5 Pillars of a Healthy Relationship

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and with a shocking 33% of teenagers experiencing a form of dating abuse we would like to highlight a few important characteristics to ensure a healthy relationship. Dating partners in healthy relationships share five key traits:

  • Communication: Partners in healthy relationships are capable of talking and listening to each other in a healthy manner. Each partner is comfortable talking about any subject with their partner without fear of an argument or escalating conversation. This does not mean a disagreement will not occur, but if it does they are able to work through it together and share their feelings.
  • Respect: Every person has the right to be respected. In a dating relationship, each partner should be valued and respected for their feelings. A dating partner should never be looked down upon for their gender, sexuality, interests, or any identity characteristics.
  • Equality: Each partner has an equal say in choices concerning the relationship. Both partners should feel important and heard.
  • Boundaries: Boundaries are a key aspect of a healthy relationship. Both dating partners should talk about what types of behaviors and communication they are comfortable with. The conversation of boundaries is a continuous topic; boundaries can change at any time.
  • Self-esteem: Partners in a dating relationship should encourage, support, and uplift each other. Relationships should be focused on bringing out the best in both partners.

These five pillars of healthy relationships build the foundation for positive communication, respect, equality, self-esteem, and establishing healthy boundaries. With these tools, we will develop positive relationships and decrease the amount of dating violence in our communities.

For more information, please rewatch our Facebook Live event from Wednesday, February 24th entitled “Pillars of a Healthy Relationship”. This virtual event featured Taylor Shropshire, Teen Empowerment Advocate at Partnership Against Dating Violence; Alison Lafayette, PADV Teen Dating Violence Advisory Board Member; Tracy Xu, PADV Teen Dating Violence Advisory Board Member; Chris Da Cruz, Men Stopping Violence Teen Intern, Que'Shun Grant, Men Stopping Violence Teen Intern and Jeffrey Brown, Vice President of Development & Marketing at Partnership Against Domestic Violence.