Healthy Relationships

Maintaining Healthy Relationships

Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain. College opens the door for all kinds of new relationship challenges, such as roommate issues, casual dating, serious dating, friendships, sex, professional relationships, among others. Interpersonal issues also may arise when you play on an intramural team, become involved in a student organization, or decide to join Greek life. These various relationships can provide a great deal of comfort and support during your college years, but they can also be a source of confusion and stress at times.

Healthy relationships always include:

  • Safety
  • Equality
  • Respect
  • Independence
  • Honesty
  • Trust
  • Understanding
  • Ongoing communication
  • Negotiation

The equality wheel provides additional examples of what encompasses a healthy relationship.

While we all strive for healthy relationships, all relationships face conflict; things don't always go smoothly and unhealthy behaviors come up. Conflict can be resolved when a person corrects their unhealthy behavior and works together to restore equality in the relationship.

However, if a person continues unhealthy behaviors, exhibits several unhealthy behaviors, and/or you notice a pattern of unhealthy behaviors, the relationship may have turned abusive. Learn more about unhealthy and abusive behaviors.

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  • Boundaries

    Identifying and establishing your personal social, relational, and sexual boundaries can help you make decisions that align with your personal limits and values and communicate with others about your limits. Below are 5 ways to create and maintain healthy boundaries.


  • Questions to Ask Yourself

    Ask yourself the following questions about a person with whom you have a relationship:

    • Do they make me feel safe?
    • Do they come together to solve issues we have?
    • Do they make me feel like an equal in our relationship?
    • Are they supportive of the things I do?
    • Do they encourage me to try new things?
    • Do they listen when I have something on my mind?
    • Do they give me space and independence?
    • Do the people in my life like them?
    • Do they trust me when I hang out with others?

    If you can answer, "yes," to all of these questions, it’s likely that your relationship is healthy.

    If you answered, "no" to any of these questions, there may be some unhealthy (or potentially abusive) behaviors present. Learn more about unhealthy and abusive relationships.