In our new series of articles, we’ll focus on what makes a healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is supposed to make you happy, give you confidence in yourself and help you understand more about yourself. A key component to a healthy relationship is trust.
Trust is having confidence that what you and your partner say to one another and expect from one another is the truth. If you tell your partner that you’ll be at the mall, he/she should be able to trust that you are where you say you are without needing to check up on you. If your partner assures you that someone he/she has been talking to is simply a friend and not a romantic rival you should be able to trust that what they say is true. However, trust is not automatic; trust must be earned.
being honest with each other
believing what your partner says without needing to check up on them
allowing your partner space within your relationship (see Healthy Relationships – Giving Each Other Space)
respecting each others’ privacy
being able to depend on each other
keeping your promises – this does not mean promising to keep secrets about abusive or unhealthy behavior – “promise not to tell anyone that I hit you” or “don’t tell anyone that I (stole, did drugs, got drunk, etc.)”
supporting each other’s choices
embracing and respecting each other’s differences
admitting when you are wrong
Trust is not
checking up on your partner all the time via texting, calling or stalking whether in person, through friends or with social media
giving your partner your private information such as ID numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords to your phone, email, or social media
allowing your partner to lie or cheat continually
giving up your favorite activities or hobbies to spend more time with your partner (see Warning Signs – Control)
changing your opinions or ideas to please your partner
If you think your relationship is unhealthy you may wish to read our series Warning Signs In Depth. Remember: you are not alone. You may not know how to get help. You may be afraid to leave the situation. Abusers know that they can control you emotionally because no one wants to admit that someone else has treated them so poorly. Do not be ashamed. Dating abuse is not your fault. Recognize the signs of dating abuse and get help if your relationship exhibits any of these characteristics. You don’t have to handle this alone. Sharing can save your life.
For confidential help, please call the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474.
The helpline is for everyone, including concerned family or friends.