Healthy Relationships

Reading Signs: How to Know what Kind of Relationship You Have

Depending on the relationship you have with your spouse or boyfriend or girlfriend, your chances of getting HIV may be increased.

People in poor relationships are more likely to get HIV since either partner in a bad relationship may have another partner outside of that relationship. Having partners outside of your normal relationship increases the risk for both getting HIV.

The signs below will give you a good indication of what kind of relationship you are in.

If your relationship displays many of the signs of an unhealthy relationship, then it will be best for you to end it to avoid the chance of sexual abuse which can cause you to get HIV.

Signs of a healthy relationship

Signs of an unhealthy relationship

Takes time to develop

Happens fast – sometimes instantly

There is trust

Feeling insecure,not trusting of the other

Knowing who you are and what you want

Look to other for guidance and self worth

Person is independent and has their own views


Mutual self respect in relationship

Letting other define you & direct your life

Revealing a little of yourself at a time

Talking at an intimate level on first meeting

Respect for the view of the other person

Does not listen to the other partner

Keeping to your own personal values

Going against personal values or rights to please others

Being comfortable in the relationship

Feeling the need to hide from the other person

Being sexual when you want to be sexual

Being sexual for the partner and not for self

Not rushing into a sexual relationship

Acting on first sexual impulse

Knowing who you are and what you want

Believing others can know your needs and feeing angry when they do not

Joint decision making

Tends to control or be controlled

Commitment to the other and relationship

Cannot tolerate flaws & demands love

Non abusive behaviour and language

Abusive behaviour and language

Persons are happy and enjoy each others company

Relationship based primarily on need

Pursue activities independently of each other

Dependent on the other person and does not allow for individuality & feels threatened by partner’s personal growth

Maintain other or former friendships

Can’t live without the other, is isolated from other friends and family, creating need for one special relationship

Good communication

Often uses blame to avoid responsibility

Non controlling behaviour

Controlling behaviour

Is able to let go if the relationship is not good or healthy

Can’t live without the other

Non dependence on the other

Dependent on other for validation of self & needs

Able to disagree without being abusive

Needs to be in charge, Feels threatened by disagreement, becomes abusive

Personal sense of self worth

Lack of self esteem; Insecurity about self and self worth


If you are in a bad relationship and need help to get out, don’t hesitate – take action today, tomorrow might be too late.

For help call Help & Shelter's hotline at 227- 3454 or 225-4731; or Lifeline at 226-8684. They will not ask you your name or to reveal any confidential details.