Here is a brief quiz to see if you have a healthy relationship with your current partner or former partner. Who doesn’t love quizzes?
The person I’m with:
• Respects my genuine gender, pronouns and/or preferred name? True or False
• Monitors my texts, social media and/or location? True or False
• Respects my boundaries (i.e. takes no for an answer)? True or False
• Gives me space to hang out with friends and family without thinking I’m cheating? True or False
• Limits or controls my finances? True or False
• Threatens to out me to others? True or False
Want to see how your answers match up? Take a full healthy relationships quiz here to see how your relationship shapes up on the healthy relationship scale:
Regardless of your quiz results, none of us exist in a bubble and one person’s needs are often tied to another’s. So, how can we express these needs and get them met in a healthy way? What will we accept in our relationships and what won’t we? What kind of a partner do we want? What kind of a partner do we aspire to be? All of these questions are worth pondering, discussing with a partner, and journaling about to get clear on what we want in our lives. However, for someone in an unhealthy relationship, it may not be safe to discuss what we want or need with our partner. We feel safe in a relationship when we know that our thoughts, feelings, needs and wants will be respected. When there is conflict, we need to know that our partner is on our side and that they won’t do anything to harm us.
As children, we learn patterns of survival to get our needs met in our relationships. Some of us may have felt that our needs were not important, so we learned how to deny these needs and stuffed them down. Some of us may have felt that our needs were not listened to, so we spoke louder with growing intensity and frustration to get those needs fulfilled. As adults, we sometimes continue to relate to our partners, friends, family, and coworkers in the same way as we did when we were children. Even though those patterns may not be the most effective or helpful . Some ways of relating that worked for us as children can actually create difficulties for us as adults. For instance, is denying or minimizing our needs helping us as an adult? Or does it breed resentment and result in being afraid of conflict? Does screaming get the message across? Or does it alienate those we most want to be close to? It may sound cliché, but this plays out in many aspects of our lives: personally, professionally, with friends, coworkers, and beyond.
The general hallmarks of a healthy relationship are negotiation and fairness, non-threatening behavior, respect, trust and support, honesty and accountability, economic partnership, shared responsibility and responsible parenting (if applicable). These are outlined in the equality wheel, which describes what a healthy and equitable relationship looks like: https://www.theduluthmodel.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Equality.pdf
This is often contrasted with the power and control wheel, which describes unhealthy relationships:
If you feel you are in an unhealthy relationship, Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley is here to support you. We offer information, resources, shelter and advocacy in a safe, nonjudgmental space for adults and children affected by abuse regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. We aim to help those affected by abuse in intimate partner relationships live lives free of violence, abuse, and intimidation. We are also here to help support folks with friends and family members who are in abusive relationships.
Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley
PHONE: 24-hour crisis line
DROP IN: OUT Boulder Longmont
Every Tuesday from 12-2p
PUBLIC OFFICE: 82 21st Ave Suite A, Longmont, CO
M-F 9a – 5p