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Healthy Relationships

Often romantic relationships seem like the point of a discussion on healthy relationships. But healthy relationships should include ALL relationships, such as friends, roommates, family, and classmates. By practicing healthy relationships in all aspects of our lives, we can normalize healthy behavior and recognize red flags more quickly. It’s important to note that the signs of power and control can pop up in any relationship, regardless of age, gender identity, race, socioeconomic status, or sexuality.

Do you know the signs of a healthy relationship?

Check out our printable Healthy Relationships Coloring Book.

Healthy relationships are based on Equality.

  • Supports your passions
  • Is emotionally affirming and understanding
  • Respects your right to your own feelings, friends, activities, and opinions
  • Supports your goals
  • Ensures you are able to express yourself
  • Intentionally creates an environment where you feel safe
  • Ensures you are able to do the things you want to do
  • Accepts change
  • Seeks mutually satisfying resolutions to conflict
  • Is willing to compromise
  • Is able to agree to disagree
  • Both of you accept responsibility for yourselves
  • Both of you admit when you are wrong
  • Both of you communicate openly and truthfully
  • Is emotionally affirming and understanding
  • Listens non-judgmentally
  • Values your opinions
  • Gives each other room to breathe
  • Both of you take time alone when you need it
  • Neither of you expect the other to give you everything you need.
  • Neither of you expect the other to solve all the problems.

What are some signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Power & Control are at the center of unhealthy relationships

  • Always puts you down
  • Plays mind games
  • Makes you feel guilty
  • Calls you names
  • Makes you feel bad about yourself
  • Controls what you do or read
  • Controls who you see or talk to
  • Controls where you go
  • Limits your involvement with others
  • Uses jealousy to justify your actions
  • Controls access to money
  • Prevents you from getting or keeping a job
  • Takes your money
  • Threatens to embarrass or leave you
  • Pressures you to commit illegal actions
  • Threatens to hurt themselves
  • Makes or carries out threats to hurt you
  • Makes light of abuse
  • Says the abuse didn’t happen
  • Says you caused the abuse
  • Shifts responsibility of abusive behavior
  • Makes you feel afraid by using looks, actions, or gestures
  • Displays weapons
  • Smashes things when angry
  • Abuses pets
  • Destroys your property, including your phone


The Equality and Power & Control Wheels are adapted from the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project, Duluth, Minnesota.