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What is a healthy relationship? According to the One Love organization, which focuses on educating people on the signs of unhealthy relationships, the ten signs of a healthy relationship are:

  1. Comfortable Peace

  2. Trust

  3. Honesty

  4. Independence

  5. Respect

  6. Equality

  7. Kindness

  8. Taking Responsibilities

  9. Healthy Conflict

  10. Fun

    The 10 signs of an unhealthy relationship are:

  1. Intensity

  2. Possessiveness

  3. Manipulation

  4. Isolation

  5. Sabotage

  6. Belittling

  7. Volatility

  8. Deflecting Responsibility

  9. Betrayal

  10. Guilting

If you catch yourself noticing the signs of an unhealthy relationship manifesting and want to leave the relationship, it is not always easy. It is hard to break up with someone you care a lot about, and it becomes even harder if your partner is abusive. Creating a plan before you leave the relationship can help you feel more at ease and make you safer. However, sometimes a relationship is so dangerous to your health and safety that you need to leave quickly. IF THERE IS IMMEDIATE DANGER TO YOUR HEALTH AND SAFETY DO NOT WAIT AND FIND HELP IMMEDIATELY.  However, if you are safe enough to make a plan before you leave, here are some important elements of an end-of-relationship plan that can make it easier to leave, when you believe the time is right.

  1. Turn to your friends and family

    1. Unhealthy relationships often involve isolation. You might find that your relationship with your friends or family is fractured but you might be surprised by how understanding they are of your situation. Seek love and comfort in them. Rebuilding/maintaining relationships outside of romantic ones are important. They can give an outside perspective on your relationship and notice signs you might not have. Also, keep them updated on your situation and any changes in your safety. Having someone know what’s going on is important especially if your safety situation quickly changes. 

  2. Save some money

    1. This is especially important if your finances are connected to your significant others. If you save enough money, you can eventually build up to the point where you don’t have to rely on your significant other to meet your financial needs. Any amount (no matter how small) being saved every day can make a big difference. 

  3. Find a safe place you can go

    1. If you live with your significant other- Find a safe and affordable place and make sure your friends and family know where you will be living. You are not obligated to share your new address with your ex and often it is safer if you don’t. 

    2. If you live in a dorm- Ask your housing office if you can switch dorms. Even at schools like Bucknell where good housing is hard to come by, the housing office has a system for relocating students who need help. 

  4. Make a police report if necessary or go to your Title IV

    1. If you believe relationship violence (assault, stalking, etc)  of some kind has occurred and you would like to make a report (you have not obligation to relive your trauma and make a report if you don’t want to) contact the police department, or if they are a student at your school, the Title IV office. The Title IV office can support you in other ways as well, such as relocating dorms, keeping the perpetrator off-campus, and even anonymously talking to your professors or contacting them if anything has affected your schoolwork or you need more time on your assignments. The police can help you with a restraining order if necessary. 

  5. Seek the help of a therapist/counselor

    1. Being in an unhealthy relationship can be highly detrimental to your mental health. Even losing a healthy one can negatively affect your mental health. Your therapist/counselor can help you work through your trauma and negative experiences and support you in an objective way that sometimes the people closest to you can’t. 

    2. Also, if you believe the relationship is safe enough to stay in, and you both want to say, seeking the help of a therapist with your significant other can help identify ways to save the relationship and help you both develop healthier patterns/tendencies.

  6. Bonus: Visualize your life/goals outside the relationship and make a plan to achieve those goals

    1. Spending a long time with one person often means your goals and plans mesh together. It is common to feel lost or uncertain about what’s next. Write a list of your OWN goals/dreams/plans. Your goals/dreams/plans won’t all be accomplished in a day, but this list can help you rediscover the purpose of life and build self-confidence and love. Also doing what you love will make you that much happier.

Relationships can’t be perfect all the time. Even the healthiest of relationships fall into unhealthy patterns occasionally. But if you find yourself stuck in a pattern of unhealthiness and want to leave, these six steps might make you feel more comfortable and safe to leave the relationship. 

 

Sources:

  1. https://www.joinonelove.org/signs-unhealthy-relationship/

  2. https://www.joinonelove.org/signs-healthy-relationship/

 

Hi, I'm Kendall Garnett and I am a senior Biology and Spanish major at Bucknell University. I am also one of two Campus Correspondents/Chapter leaders for HerCampus Bucknell. When I am not busy researching the next big pandemic I like to write culture and entertainment pieces.