Know Your Worth: Are You in a Healthy Relationship?

I got into my first relationship when I was a freshman in high school. I have been constantly in and out of relationships for the past five years since, and have undergone both unhealthy and healthy traits in every single relationship I’ve been in. The ultimate goal is a wholesome connection between two people, but it’s not as easy as we’ve been taught.

 

Because of the cheerful, wanderlust, star-crossed lovers we’ve seen on the screen and read in the pages, our perception of what a real-life relationship is is sort of f*cked up. We want that early morning peaceful presence of our partner by our side, we want those roses delivered to our work as a random surprise, we want that romantic date night that is never interrupted by some other pressing need in this life.

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And what does life actually throw our way? A partner who sleeps through every alarm and misses work consistently, a partner who forgets the flowers and buys you a pack of gum instead, and that date night you thought you’d have? Turns out you get into a fight every afternoon, squashing any plans for romance or even a time of love.

 

This, my dear friends, is defined as unhealthy. However, because relationships have become so idolized that they are arguably the driving force of life-purpose, we don’t understand this word in regard to our beloved partner. Fall in love they said. It’ll be all rainbows, butterflies, and sunshine, they said.

 

The reality is, relationships can become incredibly draining if you’re not conscious of what’s actually happening between you and your partner - but they shouldn’t have to. Take a moment to think hard, and think honestly with yourself and how your relationship works.

 

In a healthy relationship, partners motivate each other. They encourage each other. They support each other, and help one another plan out their future goals. After all, ultimately the person you’re with is destined to someday be your life-partner. Do they act like it now?

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In an unhealthy relationship, partners are apathetic. They don’t seem to care about much of anything besides what’s for dinner and what video game they’re playing that night. There’s no motivation for school, for a career, or for keeping you in the picture. It’s time to reevaluate your relationship if the energy between you is lacking passion.

 

In a healthy relationship, your partner takes care of themselves. They brush their teeth, take care of their hair, wake up on time, clean their bathroom, take the trash out, eats consciously, exercises regularly, and shows some sort of drive in their life.

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In an unhealthy relationship, your partner shows no signs of self-care. They rely on you for food, their room smells of a barn, and you can’t remember the last time they actually opened a book. If your partner doesn’t even take care of themselves, how can they be expected to contribute to the betterment/care of your relationship?

 In a healthy relationship, there is open honesty. You don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing, because your partner is open minded and understands. They see you, they hear you, and they believe you.

 

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In an unhealthy relationship, you constantly walk on eggshells in fear of upsetting the other person. You know that their temper is easily ignited, and that they often only hear what they want to hear. Your words and your feelings have to be kept inside, otherwise you will suffer the consequences/mood changes for days. If this is you, my friend, please please leave. You deserve someone who will listen and appreciate you, and give you the validation you deserve.

 

In a healthy relationship, there is a sense of independence. You each have your own group of friends, you attend clubs and events alone, and can feel satisfied in your relationships outside of your romantic life.

 

In an unhealthy relationship, there is a forcefully strong sense of dependence. Your partner doesn’t have any relationships outside of your own, and attempts to cut off your outside contact sources – such as friends, family, and coworkers. They often say how you’re their best friend, their only true friend. If you feel like there is an unnatural or high-pressured force driving your relationship, your relationship is leading toward the unhealthy side.

 

In a healthy relationship, your partner shows respect. They treat you equally, gives you fairness, and reminds you daily that they care about your well-being and feelings. They also know and respect your boundaries, and allow you to feel safe in their presence.

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In an unhealthy relationship, your partner often teases you harshly. They don’t understand your interests, they don’t show an interest in your passions, and they don’t respect your lifestyle or wellness. In this environment of disrespect, it’s impossible to feel safe. If you ever feel belittled, scared to be yourself, or threatened, reach out to someone you trust because it’s time to pack your bags and it’ll be easier if you aren’t alone.

 

You are never alone. It’s so important to understand that if you think your relationship has become unhealthy (or never was), seek help. There are professional helplines, resources on campus, and so many other people who have experienced the same thing. Another thing to keep in mind, is that it’s important to reevaluate your relationship often, because even if you don’t feel this way now, things change quickly. It’s important to understand that it isn’t your fault. It’s important to know your worth, and have enough self-respect to get out of the relationship. There’s always hope, and always help.

 

Here are online sources and help if you realize after reading this that there needs to be some change. I believe in you, and your decision to take the next step in the right direction shows your incredible strength and self-respect. 

 

- Love is Respect.com

- Better Help.com

 -Crisis Text Line.org