All relationships live on a range, somewhere between healthy, unhealthy and abusive. We’ve developed a Relationship Spectrum to help our readers determine how parts of their relationship rank on the scale. Here’s how it works:
We identified many different types of behaviors that happen in relationships and asked our National Youth Advisory Board to rank how healthy or unhealthy they feel that behavior is. Now it’s your turn.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
In healthy relationships, partners have an open line of communication and talk freely about their problems. They are respectful of what each other has to say and value each other for who they are. They are honest and can develop and maintain trust, but they are able to keep personal things to themselves. Both partners have a say in how things go in the relationship and make decisions together, especially those regarding sex. Healthy couples spend time together, but also enjoy spending time apart.
In unhealthy relationships, partners have trouble communicating and often fight when they try to talk about problems. They may just avoid talking about problems completely. Partners are disrespectful to each other, untrusting of each other and often tell lies. Couples sometimes feel crowded or notice that they are spending all of their time with each other and little time with their friends. In unhealthy relationships, partners may pressure each other into having sex. An important note — unhealthy relationships are NOT necessarily abusive.
In abusive relationships, the abusive partner communicates in a way that is hurtful or insulting. They aim to have power and control over their partner. Signs of abusive relationships include if one person denies abusive behaviors, intimidates them or isolates them. Abusive partners may force their partner to engage in sexual behaviors.
If you have any questions about the relationship spectrum, this quiz or your relationship in general, please call loveisrespect at 1-866-331-9474 or TTY at 1-866-331-8453, text “loveis” to 22522 or chat us through our website.