Healthy Dating Relationship

dating coupleIn a Healthy Relationship, You have the Right to:

  • Be treated with respect and as an equal
  • Express your opinions and feelings
  • Not be hurt physically or emotionally
  • Have friends and activities outside of the relationship
  • To refuse sex or any degree of intimacy at any time
  • To end a relationship


Tips for Starting a Healthy Relationship:

  • Get to know the person better before starting to date
  • Try some group activities before going out alone with the other person
  • Explore each other’s interests
  • Build a foundation of respect and appreciation
  • Be clear with him/her about what you feel comfortable doing
  • Encourage the other person to be honest with you
  • Let him/her know what time your parents expect you to be home
  • Stay safe, let your friends/parents know where you are going and who you are going with


The Importance of Open Communication:

Open communication is the key to a healthy relationship. To get to know each other better, you and your partner should feel comfortable expressing your true feelings. It is important for the two of you to have a mutual understanding about what you will and will not do. This way, you can do things together that you both enjoy. In addition, healthy couples respect each other’s right to say “no”. You and your date should value each other’s opinions and listen to each other non-judgmentally. An open communication allows you to feel good about being yourself and enables you to develop a close and long-lasting relationship.


Tips for Communicating with Your Partner:

  • Be a good listener. Keep an open mind and be non-judgmental.
  • Use non-verbal signals to show that you care: facial expressions, posture, eye contact, tone, volume, rhythm, etc.
  • Avoid making assumptions—ask when you’re unsure
  • Don’t jump to conclusions. Wait unitl you have all the information.
  • Be specific and honest to avoid misunderstandings
  • Use “I” statements to express your feelings without criticizing the other person
  • Watch for your partner’s body language
  • Don’t force yourself or your partner


Spending Time Apart As Well As Together:

When you’re in a relationship, it’s natural to want to spend a lot of time with your partner. But do try to spend a little time apart. A healthy relationshp is one that gives people “me” time as well as “us” time. If you find yourself giving up friends and personal interests to be with your partner, you may want to take a step back and create some personal space. Similarly, your partner may need some space too. Giving your partner personal space is a form of respect, and it shows that you want what is best for him/her. In the long run, this helps to strengthen your relationship. Other advantages of spending time apart include but are not limited to:

  • Allowing you to maintain friendships
  • Letting you pursue personal interests that your partner may not share
  • Providing you with new perspectives
  • Giving you something new to talk about
  • Making the two of you appreciate each other more when you do spend time together


Additional Advice on Spending Time Apart:

  • Remember “quality over quantity” for the amount of time you two spend together.
  • Be supportive when your partner wants to spend time with his/her own friends.
  • Don’t follow or check on your partner when he/she hangs out with friends.
  • It’s natural for anyone to have friends of the opposite sex. Don’t be over-sensitive; trust your partner.
  • Understand that just because your partner is not with you doesn’t mean he/she does not love you.
  • Resist from calling your partner too much.
  • Take time for yourself: hang out with friends, visit family, take a class, participate in an extracurricular activity.


Doing Little Things to Show You Care:

  • Know your partner’s likes and dislikes
  • Remember what your partner has said
  • Give small gifts
  • Give words of encouragement when he/she has an important test, presentation, or job interview.
  • Compliment something specific about him/her
  • Keep a picture of him/her in your wallet
  • Send him/her postcards when you’re on vacation
  • Bake him/her cookies
  • Leave the last piece of cake for him/her
  • Hold the door for him/her
  • Do some of his/her chores, without being asked
  • Let him/her pick the movie, TV show, or radio station
  • Make them your #1 on Myspace
  • (Be creative and think of what else you can do.)


*Attention: Don’t overdo these “little things.” Make sure you are not suffocating your partner. Leave some personal space for him/her!