Artistic rendering of comic book characters Harley Quinn and the Joker, separated by a jagged white line on a background of comic book spines

Relationship Goals or Relationship No’s?

By Anitra, youth organizer

Last weekend I saw the movie Suicide Squad. I had heard a lot about the “love story” between Harley Quinn and the Joker, and I wanted to see for myself if it lived up to the hype. Some people on social media have been calling their relationship “goals.” But it didn’t take long for me to realize that what was happening between Harley and the Joker is no love story.

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Photograph of a glass pitcher of lemonade with lemon slices and mint leaves, sitting on a wooden outdoor table and surrounded by lemons and mint leaves

Let’s Share Some LEMONADE!

Beyonce blew the internet away with her latest visual album, “Lemonade.”In this new album, Beyonce takes viewers/listeners on a roller coaster of emotions by describing her journey through trust issues, lies and infidelity in her marriage to Jay-Z. She starts by describing her intuition about her partner cheating, then she works through denial, anger and hurt, accountability, and in the end, she talks about the decision to forgive. We wanted to explore some of the feelings and behaviors that Beyonce mentions in her new songs, because even though we love Bey, we did find a few things a little concerning!

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Healthy Relationship Playlist: Summer 2015 Edition!

This playlist was submitted by Amanda, a loveisrespect advocate.

A few months ago we debuted our Spotify channel with a Healthy Relationship Playlist. With a new season, however, comes new songs on the radio so we thought we’d whip up another healthy playlist to get you through the summer months. Next time you’re at the beach or taking a road trip, throw this on and enjoy healthy and catchy tunes about independence, trust, and respect. Which healthy relationship songs are stuck in your head lately? Share your playlists with us in the comments!

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Consent is Important, Even If You’re Madonna

Did you hear about Madonna kissing Drake on stage at Coachella last weekend? In case you missed it, click here. At first, it wasn’t entirely clear whether or not the kiss was staged. Drake looked pretty shocked afterward, and he exclaimed, “What the **** just happened?”

As usual, the internet had mixed reactions. Some people thought it was funny. But a few people – including those of us here at loveisrespect – are seeing it from a different angle, and it’s not really funny at all.

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Healthy Relationship Playlist 3.0

Last week, we talked about how the media tends to romanticize unhealthy relationships and behaviors. We also took a close look at some unhealthy messages in popular songs by Nick Jonas, Taylor Swift and Maroon 5. But the good news is there are plenty of great songs that promote healthy behaviors, too!

We created a couple of healthy relationships playlists in the past (see here and here, or listen to them on Spotify – find us at loveisrespectofficial!), so we thought it might be time for a new one. The songs we’ve chosen are about everything from crushes to break ups to long-term relationships, but they’re all based on trust, respect, equality, and honesty. Check ‘em out, and let us know which songs you’d add to the list!

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#LIRasks Week 4 Round Up


We’re closing out the final week of Teen DV Month, and we just want to say THANK YOU again to everyone who participated and helped raise awareness during February. We’ve loved having conversations about these important topics. But don’t stop just because February is over! Teen dating violence is a problem all year round, so please keep talking, keep learning, and keep working to end dating abuse. Remember, we’re here for you 24/7 if you ever need support.

This week’s #LIRasks question was “How does pop culture affect the way people view healthy/unhealthy relationships?” Lots of people responded, and most agreed that pop culture tends to glamorize or romanticize unhealthy relationships. Unfortunately, this is often true; in our last blog post we put three popular songs and music videos to the Healthy Relationships test, and none of them passed. Have you put your favorite song or video to the test? Give it a try, and let us know the results on Twitter or Facebook!

Here are a few of the responses to our last #LIRasks question:

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Putting Media to the Test

This post was written by Mikaela, a loveisrespect advocate.

Here at loveisrespect, we’re all about building and nurturing healthy relationships, but unfortunately the media is not always on the same page. As much as we love ‘em, a lot of our favorite movies, songs, video games, etc. are failing miserably when it comes to depicting relationships in a realistic and healthy way. There’s a widespread misconception in media that drama = passion and possessiveness = caring, and while those ideas may look romantic on the big screen, in the real world they are anything but.

In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, we’ve decided to dissect some media and put it to the test. The Healthy Relationship test, that is! Below are the music videos for three chart-toppers from 2014.

To test them, we’re going to focus on both the lyrics and the imagery. The lyrics are important, but they only tell us half the story. Every music video is full of unspoken messages in the ways that the characters look and behave, and sometimes those pictures are worth a thousand words.

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Teen DV Month: Healthy/Unhealthy Relationships in the Media

The last week of Teen DV Month is here! Reading your responses and messages over the past few weeks has been so awesome. Thank you for getting involved! For a recap of last week’s responses to our #LIRasks question, click here.

This week we’re focusing on how the media and pop culture portray healthy and unhealthy relationships. You may not think that what you see on TV, hear in songs or read online can affect you, but often what we see and hear in the media can shape how we feel about ourselves and the world around us. Pop culture can raise a lot of questions and even cause controversy, like the recent conversations about Fifty Shade of Grey. It can all get pretty complicated, but we think it’s important to take a hard look at the messages we’re getting from the media and break them down. When you’re watching your favorite show or listening to that new song, try asking yourself:

  • What message am I getting from this?
  • Why am I getting this message?
  • Is this a healthy or unhealthy message?

We’ll be discussing the messages and imagery in a few popular songs and their music videos later in the week, so stay tuned!

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Everyone Deserves a Healthy Relationship

You probably know that the movie Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the very popular book series, opens today in theaters nationwide. Despite the popularity of the series, a lot of different people have criticized the books for portraying and even romanticizing unhealthy and abusive behaviors.

Some members of the media and other groups have also talked a lot about the characters participating in BDSM. We at loveisrespect just want to note that a BDSM relationship is not necessarily abusive. People in the BDSM community enter into consenting and healthy relationshipsevery day.

A healthy relationship includes open communication, mutually agreed-upon boundaries and consent from all partners. No matter how a relationship is defined, behaviors like verbal abuse, sexual violence, jealousy, possessiveness, stalking and damaging or destroying belongings are all signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. If you have questions about your own relationship, if you feel unsafe or if you are feeling triggered, peer advocates are here to support you 24/7, confidentially and without judgment.

At loveisrespect, we believe everyone deserves to be in a healthy and safe relationship!


Violence is Never Okay (Or a Joke)

For the past few days, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about what happened between Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s sister, Solange. Quick recap: footage was leaked to TMZ of Solange physically attacking Jay-Z in an elevator, while a bodyguard attempted to hold her back and Beyoncé stood by. The video footage had no sound, so we don’t know what was said between any of them, and (so far) no one involved has come forward with an explanation. In fact, it seems like they’re all doing their best to pretend it didn’t happen.

Plenty of people all over the internet have been speculating about the reasons for the attack, and unfortunately many are choosing to make jokes about it (for examples, just check Twitter). Here at loveisrespect, we believe that jokes about violence or abuse only serve to diminish people’s perception of its severity. Abuse in any relationship – whether it’s between family members, friends, or people in an intimate partnership – is not acceptable, no matter the “reasons” behind it or the gender of the people involved.

If this incident has triggered something for you, or if you just have questions about what’s healthy or unhealthy in a relationship, our advocates are here to help. Call, chat, or text any time, day or night.