A healthy relationship will always make you feel happier and safe – filled with trust, love and good communication. Relationships are also different for different people, with differing levels of commitment expected and individual ways of showing love. The age you are will also change what is expected in a relationship.

While no relationships are perfect, these are all signs that you should aim for in a relationship.

And did you know that up on average, a third of women and a quarter of men have experienced abusive relationships. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States alone.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please contact Refuge in the UK and the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US.

So let’s look at the 10 signs of being in a healthy relationship.


1. You aren’t afraid to say what you think.

Being able to speak your mind in front of your partner without fearing their reaction is incredibly important. Respecting each other’s opinions – even if they differ – means that you will minimise time spent arguing. If you can share and discuss with one another the good, the bad and the ugly, then you know you can truly be yourself in each other’s company.

2. You have your own space.

As Kahlil Gibran once said of relationships: “Stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.” Giving yourselves the opportunity to grow individually as people will only help you grow together as a couple. Checking up on one another constantly or needing to be in each other’s company every second of the day might be a sign that you are lacking trust in the relationship…

3. You trust each other.

This is probably the most important factor in any healthy relationship. Trust is the foundation which any successful relationship is built upon and it takes time to earn. If you trust one another, then you are able to give each other freedom without awakening the green-eyed monster that lies within, you are able to be vulnerable in their company because you know that instead of judging you, they will be there to support you.

4. You compromise.

There are ups and downs in any relationship, romantic or platonic. You are not always going to agree on the same things and there will be times where you will need to compromise; if you can meet in the middle then you know you are both mindful of each other’s needs and your shared desire to make the relationship work far outweighs any need for personal gratification.

5. There is common ground.

As important as it is to have your own sense of identity and set of interests, it is also vital that you and your partner share common ground. Having a mutual love of something creates a bond and means that you can simultaneously take pleasure from the same thing, rather than having to ‘endure’ your partner’s hobbies, passions or lifestyle.

6. You let things go.

Rather than cause an argument or hurt each other’s feelings, you both choose to let things slide. This does not mean that you are pushovers however, it just means you don’t make mountains out of molehills. Life’s too short. Even Rose let go in the end.

7. You get along more than you argue.

Fighting is an inevitable part of being in a relationship, but it should by no means be a regular occurrence. If you find that time spent arguing is more than, or equal to the time you spend enjoying each other’s company, you might want to consider whether you are well matched.

8. You support and encourage each other’s ambitions and passions.

You may not find one another’s endeavours interesting or appealing but you would never dampen each other’s enthusiasm by saying so. Instead you support and encourage each other’s pursuits and are not threatened by the possibility of either one of you achieving success.

9. You are accepting of each other’s pasts.

Everyone has one. Rather than continually delving into each other’s pasts or getting jealous of each other’s exes, you have acknowledged what went before and appreciate that it has shaped you both into the people you are today.

10. You regularly make the effort to show each other you love one another.

And not a grandiose way. It’s the little, everyday things that you both do to show each other you care.


Join our Support Community to discuss relationships with like-minded people.

We’ve all had friendships that have ended up a little pear-shaped and it’s unfortunate that most of the time, we all have to get burnt before we can spot a bad friend from a good one. We’ve pooled together our own experiences and come up with 15 of the most common signs that somebody isn’t your friend for the right reasons. If any of these apply to your friendships, we would encourage you to think twice about them and try to determine whether they are really a friend…

The 15 friendship signs

1. They only call when they want something

All friendships should be equal – which means that you should receive as much as you put in, it’s all based on reciprocation and mutuality. If you’re putting in more than you’re getting out, you should think twice about what they are asking from you.

2. The conversation is never equal

Do you find that you just spend your whole time focused on them when you’re hanging out? Yeah, that’s not cool – we all have problems and things we’d like to talk to somebody about.

3. They put you down or make fun of you in front of others

A definite no-no. Usually, people do this because they feel bad about themselves and want to use somebody else as a distraction. Draw a line through any friendships like this immediately.

4. You feel bad about yourself when you’ve spent time with them

Sometimes it’s difficult to analyse behaviour, but your emotions never lie. Friends should make you feel good, empowered and uplifted. If you leave them feeling like crap then you should probably re-evaluate the benefit you’re getting from the friendship. Some people, unfortunately, just like to bring others down.

5. They are aggressively competitive

It’s good to be a little competitive now and again, but like most things – you can have too much of a good thing. A friendship based on competitive behaviour is NEVER healthy or a true friendship.

6. They aren’t happy for you when good things happen

This is one of the most common tell-tale signs and it’s also based on competitive behaviour. A true friend will want to see you succeed and be happy.

7. They bring drama into your life

It’s usually the people who spend their time moaning about drama who are the ones causing it. You don’t need that negativity around you.

8. They bitch about you behind your back

An absolute no-no. Friendships need to be based on mutual respect and trust. Don’t put up with that crap.

9. Your relationship feels like it’s built on conditionality

This is likewise for all relationships in your life. You should feel like they are unconditional and not based on you being or acting in a certain way.

10. Your friends bail on you

Sometimes it happens and that’s fine, but if it’s consistent then it obviously shows that your friend is unreliable and much less invested in the friendship than you are. Maybe it’s your turn to bail on them, permanently.

11. They use your secrets against you and share them

This is malicious and absolutely nothing a true friend would ever do.

Are you looking to break up with a toxic friend? Here are our steps to breaking up with a toxic friend.

12. They are a bad influence and make you do things that get you into trouble

Nip this in the bud before you end up getting yourself into trouble. Friends don’t make friends do bad things… or text when drunk, but we’ll turn a blind eye to that one… for now.

