Healthy Relationships Involve Respect and Trust

When Brian and sarah began dating, her friends were envious. Brian was smart, sensitive, funny, athletic and good looking. Even heer mom loved him.

For the first couple of months, Sarah seemed happy. She started to miss her friends and family, though, because she was spending more time with Brian and less time with everyone else. That seemed easier than dealing with Brian’s endless questions. He worried about what she was doing at every moment of the day.

Sarah’s friends became concerned when her behavior started to change. She lost interest in the things she once enjoyed, like swim meets and going to the mall. She became secretive and moody. When her friends asked if she was having trouble with Brian, she told them nothing was wrong.

Healthy relationships involve respect, trust, and consideration for the other person. Sadly, some relationships can turn bad. In fact, 1 in 11 high school students report being physically hurt by a date.

People in these relationships sometimes mistake the abuse for intense feelings of caring or concern. It can even seem flattering. Think of a friend whose boyfriend or girlfriend is very jealous: Maybe it seems like your friend’s partner really cares. But actually, excessive jealousy and controlling behavior are not signs of affection at all.

Love involves respect and trust; it doesn’t mean constantly worrying about the possible end of the relationship. If you feel nervous or insecure about your relationship, it’s important to talk it through with your boyfriend or girlfriend, not try to control their behavior.

What Is Abuse?

Abuse can be physical, emotional, or sexual. Physical abuse means any form of violence such as hitting, punching, pulling hair, and kicking. Abuse can occur in both dating relationships and friendships.

Emotional abuse (stuff like teasing, bullying, and humiliating others) can be difficult to recognize because it doesn’t leave any visible scars. Threats, intimidation, putdowns, and betrayal are all harmful forms of emotional abuse that can really hurt — not just during the time it’s happening, but long after too.

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, guy or girl. It’s never right to be forced into any type of sexual experience that you don’t want.

The first step in getting out of an abusive relationship is to realize that you have the right to be treated with respect and not be physically or emotionally harmed by another person.

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