Healthy relationships are built on honest communication and mutual respect. This is true of all relationships, not just romantic or sexual ones. To be healthy, all people need to feel that there are people in their life, who they can trust to listen to them and care about them.

The Brief Psychotherapy Centre for Women at Sunnybrook and Women’s has created a list of questions to help you decide whether a relationship provides a healthy connection to another person. These questions and a short discussion about the value of connecting with others are offered in the A-Z Health Topics sections of our site.

Having sex with some else is a very personal and intimate thing, even when the relationship is casual or short-lived. Responsible people respect their partners feelings and desires; they want to protect them from infection and unwanted pregnancy.

Sex partners should always:

  • have one another’s consent
  • be able to talk honestly to each other
  • treat each other with respect
  • care about their partner’s pleasure
  • protect each other against physical and emotional harm, unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infection
  • accept responsibility for their actions

All relationships have their ups and downs, but even in difficult times you and your partner should be able to trust each other to behave in this way. Being able to deal with the tough times and treat each other equally and with respect even when you are angry is an important sign of a healthy relationship.

There can also be signs that a relationship is not healthy. Use this quiz to help determine if you are experiencing the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship. If you are having these experiences or feelings, your relationship may need to end or you and your partner may need supportive counselling to work through your relationship problems.

Relationships should make you feel good! No one can be happy all the time, but you should look forward to the time you spend with your partner and enjoy his or her company.