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Whether you’re looking for a relationship, dating or hooking up - there’s a few important things to remember when it comes to relationships.


Only you know if you’re ready to date

Everyone is different and when you decide to start dating is up to you.

A good place to start is when:

  • You know yourself well - what you like, what you don’t like, what you’re good at and what you believe in.

  • You feel comfortable in yourself and you’re happy with who you are.

  • You know what you’re looking for in a partner.

  • You’re aware of what a healthy relationship looks like and what some signs are of an unhealthy are.

  • You want to date because you like someone, not because you like the idea of having someone.

  • You know why you want to date and it’s not because everyone else is.

  • You’re aware of your boundaries - what you’re ready for and what you’re NOT ready for when it comes to the physical stuff.

"It's actually been really difficult for me with love. I've found relationships difficult because I've got childhood trauma. I think it was genuinely difficult for me to receive love."

–Emeli Paulo, Founder of Collective Potential

What makes for a healthy relationship?

Some qualities you might expect to see in a healthy relationship are:

Respect – valuing each other as you are. Respecting each other’s ideas and differences. Respecting values, boundaries & decisions.
Trust – you both trust each other and the trust has been earned. You have faith in each other’s decisions and feel secure in the relationship.
Honesty – you are both honest with each other.
Equality – you make decisions together. You give and take equally. You’re both willing to compromise.
Boundaries – you both enjoy being independent. You’re able to give each other privacy and space. You respect your partner’s decision to be apart and spend time with friends.
Intimacy – you discuss intimacy and sex together. You both consent to safe sexual activity and can talk about what’s ok and what isn’t.
Support – you offer reassurance and encouragement to each other. The relationship is about building each other up, not putting each other down.
Open communication – being able to express your feelings without yelling or disrespecting each other. You listen to each other, hear each other out and respect each other’s opinions.

What are some signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Sometimes it’s not easy to spot the warning signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Here are some red flags:

  • Abusive behaviours like possessiveness, jealousy, manipulation, isolation, insults, temper tantrums, yelling and physical violence – Abuse is never ok.

  • They embarrass you in public or constantly put you down.

  • They check in on you all the time and you feel like you’re constantly under surveillance.

  • They pressure you for sex, nudes or to engage in risky behaviours even after you’ve said no.

  • They lie to you – it can be both what they say, and what they don’t say.

  • They scare or intimidate you.

  • They check your phone, social media or emails – no-one has the right to invade your privacy.

  • There’s a lack of fairness or equality.

  • They pressure you to change who you are, who your friends are or what you do.

"If you have any concerns about a person you’re dating, don’t ignore how you’re feeling. Talking to someone can help you get perspective on what’s happening"

Relationships can be tricky

It may take some time to find the right person for you.

  • Relationships are supposed to be positive and fun.

  • Sure, you might not always agree but if you feel disempowered, scared or uncomfortable you might be in an unhealthy relationship.

  • If you have any concerns or want more information on what's healthy and what's not, give us a call, start a WebChat or email us today.

This content was last reviewed 14/02/2018

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