Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships


  • Both are feeling good about self, feel good individually, whether in a relationship or not; shared interests; shared power and decision making; shared values
  • Normal ups and downs; losts more ups than downs
  • Can disagree and solve problems without verbal or physical abuse
  • Relationship is one part of a well-rounded life of friends, family, school, sports, hobbies, spiritual life
  • Both enjoy the company of other people and support individual interests and friendships of their boyfriend/girlfriend


  • One or both are not enjoying the relationship much - lots of drama or boredom, not much fun
  • Not many shared interests or values, or differ on important interests and values
  • Can disagree and solve problems fairly, but there are lots of disagreements and problems
  • One partner sees the relationship as much more important then the other one does - one is getting "too serious" or too dependent
  • One partner has violated trust or hurt the other in a way that is hard to repair
  • Have just grown apart - not very interested in each other anymore - it's more of a habit than anything else
  • Feel sadness, hurt, anger, and failure about breaking up, but open to the possibility of new relationships


  • One has decreasing self-esteem since entering the relationship
  • The interests, values, and desires of one person dominate the relationship
  • One is using name-calling, threats, intimidation, insults, manipulation, physical or sexual abuse to force the other one to do things
  • One or both is becoming more secretive and isolated from family, friends, social activities, etc.
  • One feels entitled to be in control, decide how things will be, get his or her own way all the time, wants the other to agree and comply
  • Abuser often says, "I am sorry.  It will never happen again."  Then, is abusive again.
  • One person feels more afraid, is hurt physically and emotionally, adjusts behavior to accomodate the other, is "walking on eggshells" not to upset the other.  The other may be monitoring or stalking to know every move.
  • One is afraid to break-up, the other "won't let" partner leave