The Counselling Centre

Are you in a healthy relationship?

Positive relationships grow out of a healthy sense of self-esteem, where each person feels good about themselves. Both people in the relationship need to feel comfortable and safe, know that there is mutual respect, trust and a sense of being valued and respected by one another.

In a healthy relationship, you:

  • Treat each other with respect.
  • Feel secure and comfortable.
  • Are not violent with each other.
  • Can resolve conflicts satisfactorily.
  • Enjoy the time you spend together.
  • Support one another.
  • Take interest in one another’s lives: health, family, work, etc.
  • Have privacy in the relationship.
  • Can trust each other.
  • Are each sexual by choice.
  • Communicate clearly and openly.
  • Make healthy decisions about alcohol or other drugs.
  • Encourage other friendships.
  • Are honest about your past and present sexual activity if the relationship is intimate.
  • Know that most people in your life are happy about the relationship.
  • Have more good times in the relationship than bad.

In an unhealthy or abusive relationship, one or both of you:

  • Try to control or manipulate the other.
  • Make the other feel bad about her/him.
  • Ridicule or call each other names.
  • Dictate how the other dresses.
  • Do not make time for each other.
  • Criticize the other’s friends.
  • Are afraid of the other’s temper.
  • Discourage the other from being close with anyone else.
  • Ignore each other when one is speaking.
  • Are overly possessive or get jealous about ordinary behaviour.
  • Control the other’s money or other resources (e.g., car).
  • Harm or threaten to harm children, family, pets, or objects of personal value.
  • Push, grab, hit, punch, or throw objects.
  • Use physical force or threats to prevent the other from leaving.

Myths about Relationships

MYTH: "If I am involved with you, I will lose me"

In the real world, healthy relationships enhance the self and do not absorb it.

MYTH: "If you really knew me, you wouldn't care about me."

You probably aren't as good an actor or actress as you think you are. Your beloved probably already really knows you. And cares about you anyway!

MYTH: "If you find out that I am not perfect, you will abandon me."

Nobody is perfect. And perfection does not exist.

MYTH: "We are as one."

In the real world, you are you, and I am me. And then there is us.

MYTH: "Being vulnerable always has negative results."

In the real world, being vulnerable sometimes has negative results and sometimes has positive results. But it is only route to intimacy.

MYTH: "We will never argue or criticize each other."

In the real world, couples argue from time-to-time, and are critical of each other's behaviour.

MYTH: "Anything that goes wrong is my fault. I am a terrible person."

In the real world, some things that go wrong are your fault. Some things are not. Terrible things happen, but you are not terrible.

MYTH: "In order to be lovable, I must be happy all the time."

In the real world, sometimes people are happy, and sometimes they are not.

MYTH: "We will trust each other totally, automatically, and all at once."

In the real world, trust builds slowly.

MYTH: "We will do everything together - we will be as one."

In the real world, couples spend time together, alone, and with friends.

MYTH: "You will instinctively anticipate my every need, desire, and wish."

In the real world, if needs, desires, and wishes are not clearly communicated, it is unlikely they will be fulfilled.

MYTH: "If I am not in complete control at all times, there will be anarchy."

In the real world, one is in charge of one's life and takes control of situations as needed, by conscious decision and agreement. There are also times to share control, and times to give up control.

MYTH: "If we really love each other, we will stay together forever."

In the real world, people stay together and people separate for many reasons. You can love someone and still terminate a relationship.

MYTH: "My partner will never take me for granted, and always be supportive and non-critical."

In the real world, things do not always go smoothly, but you always have a right to your feelings.

The Counselling Centre offers individual and couples counselling to help with these issues. For more information, call The Counselling Centre at 420-5615 or drop by our office on the 4th floor of the Student Centre.