, but this may not always be a good thing. This communication might seem healthy but in reality, the relationship, could be forged on lies as we cannot always trust what the other is saying. Despite this, we need to find a few ways of spotting healthy relationships, during this time, when we may be separated from others:

1.            Communication

FaceTiming each other is a great way to be genuine, from a distance. It allows you to talk truthfully and at ease. However, many people may not enjoy this form of communication and prefer texting. This is not a red flag but is something you must talk about. Open communication about your feelings will help strengthen a relationship and make it healthy.

2.            Trust

Time, away from each other, my bring about insecurities but you must trust the other person. Doubting each other is just as bad as your significant other breaking your trust, as it shows that you believe they are disloyal. A relationship built on trust is healthy. If trust slowly diminishes over time, then this may be a red flag.

3.            Time spent away

relationships shouldn’t be all consuming, with every waking moment together. Spending time to find your own self and not being defined by that relationship makes it stronger. If your partner can’t trust you to be yourself, without them in your company, this relationship is overbearing. Freedom and autonomy is good, don’t let yourself be controlled by your partner.

4.            Laughter

not everyone has humorous characteristics, however lightheartedness and ease of conversation shows a fluidity of the relationship that allows you to enjoy each others company. Playfulness and laughter brings happiness to the relationship making it strong and healthy.

5.            Encouragement and support

your partner showing affection and caring, for you, shows a strong relationship. Supporting one another, when they are trying to achieve a goal or when they are down, shows that your love one another. Encouraging one another to achieve their dreams shows that you care about their aspirations, no matter what direction it may take them (and the relationship) in.

Trust your gut. When your see red flags, you must not ignore them. Addition, trust family members on the outside of the relationship. Most of them have good intentions and can look at the relationship from a different perspective. Surround yourself with people that will look out for you, should your relationship become unhealthy and you need support to get out and free yourself.

Emilia, 15, Leicester

Whose blog do you want to read next? Grace

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All images come from Unsplash

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