A healthy relationship is when two people...

  • feel good about themselves and each other
  • have a good friendship, not just a physical relationship
  • each have the freedom to do their own thing
  • each have time and space to see their friends
  • each have their own interests
  • respect each other's opinions
  • can disagree with each other
  • go at their own pace, including sexuality
  • can make decisions together
  • can talk about arguments
  • have fun together
  • feel safe
  • can end the relationship if they want to, knowing that each will respect each other's decision

An unhealthy relationship is when either partner...

  • shows controlling behaviour
  • gets angry or jealous
  • is verbally aggressive or physically threatening
  • uses put-downs and name calling
  • makes the other feel bad
  • uses force, threats or bargains
  • makes the other person do things they don't want to do
  • threatens to harm family, friends, pets or property

Take the positive relationship quiz here


Read more from Family Planning's feature on consent

Tips about relationships

  • be yourself - you don't need to pretend to be someone you're not
  • believe in yourself - you are a good person
  • do things with groups of people - mixing with other people can be fun.  Join a sports group, youth group etc
  • hang out where others are - it's easier to meet new friends when you're doing similar things
  • look after the relationships you already have - it's great to meet new friends but it's worth making an effort with people you already know
  • don't take the people closest to you, including family, for granted
  • keep yourself safe - if it doesn't feel right, don't do it
  • if things get out of control at a party, we will always arrange to get you home safely

Tips about tough times

When life gets tough, remember that:

  • what happens to you matters - your life is important
  • things will get better, even if it doesn't feel that way now. Give yourself time
  • you don't have to go through hard times alone.  There are people willing to support you if you let them
  • everyone makes mistakes and can learn from them
  • treating yourself well can help you manage everything better.  Look after yourself.  Find things to do, try something new......

Is it possible for guys and girls to be just friends? "Sure it is".  Sometimes the relationship might go on to be a "romance" or it may just stay a friendship.

The Sopie Elliot Foundation - Loves me not programme -  is a must read website about abusive relationships. The aims of the Sophie Elliot Foundation are to prevent violence against women by raising awareness about the signs of abuse in dating relationships.