Qualities of Good Relationships

Mutual respect

Do you trust your partner and does he/she trust you? Do you respect who your partner is as an individual? In a respectful relationship, you listen to one another in a non-judgmental way and value each other’s opinions. Respect also involves attempting to understand and affirm the other’s emotions.

Communication that is open and honest

Do you feel that you can communicate with your partner without worrying about whether or not he/she will get angry with you? Do you feel you are given or give space and time to think something through before you or your partner are ready to talk about it? Just because you love each other, it doesn’t mean you automatically communicate well or can read your partner’s mind, or that he/she can read yours. Don’t wait for your partner to try to guess what is going on with you.

Separate identities

In a healthy relationship, both partners need to make compromises. But, that doesn’t mean you should feel like you’re losing out on being yourself. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don’t or give up seeing your friends, or drop out of activities that you love. You should feel free to keep developing new talents or interests, making new friends, and moving forward with your life.


Honesty goes hand in hand with trust. It is almost impossible to trust someone when one of you isn’t being honest.


It is not just in bad times that you or your partner should show support. In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on and to celebrate the good times. People in healthy relationships try not to judge, criticize or blame each other because we are all human and capable of making mistakes.

Unhealthy Relationships

A relationship is unhealthy when it involves mean, disrespectful, controlling and/or abusive behavior. Here are some more specific signs to help you decide if you are in an unhealthy relationship:

When your partner…

  • Acts jealous and/or possessive of you
  • Won’t let you have friends; new ones or old ones; Isolation
  • Checks up on you
  • Uses threats or physical force to discourage one from leaving the relationship
  • Doesn’t take your opinion seriously or ignores your feelings
  • Is scary - you worry about how s/he will react to things you say or do
  • Threatens you
  • Blames you for his or her behavior, anger and depression
  • Is hypersensitive to criticism
  • Pressures you for sex
  • Thinks of others only as sex objects
  • Attempts to manipulate or “guilt trip” you
  • Is violent
  • Has to be in control
  • Loses his/her temper quickly
  • Says you are too sensitive and you make a “big deal” out of something small
  • Uses and pressures you to use alcohol, drugs or other mood-altering substances to relax
  • Believes in stereotypical sex roles
  • Has unrealistic expectations of you or the relationship
  • Ridicules or criticizes you or puts you down

If you feel that you or a loved one may be involved in an unhealthy relationship the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) can offer guidance, information and advocacy. 


Additional Information 

Resources of UNH

The following resources are available to students at UNH who are seeking assistance and more information on having healthy relationships: