Healthy Relationships

CW// abuse. This article includes topics such as domestic abuse and harassment. We understand that this content may be difficult for some and encourage you to always but your well-being first. 

 

Whether you’re in it for the long haul, think they’re just a friend, or keeping it strictly bedroom only, it’s important to ensure that your relationship is a healthy one. A healthy relationship can cover a wide range of factors and as always, we are here to support you throughout your time at University. 

 

Did someone say red flag? 

Sometimes something happens and we know we need to run a mile, but sometimes it’s not that obvious. Whether it’s a lover, partner, or friend, understanding what makes a relationship unhealthy isn’t always clear. Sometimes we all do unhealthy things, but it’s important we recognise those and shift our behaviours to help build a healthy relationship. Remember to trust your gut and if you ever feel like you’re in danger – get help. 

Signs of an unhealthy relationship can include: 

  • Manipulation 

  • Belittling 

  • Guilting 

  • Possessiveness 

See One Love’s 10 Signs of an unhealthy relationship. 

A healthy relationship doesn’t mean it’s 100% perfect all the time, but it should bring out the best in you and make you feel good. 

 

It’s not only physical 

Firstly, we’d like to point out that abuse is NEVER the fault of the person being abused. 

Abuse is a really broad term, but many people think the relationship can only be an abusive one if there are physical acts of violence, like hitting. This isn’t true. Abuse comes in all forms, form physical to emotional, financial to verbal and even coercive and controlling behaviour is a form of abuse. If you want to better understand abuse, whether to help identify it in your own relationship or to spot it in the relationship of someone close to you, Brook is a great resource and has guidance on what steps to take when seeking help. 

Remember, it is still abuse if it seems minor compared to what you’ve read about and seen on the TV. There isn’t a ‘better’ form of abuse. 

It is still abuse if it only happened once. If your partner or friend deliberately injured you once, it is likely to happen again. 

It is still abuse if it hasn’t happened since you changed your behaviour. Giving up your right to express yourself in order to not be assaulted isn’t okay. 

 

Consent is everything 

Healthy relationships are consensual relationships, and you have the right to withdraw your consent at any time and have that choice respected. In sexual relationships, consent means that you both enthusiastically and willingly agree to take part. Love is respect talks about ongoing consent and you can find plenty of resources around sex, love, boundaries and healthy relationships.  

Sex without consent is rape. It's as simple as tea!

“it’s important for all partners in a relationship to feel comfortable with what’s happening, every time it happens.” - love is respect.  

 

Where to go for support 

National Domestic Violence Helpline - 0808 247 2000

Women’s Aid

The Men's Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors - 0808 8010327

National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline - 0800 999 5428

Samaritans, 24/7 service - 116 123 

The Mix, free information and support for under 25s in the UK - 0808 808 4994