13. They talk about their other friends behind their back

If they do this, the chances are, they do it to you too. It’s fine to have a moan occasionally, but anything malicious would probably indicate that they aren’t as genuine as they’d like you to believe.

14. They bail when you need them the most

So there are friends, who are, well… friends and there are friends who are still your friends at 3am on a Wednesday morning in the midst of your breakdown. The latter are your friends for life and it’s important to know that you can rely on a few select individuals to be by your side through thick and thin.

15. They exclude you from things with mutual friends

If it’s on purpose and happening often, despite you bringing it up then we suggest you create some distance. It is important to remember that sometimes it can happen accidentally so try and talk to them about it before jumping to conclusions.


It’s not me, it’s you: breaking up

Firstly, speak to somebody about it, make sure your response is rational. If it is, then deal with it, accept that it isn’t your fault and mentally move on.

Once you’ve done this, you have 1 of 2 options:

Let the friendship naturally fade out

Stop making arrangements, stop replying and distance yourself from them. Eventually, you’ll become increasingly distant until you’re officially no longer friends on Facebook.

Or…

Confront them

There are 2 schools of thought surrounding this: confrontation can be good if you’d like to hopefully try to resolve things, but on the opposite end, confrontation can be incredibly empowering if you’ve felt particularly suppressed or upset by somebody. Arguments can be healthy, provided that they don’t put anybody at risk and won’t make situations worse. We’d recommend a mediator to help keep an argument balanced.


Still Unsure? Talk to us…


More articles on friendship:

It’s one of those crappy things that everyone has to go through at some point in life. Unless you are currently living a dream where you are going through the universe followed by the word ‘Yes’ everywhere you go, it’s pretty certain that at some point someone somewhere has told you ‘No’. Whether it’s a bad break up (#thankunext), a uni or college you wanted to go to, a job you wanted or a friend at school who is leaving you out – being rejected is a part of life that, more often than not, we suck at dealing with. But, never fear. We’ve come up with this list of some reasons why it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and how you can continue to crush it after a setback. 

1) Take a breath

When you first feel that rejection, it can feel like a punch in the stomach. Like when your best friend has decided they want to hang out with someone else and not you, or you get turned down for a date with your ultimate crush. It can feel really crap. 

Instead of reacting in anger or begging or doing something else you might regret later down the line, take a moment to gather your thoughts and calm yourself down. If you need to, this is a great time to practise some breathing exercises. After taking a bit of a breather, you might find it isn’t quite so bleak, and can start formulating a bit of a plan to get back on track. 

2) Talk to someone 

When your crush has rejected you or you’re going through a break-up, possibly the best way to start to work through the shit associated with it is to try to open up to someone in your life about it and get it all off your chest. Your pals are sure to give you all the support and love you need, and will be there to help you see that there are plenty more fish in the sea. 

Letting some other people in your life know what you are going through will mean they will be able to understand if you aren’t feeling or acting like your usual self and can point you in the right direction for when you are ready to accept it and move on. 

3) Get on the road to acceptance 

In some cases, there isn’t anything you can do to change someone’s mind to make the outcome more like something you want. Like, you can’t really get on the phone to a uni or a job and beg them to change their minds – it’s probably not gonna work. In cases like this, the only thing you can do is accept it. 

Accepting rejection can be really tough, and sometimes, we just never really get over it. A great way to get on that road though would be to take a moment, and then write down all the other paths you can take. Looking at all your other possible options and amazing pathways you can take from here will not only help you feel better, but may even be grateful for the option to take another route.   

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4) Learn from it 

No matter how bad it might feel right now, you can learn stuff from any rejection. For example, if you didn’t get a job you wanted, you can ask why. If you have found yourself at the end of a relationship, in a few months you might be able to look back on what went down and take something from that. If a friend has started to ignore you, there are lessons you can learn about maybe what you did to prompt that behaviour, or if you did nothing, there are lessons you can learn about what friendships might be bad for you. 

Basically, no matter how much you might wish it weren’t true, every day is a school day. 

5) Don’t let it control you 

It’s super important to remember that there is a line between learning from it and letting your experience control you and all the choices you make. So, you could be rejected by a job you really wanted to get to make some money in your spare time. You could learn from this experience by getting some feedback on why you didn’t get it and trying to improve or change that for the next time you go for a job. But if you decide you never want to pursue work in that industry and you will never go into that shop/café/restaurant/area of town ever again – that is letting this one experience control your life.  

It is completely natural after being rejected to feel like you need to take a break though – and this can be great for you. Whatever it was you have been rejected from, take a bit of time away from that part of your life and enjoy some time just for you. 

6) Know when to quit

Of course, every time you don’t get what you want out of something, it doesn’t mean you have to quit. Sometimes, carrying on with something after experiencing rejection can be good for you – like if you have a setback at school or uni and decide to push through and you might get the grades you set out for after all. 

Sometimes though, knowing when to call it a day in the face of rejection can be a good way to help you let go and move on. If you are finding that whatever is going wrong is really not working for you, take a step back and revaluate whether it is really worth carrying. If you think maybe it is not for you, have a think about all the other pathways that are open to you, and try to let it go. 

7) Remember: everything happens for a reason 

It might sound like a bit of a silly thing to say when you are feeling like total rubbish, but it is true. Everything happens for a reason. Not getting that job might land you a better one, not going into that uni or college might give you the greatest friends and experiences at a second choice option, falling out with a friend could show you who are really the best people in your life and enduring a break up might one day lead you to the best relationship you’ve ever had. 

Rejection can be totally crap in the moment, but in the long run, it isn’t so bad. 

Need help dealing with rejection? Speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here.