The Pixel Project is pleased to welcome a guest “16 For 16” article from our partner the NO MORE Foundation, an organisation that is dedicated to ending domestic violence and sexual assault by increasing awareness, inspiring action, and fueling culture change. With more than 1,400 allied organisations and over 40 state, local, and international chapters, NO MORE sparks grassroots activism, encouraging everyone—women and men, youth and adults, from all walks of life—to be part of the solution. The Foundation creates and provides public awareness campaigns, educational resources and community organising tools free-of-charge for anyone wanting to stop and prevent violence.
No relationship is perfect, but healthy intimate partner relationships make both people feel respected, supported, and safe. As domestic violence preventionists, we often focus on the signs of an unhealthy relationship—physical assault, verbal abuse, anger, and jealousy. But what are the signs of a healthy relationship? Healthy relationships are characterised by mutual respect, trust, equality, and honesty. Look below for 16 characteristics of a healthy relationship.
If you or a loved one is in an unhealthy or abusive relationship, there is help available. Visit the NO MORE Global Directory of domestic and sexual violence support services, and you’ll find contact information for direct services in 205 countries around the world. Everyone deserves a safe, happy, and healthy relationship.
Healthy Characteristic #1 – Respect: Each person accepts the other person, understands their boundaries, and values their beliefs and opinions.
Healthy Characteristic #2 – Trust: Partners trust in each other and are comfortable doing things separately. They respect each other’s privacy, both in-person and online.
Healthy Characteristic #3 – Honesty: Partners are truthful and open with each other. They are able to talk and act freely without fearing their partner’s response, or if they will be judged.
Healthy Characteristic #4 – Individuality: Neither partner compromises who they are, and each has their own identity. Each partner feels comfortable expressing themselves and comfortable showing their true personality.
Healthy Characteristic #5 – Equality: Both partners put equal effort into the relationship and make decisions together, as opposed to one person calling all the shots.
Healthy Characteristic #6 – Taking Responsibility: Both partners are responsible for their own actions and words. Both avoid putting blame on each other and own up when they do something wrong. Both avoid taking things out on each other when they are upset, and both try to make positive changes to better the relationship.
Healthy Characteristic #7 – Healthy Sexual Relationship: Both partners feel comfortable in the sexual relationship. Neither partner feels pressured or forced to engage in sexual activity that is outside his or her comfort zone. Partners do not coerce each other, or engage in sex acts without the other’s consent.
Healthy Characteristic #8 – Non-Violent: No physical violence is used by either partner. This includes hitting, slapping, kicking, punching, burning, biting, or using objects or weapons to cause harm. Both partners feel a sense of care and concern from the other, and they do not fear violence as a result of their partner’s anger.
Healthy Characteristic #9 – Inclusion: Both partners encourage each other to socialise and keep in touch with friends and family. Partners do not isolate each other, or display jealousy or anger that the other person has a life of their own.
Healthy Characteristic #10 – Protection and Loyalty: Both partners are reliable and feel confident that they have each other’s backs. They are respectful and faithful, sticking up for each other and keeping secrets safe.
Healthy Characteristic #11 – Encouragement: One partner supports the other in doing things that they want to do, and backs their decisions. Partners celebrate each other’s victories and accomplishments, and feel genuinely happy when the other succeeds.
Healthy Characteristic #12 – Self-Confidence: When partners have confidence in themselves, they are more calm and comfortable with each other. Both partners feel secure with themselves, and do not rely too heavily on the other to fulfill their happiness or sense of self-worth.
Healthy Characteristic #13 – Shared Interest: Both partners are interested in each other’s thoughts, goals, work, hobbies, and daily life. They enjoy watching each other grow into their best self.
Healthy Characteristic #14 – Realistic Views: Neither partner is fixated on who their partner used to be or who they think they should be. They see the other person for who they truly are, not an idealised version of them.
Healthy Characteristic #15 – Financial Freedom: Both partners have control of their own finances, and share responsibility for how joint money is spent. One partner does not exert total control over the other’s financial decisions.
Healthy Characteristic #16 – Fun: Laughing and joking together, and making time for fun activities are important parts of a healthy relationship. While not every moment can be perfect, relationships should be fun and joyful!
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All pictures used are Creative Commons images (from top to bottom):
- Picture 1: Photo by Jasmine Carter from Pexels
- Picture 2: Photo by picjumbo.com from Pexels
- Picture 3: Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels
- Picture 4: Photo by Pixabay from Pexels