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Healthy Relationships

Psych2Go - 8 Habits of Healthy Relationships Video Preview

Psych2Go - 8 Habits of Healthy Relationships

How Do Relationships Work?

All relationships exist on a spectrum. Friendships and intimate relationships are built on trust and mutual respect. Supportive interactions have a significant influence on academic development, self-esteem, and knowledge acquisition! For some, improving their social life leads to valuable friendships, more satisfaction with their education, and increased ambition toward career opportunities.


Healthy relationships are important for your mental and physical health. Everyone involved puts in effort, and each person makes compromises so there is no imbalance of power. Partners can make decisions together and can make their own decisions by respecting each other’s independence. Some aspects of healthy relationships include:

  • Respect
  • Support/mindfulness
  • Open communication
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Equality
  • Economic/financial partners

Unhealthy relationships can begin in a toxic way or slowly become toxic. You may feel unsupported, misunderstood, demeaned, or attacked by your partner. If you are sensitive to negative emotions (anger, sadness, etc.), have depressive tendencies, or suffer from a mental illness, you are more susceptible to toxic relationships as you can miss the red flags:

  • Inconsiderate behaviors
  • Only spending time with them (after honeymoon phase)
  • Not communicating
  • Pressured into activities
  • Dishonesty
  • Battling for control
  • Lack of trust



Statistics and Facts

  • About 1 in 5 college students say they have been abused by an intimate partner.

  • A third of college students admit to having committed assault against their partner at some time in the previous year.

  • Women ages 16 to 24 suffer from domestic violence at the highest rate of any surveyed group.


  1. Family
    • These are people in your life who you are connected to through kinship. The love is unconditional love and you feel a different closeness compared to friendships. There are many types of families: single-parent households, step families, LGBTQIA+ parents, etc.
  2. Friends
    • These are people who you choose to interact with. These relationships usually prioritize focus on honesty, support, and loyalty and both people must agree to be friends.
  3. Acquaintances
    • These are people you regularly encounter but are not friends or relatives. You may demonstrate politeness or respect by being cordial and making conversation. But once you leave their presence, the relationship is no longer your concern. Group members on a project, coworkers, neighbors, and other types of colleagues are your acquaintances.
  4. Romantic Partners
    • People who feel more than friendship have a strong attraction to the other person. This attraction feels physical, emotional, or personal, and how you interact with that person (making a serious commitment or being casual about your feelings) can vary each time.

Doing these habits strengthens your connection and can create intimacy for the romantically inclined!

  • Check in on them
    • When you realize how busy you’ve been, try to reconnect!
  • Find little ways to show your appreciation
    • Sending a text
    • Put a sticky note in their bag or on their desk
    • Fill up their gas tank
    • Make them a meal
    • Bring them their favorite drink or snack
  • Find easy, creative, inexpensive ways to spend time together (zoom calls/watch parties, picnics, school events, etc.)
  • Make time to spend time together (try the early morning or late evenings)
  • Cook and clean for them

Physical or verbal abusive relationships are easily classified as toxic, but other signs are more subtle:

  • Everything is one-sided
    • Only going to places the other person likes
    • Only talking about the other person’s interests, feelings, etc.
  • General uneasiness
    • Not feeling good about the relationship (feeling sad, hurt, or upset)
    • Hanging out with the person feels forced
    • Being uncomfortable with what your friend says or does
  • Disrespecting you or your boundaries
    • The person invades your privacy
    • The person gossips about you behind your back (basic disrespectful comments or complaining about you to their friends)
    • They act differently around you than they do with other people
    • Unnecessary sarcasm, rude jokes about your interests or appearance, exposing your secrets to others, etc.
  • "The Danger Zone" (Abusive Relationships)
    • Feeling possessive and/or jealous when you are with other people
    • Only spending time with that person, poisoning your relationships with others, attempting to isolate you
    • Damaging or not returning your belongings
    • Causing physical or emotional harm

Boundaries are rules or limits that someone establishes to protect their security and wellbeing around others. They help us express to others how they should behave around us so we feel safe. If a friend or partner disrespecting, ignoring, or being unaware of your needs, they are breaking your boundaries!

Types of Boundaries

  • Physical – these encompass physical touch, personal space, and your physical needs which includes consent and respecting your preferences
  • Emotional – how you recognize and honor your feelings, how much energy you are able to provide in relationships at any given time
  • Digital – terms and conditions that optimize the positive and minimize the negative aspects of the digital world (CAUTION: the line between healthy and unhealthy is easily blurred when your relationship status goes online)

(Learn more about boundaries at LoveIsRespect)

Basic Rules for Setting/Teaching Boundaries

  • Be direct, clear, and simple (dictate your emotions and needs)
  • Ask for permission
  • Take each other's feelings into account
  • Show gratitude
  • Be honest
  • Give space for autonomy and avoid co-dependence
  • Show respect for differences in opinion, perspective, and feelings
  • Respect their personal space and privacy


Is Your Relationship Healthy?

Take the LoveIsRespect quiz to see if that relationship you've been thinking about - AKA the one you thought as you've been reading this page - is or is not healthy!


Understand the Concepts Better Here:

Toxic vs. Healthy Behavior

Identifying Abuse

Healthy Friendships

The Importance of Friendship

8 Tips on Setting Boundaries




Learn more at these links:

Domestic Violence at Colleges and Universities

Healthy Friendships

5 Habits of Healthy Relationships

Types of Romantic Relationships






Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 4/25/22