Relationships can have many different forms, there are family relationships, romantic relationships, friendships and professional relationships. The common denominator in all of them is that they should be mutually respectful, positive, healthy and enjoyable.
As with everything else in life, relationships can be fun but they can also be complicated, and the reality is there is no “one size fits all”. There are no instruction manuals to ensure your relationship is going to be a good one, but there are certainly some signs to tell if your relationship is a healthy one!
Studies have shown that when you are in a healthy, supportive, healthy relationship you are more likely to have positive mental wellbeing. Finding yourself in the company of the right people is extremely important.
But how can you be sure that your relationship is a healthy one?
In healthy relationships:
• People feel safe, equal, respected and happy, they care about what each other want.
• People don’t put pressure on anyone else and it’s as easy to say ‘no’ as to say ‘yes’.
• People don’t do things that make others feel uncomfortable, anxious or scared.
• As with all relationships in your life, healthy intimate or sexual relationships are supposed to feel mutually respectful, be consensual, safe, happy and positive. This includes anything from one-off to long-term relationships.
• You might feel like you want to spend a lot of time with someone, but it’s important to have some time away from each other, too. In a healthy relationship everyone is free to hang out with friends, of any gender, or family without having to ‘get permission’.
Identify the times you felt good about yourself, your choices and the people who supported you while being away from home, making new friends and experiencing University life. If you feel happy in your relationships that could be because there is mutual understanding, good communication, help and support that brings confidence and makes you happy.
If there are unreasonable expectations, judgement, offensive language, and a constant feeling of guilt and ‘not being enough’, then you could be experiencing an unhealthy relationship. This has the potential to make you unhappy and may negatively impact various aspects of your life. If you have any concerns, talk to someone you trust at home or at RGU.
RGU offers loads of support when it comes to Healthy Relationships and the ways that relationships should be and feel. If you, or anyone you know, has any concerns regarding their relationships then please get in touch with the Student Counselling & Wellbeing Centre.