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  • Writer's pictureJosephine Peacock

Spotting the Signs: How to Tell if Your Relationship is Healthy or Unhealthy

Updated: May 6


Relationships are fundamental to our well-being and happiness, yet not all relationships are beneficial. Spotting the signs and if you can tell the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationship can empower you to make informed decisions about your interpersonal connections. This blog explores the defining characteristics of both healthy and unhealthy relationships, offering insights into how to foster healthier interactions in your life.

What makes a relationship healthy?

  • Communication, open honest communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. Each person feels safe to express their thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement or retaliation.

  • Respect, mutual respect is vital. This means valuing each other's opinions, feelings, and boundaries. In a respectful relationship, partners celebrate each other's successes and support each other during challenging times.

  • Trust and Support, trust builds strong foundation. It grows from consistent and dependable behaviour and emotional support. Partners in a healthy relationship uplift each other and provide stability.

  • Independence, while togetherness is important, personal independence should not be compromised. Healthy relationships recongise the importance of individual interests and friendships outside the relationship.

  • Conflict resolution, disagreements are normal, but the key to a healthy relationship is handling conflicts constructively. This involves listening, understanding, and finding a fair solution without resorting to hurtful words or actions. Signs of a Unhealthy Relationships

  • Control: one partner making all the decisions, dictating how the other should act, or isolating them from friends and family are signs of control - a red flag in any relationship.

  • Lack of trust: frequent doubts about loyalty or honesty can indicate deeper issues. Without trust, relationships turn into a source of stress and suspicion.

  • Poor communication: if discussions frequently end in arguments, silence, or resentment, it might be a sign of unhealthy communication patterns.

  • Disrespect: this can manifest as insults, belittlement, or refusal to acknowledge the other person's rights and feelings. Disrespect can deteriorate a person's self-esteem and well-being.

  • Dependency: Unhealthy relationships often feature emotional or financial dependency, where one partner feels they cannot function independently without the other.


Moving Towards Healthier Relationships

Spotting the signs healthy or unhealthy relationships is the first step towards change. If you find yourself in an unhealthy relationship, consider the following actions:

  1. Communication your feelings: express your concerns without blame. Sometimes, partners are unaware of their detrimental behaviour.

  2. Set boundaries: Clearly define what you are and not willing to tolerate. Boundaries help protect your well-being.

  3. Seek Support: Talk to friends, family or a professional counsellor. External perspectives can provide guidance and strength.

  4. Evaluate Your Options: in some cases, improving a relationship may be possible through mutual effort and professional help, such as couple counselling. However, leaving might be necessary if the relationship is damaging.


Healthy relationships enhance our lives and contribute to our growth, while unhealthy relationships can diminish our quality of life. By understanding these dynamics, we can make better choices for ourselves and foster relationships tht truly enrich our lives. Whether it's by improving an existing relationship or deciding to end one, remember that you deserve a connection that brings joy, respect, and positivity.

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