Wellness and Health Promotion


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Connecting with someone emotionally, romantically, and sexually can be an amazing experience but it requires work to build a healthy relationship. In a healthy relationship, both people need to feel good about it most of the time. No relationship is perfect, but persistent issues or unhappiness are signs of an unhealthy relationship.

How do I know if my relationship is unhealthy?

If you feel as though you are being treated poorly, you probably are. Lying, cheating, jealousy, disrespect, and control are all signs of unhealthy relationships. Trying to control a partner includes tracking where they are and who they are with, checking their phone without permission, keeping them away from friends or family, telling them they cannot do certain things, and preventing them from having money.

How do I get out of an unhealthy relationship?

Ending a relationship is always difficult, no matter what the reason is. Here are some tips that may make breaking up easier on you and your ex:

  • Prepare: think about what you are going to say in advance; it may be helpful to practice in the mirror or write out your thoughts beforehand.
  • Pick the Right Spot: Talk somewhere that is comfortable for both of you; if you are worried about your safety, somewhere public is probably best.
  • Say It in Person: If you feel safe, talk with your partner face to face. Texting, emailing, calling, or having someone do it for you may seem easier but are not the best options.
  • Be Respectful: If your partner asks why you are ending the relationship, be honest but do not insult or hurt their feelings.
  • Make a Clean Break: If you really want to stay friends, that is okay but do not tell your ex you want to stay friends to let them down easier. Giving and taking space after a break-up is important for both parties to heal.
  • Stick with your Decision: It can be very difficult to see your partner get angry or upset during a breakup, and they can often try to persuade you to change your mind. It is important to remember that you made this choice for a reason and guilt is not a valid reason to stay in a relationship

How do I know if my relationship is abusive?

Anyone can be in an abusive relationship regardless of age, gender, or sexual orientation. Abuse is not always physical, there are many other types of abuse such as sexual, verbal, emotional, reproductive control, threats and intimidation, and isolation.

  • Physical Abuse: Hitting, kicking, pushing, or hurting someone in any way
  • Sexual Abuse: Forcing a partner to do anything sexual, from kissing to having sex. Nonconsensual sexual activity is considered rape or sexual assault regardless of whether you are in a relationship.
  • Verbal Abuse: name-calling, put downs, using words to hurt someone
  • Emotional Abuse: Making a partner feel bad about themselves by hurting your feelings on purpose, irrational jealousy, blaming you for the abuse, cheating, or constantly criticizing you.
  • Reproductive Control: Pressuring a partner to get pregnant, end pregnancy, lying about birth control, or controlling other decisions about parenting and/or pregnancy.
  • Threats and Intimidation: using the threat of violence or abuse to control a partner including threats of suicide, threats to your family/children, and threats of physical violence.
  • Isolation: Controlling who a partner sees, what they do, and limiting their access to friends, family, emotional support, and financial support.

How do I get out of an abusive relationship?

You deserve happy and healthy relationships; abuse is never your fault and is never okay. When you break up with an abusive partner, it is important to have a safety plan if you are afraid that they might hurt you or other people you love. Call the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for support and advice and check out their safety plan. Love is Respect also has a safety planavailable that may be helpful for high school and college aged people. There are also resources available for University of Toledo students such as counseling, support groups, and workshops. If you feel you are in immediate danger, get away from your partner as quickly as possible and call 911.

Tips for a Healthy Relationship:

  • Love Yourself
  • Communicate
  • Be Honest
  • Give and Take Space
  • Forgive and Ask Forgiveness
  • Take Care of your Sexual Health
  • Talk Openly and Honestly about Sex

Healthy Relationships – Linked Citations

Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (2022). Helpful tips for knowing when and how to end a relationship. Planned Parenthood. From https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/relationships/healthy-relationships/how-should-i-end-relationship

Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. (2022). Unhealthy relationships. Planned Parenthood. From https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/relationships/healthy-relationships/what-makes-relationship-unhealthy

Last Updated: 6/27/22