where r u?
who u with?
y havent u txtd me back??
Do those texts sound familiar? When you’re in a relationship with someone, it’s natural to want to spend as much time with them as possible. Checking in with your partner – whether it’s to see how their day went, or to confirm that date for Friday night – can be one way to let them know you’re thinking of them. But checking in becomes checking up if it’s driven by insecurity or jealousy. Attempting to control a person by checking up on them is unhealthy behavior that can quickly become abusive.
How can you be sure that your partner is checking in and not checking up? Start by asking yourself these questions:
Do we trust each other?
Trust is an important part of any healthy relationship. If your partner texts you multiple times in a short span because they’re freaking out about where you are or who you’re with, they’re checking up, not checking in. If you feel like your partner doesn’t trust you – or you can’t trust them – talk to them honestly about why you feel that way. If you can’t trust each other or communicate openly together, then it might be best to reconsider whether the relationship is worth continuing.
Have we created healthy boundaries and are they being respected?
In a healthy relationship, both partners respect each other’s boundaries, including digital privacy. Logging into a partner’s accounts to read their personal messages or reading incoming texts on their phone without their permission is checking up, not checking in. It’s a good idea to set boundaries that are acceptable to both of you. You should be able to talk honestly about what you’re both comfortable with, including how often you communicate with each other. These boundaries might shift and change as the relationship progresses, and that’s okay as long as you both agree and feel good about them.
Happy and healthy relationships are built on open, honest and respectful communication, both online and off. If your partner harasses you via text, steals or pressures you to give them your passwords, or gets angry when you don’t respond to them immediately, you could be experiencing digital abuse.
If you have questions about healthy vs. unhealthy relationship behavior, please call, chat, or text with one of our peer advocates!