The good, the bad and the ugly
Get the lowdown on the good, the bad and the ugly sides of relationships.
Good relationships – signs that things are working
- You like each other for who you are. You want each other to feel good and you support each other’s goals in life.
- You are independent and have your own interests.
- You see your own family and friends whenever you want – alone and with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
- You are good at listening and talking to each other.
- You have different opinions and sometimes fight but you listen to each other and compromise.
- You make big decisions together, and you can both make compromises. For example, you take turns deciding what movie to watch!
- You can tell each other truthfully what you think and what you want without being afraid of being hurt or put down. You trust the other person to be honest with you.
- Sexual contact is what you both want – no one is pressured into it. You can be honest with each other about what you like/don’t like.
- If there is jealousy, you listen to each other, talk about it, and try to work things out together (instead of making threats or demands that restrict the other person’s freedom).
- You both respect the other person’s right to have their own private communication with their friends and family.
- You agree about whether you are seeing other people or only each other.
- You accept each other the way you are.
Bad relationships – signs that things aren’t working
- Trying to change the other person rather than accepting them for who they are.
- Not trusting each other or lying to each other sometimes.
- You (or your partner) don’t talk much or open up about your feelings.
- Fighting a lot. Things don’t seem to get worked out.
- There is a lot of tension when you are together.
- Constantly worrying that relationship is going to end or that the other person is interested in someone else.
- One of you or both of you give up your friends or other interests for the sake of the relationship.
- You have to see each other all the time.
- Secretly reading the other person’s Facebook or texts to see what they are up to.
- Feeling overwhelmed by the other person’s demands or needs.
- Feeling like you don’t know who you are or what you want anymore.
- Friends or family say they are worried about you or your relationship.
- There’s lots of criticisms or jokes that hurt or embarrass the other person.
- You don’t look forward to spending time together.
Some of these things can mean you need to sit down with your BF/GF and have a serious talk.
Abusive relationships – the signs of control
- One person’s needs and decisions always come first. The other person feels they must go along with it.
- One of you wants to know where the other person is all the time.
- One of you checks up on the other way too much – texting to see where you are and who you’re with.
- One of you stops the other from seeing family or friends. They say stuff like, “You don’t need to see them” or “we only need each other” or “you’re friends are boring”.
- One of you is a snoop and disrepects the right to privacy – reading texts, a private diary or journal, phone messages, Facebook stalking, or installing software programs that record what websites are visited.
- One of you feels pressured, tricked or forced to do sexual things they don’t want to do.
- One person feels scared to end the relationship because they are worried their BF or GF will hurt them, or will commit suicide.
- Emotional manipulation like “If you really loved me, you would… (have sex/stop talking to your ex-boyfriend/spend every night with me…”).
- One person often humiliates the other and makes them feel bad (eg. ”you’re stupid/embarrassing/fat /clumsy, ”no one else would want you, ”you can’t do anything right).
- One person scares the other through threats, pushing, hitting, locking them in, smashing things or aggression –the other person feels so afraid of upsetting them that they just go along with the demands of their BF/GF.
- Jealousy is used as an excuse to demand that the other person has to stop talking to other guys/girls, ex-partners, friends or family.
- Sending nude or humiliating pictures around of your BF or GF without their consent.
If any of these sound familiar, see If things get ugly for information and advice.