When things go right, relationships are wonderful. It’s only when things go wrong that you’ll need that little bit of extra advice and help.
A good rule of thumb with a relationship is to ask yourself how you would feel if you saw a good friend of yours in the same situation.
Healthy relationships make you feel supported and loved. You feel like the other person really values and respects you. You want to be around the other person because it is fun and because it feels right. You feel like the other person wants to be around you because they love being with you.
Most relationships feel this way at the beginning. The healthy ones keep on feeling this way as time passes. It’s normal in healthy relationships to have feelings grow and fade. The sense that the other person respects you, though, is something that doesn’t change, even if the feelings leave.
The unhealthy relationships are the ones that don’t make you feel this way. You might feel like you have to lie about the relationship because other people might not approve or understand. Or like you have to give the other person things or money, or do sexual things you don’t really like, just to keep them coming back to you. Or like they want you to be around all the time because they want to make sure you aren’t up to something they don’t think you should do. They might tell other people bad or embarrassing things about you because they want you to not have friends or family and only have them.
Sometimes, you might be the person who is checking to make sure your special someone isn’t up to no good. Or you might be the one who feels they need to keep someone around because you get money and attention from them, but not because you love them.
These are things you can talk to your PA or LCW about, if you like.
If you have a relationship like this one, or you have friends who do, please be a real friend to them (or to yourself) and speak up to your PA or another adult you can trust.