Healthy Relationships

Everyone deserves a healthy relationship!  Don’t settle for anything less!

Is your relationship healthy? People in healthy relationships have a partner who:

  • Listens to what I have to say
  • Respects and supports my decisions
  • Encourages me to have a life of my own
  • Is my cheerleader
  • Wants what is best for me
  • Does not pressure me about sex
  • Likes my friends and family
  • Would never try to hurt me

Teens in an unhealthy relationship will experience the following from the person they are with:

  • Puts me down, calls me names or constantly criticizes me
  • Tries to control what I do
  • Gets angry when I don’t drop everything for them
  • Makes me feel ashamed
  • Makes me feel like no one else would want me
  • Pressures or forces me into having sex
  • Tries to keep me from seeing my friends and family
  • Grabs, pushes, shoves me or hurts me in some way


Dating isn’t what it used to be! With the addition of the internet and cell phones, teen dating has become more complicated than ever. The involvement of parents and families can be an important protective factor when it’s time for your teen to start dating.

You can’t keep your teen hidden away forever! It’s natural for teens to have romantic feelings and want to spend time with a romantic partner. But as the adult, you’ve got to be clear about the expectations of your teen in dating situations; state clearly what is acceptable and what is not. It’s all part of keeping your teen safe and helping them grow.

Teen dating, if it involves clear boundaries, can be an important way for your teen to learn about cooperation, compromise, manners, companionship and empathy. However, teen relationships that are not monitored can lead to early sexual activity and depression (1). Talk to your teen about safe relationships, what it means to be a partner, and how important it is to find balance between romance and responsibility.

Need help deciding what to say to your teen, or do you think you see some warning signs? Here are some warning signs to look for if suspect a teen may be involved in a violent relationship.

  • Have they given up things that used to be important to them?
  • Do they fear their partner?
  • Do they seem sad and depressed, and are withdrawing from family and friends?
  • Do they frequently have marks or bruises that they dismiss as accidents?
  • Do they make excuses for their partner’s behavior?
  • Does their partner excessively text or call at all hours?

1. Am J Prev Med 2004; 27(3):224-230.