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What Does A Healthy Relationship Look Like?

Experts Weigh In

A healthy relationship doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes two people, however imperfect, who are committed to putting in the work to better themselves and improve their partnership in the process.

We asked therapists, psychologists and other experts for signs that a relationship is healthy. See what they had to say:

Michele Weiner-Davis, therapist and author of Divorce Busting

Winifred M. Reilly, marriage and family therapist and author of It Takes One to Tango 

Douglas C. Brooks, sex therapist 

Ryan Howes, psychologist

Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology and certified sexologist


How to Get Out of an Abusive Relationship

Visit this website for an unusually extensive and helpful set of guidelines, resources, and checklists, and other helpful information for women involved with abusive or controlling men. This website is a great place to start if you are looking to learn more about ways of dealing with your situation.



Lundy Bancroft Website Articles

The books, videos, websites, and organizations listed on these pages offer support, guidance, and inspiration to abused women. There is also wonderful information in these resources for friends and family wishing to assist a woman who is being mistreated in a relationship, and for community activists seeking to confront the wider social problem of abuse and violence. Although most of these resources refer to “domestic violence” or “battering,” they are almost all equally relevant to women who have experienced verbal, economic, or sexual coercion.

Resources  For  Abused  Women  And Their Children

Checklist for Assessing Change in Men Who Abuse Women



Healthy Dating Relationships

Healthy dating relationships(whether it’s online, over the phone, or in-person) are characterized by respect, safety, boundaries/autonomy, trust, caring, communication, and fun. These are all very important aspects of healthy relationships and respect is at the foundation of most of them.


Healthy Relationships  101

An overview of school-based healthy relationship programs



Talking with your teen about recognizing an unhealthy online relationship


Not all abusive relationships are physically violent. Things like scaring someone, making them feel bad about themselves, or cutting them off from friends and family are still abuse. Often the actions are private, but in some cases the abusive partner may use an audience to make things worse. When it happens online, it takes the form of emotional abuse and it can be especially damaging. Abusive online relationships are usually part of abusive offline relationships, but the harm of online abuse is different.



Learning to recognize an unhealthy online relationship

Did you know that almost half of junior high students say they have been bullied online? And almost a fifth say they’ve experienced online dating violence? It’s important to know that online relationships, just like real-life relationships, can be unhealthy. If you think you or someone you know is in an unhealthy, abusive online relationship, this tip sheet is for you.Relationship abuse is when the person you are dating hurts, insults or scares you, tries to control you, makes you feel bad about yourself, pressures you to do things you don’t want to do, or tries to keep you away from your friends and family.


Healthy  Relationships: Preventing Teen Dating Violence

Emotional abuse, like sexual and physical abuse, varies in its intensity and its consequences. It includes behaviour such as insulting or swearing at a partner, belittling them, threatening or terrorizing them, destroying their property or possessions, isolating them from friends and relatives and treating them with irrational possessiveness or extreme jealousy (Health Canada, 1995). Emotional abuse originates in the aggressor’s desire to control the other person’s behaviour. Undermining their partner’s self‐confidence limits their ability to act independently. Both young men and young women may use emotional abuse. Society too often downplays the effects of emotional abuse because there is no visible harm.



Healthy Relationship Tips

Tips on what a healthy relationship is and how to have one.


12 TED Talks That Will  Teach You How To Have Healthy Relationships

Relationships come in all sizes and colors — there are romantic relationships, work relationships, and friendships, just to name a few. Regardless of what kind of relationship you want to strengthen, each is fundamentally similar to the next in a number of ways.


Valuable Links

The Learning Network is a valuable source of evidence-informed resources for individuals, service providers, and organizations working to end violence against women and other forms of gender-based violence (GBV).


Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships

People in healthy relationships respect each other. They can talk honestly and freely to each other and share power and control over decisions. They trust and support each other and respect each other’s independence. In contrast, an unhealthy relationship is unbalanced. One partner (a person in the relationship) tries to control the other.



Dr. Gail Brenner: The Happiness You Seek Is Already Here

You desperately want peace and happiness in your life, but can’t seem to find it. You’ve been feeling stressed, sad, stuck, and overwhelmed maybe for a very long time. You’re fed up and just want to feel better! You’ve tried everything—self-help books, therapy, workshops, and retreats. Shouldn’t you feel better by now with all this inner work you’re doing?  It feels like you’ll never find your way out of the pain to the peace and joy you long for. You just know there’s something more.

Brené Brown

Research Professor at the University of Houston. Decades of study of courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy. Author of The Gifts of Imperfection, Daring Greatly, Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness, and Dare to Lead.



A beginners guide to meditation – it’s fabulous!

Evidence shows your mind and body are intricately connected — in fact, thousands of genes have been identified that appear to be directly influenced by your subjective mental state.  Meditative practices have been shown to reduce your risk for heart disease by lowering your blood pressure, cortisol and heart rate and optimizing LDL cholesterol, as well as improving your overall stress level.  Specific types of meditation, such as those focused on attention control, emotions and theory of mind, have been shown to have positive effects on your brain.



Down to earth, factual and useful information about introducing exercise into your life

Leading a more active lifestyle takes time, effort, and determination, but in the end, it’s really worth the shot. Here’s what will happen to your body when you exercise regularly.