What does a healthy relationship look like?

Sam Goins, Staff Reporter

During the school year at De Soto High School, it can be hard to juggle so many aspects of being a teenager. Classes, college applications and especially relationships can be difficult to keep up.

High school students often experiment with who they like and don’t like during school. School is a large place to find many peers and build relationships, romantic or not, with people of all different shapes, sizes, personalities and backgrounds.

But what does a healthy relationship look like? It can be easy to confuse a healthy relationship with a detrimental one.

One thing that a healthy relationship must have is mutual respect. Mutual respect revolves around boundaries, comfort zones and opinions. No two people will ever share identical views, but if someone is disrespecting you and constantly overstepping boundaries, that could be a sign that they don’t have any respect for you as a person.

Another thing to look for in a healthy relationship is trust. If a relationship does not have trust, there is no way for effective communication to happen.

Toxic relationships will feature flaws, including control, dependency and dishonesty, all of which can be disguised as something else

Controlling relationships, such as one partner telling the other what to do and making all the decisions, can often be disguised as caring deeply about the other person with enough smooth talk and a calm demeanor. Additionally, intimidation through threats or body language can also be controlling.

Dependent relationships, where one feels like they can’t live without the other, could be used under the guise of love and affection.

Dishonesty is a huge factor in unhealthy relationships. Friends or partners should not lie to each other. Be aware that dishonesty is not the same thing as a boundary. Partners with healthy boundaries should not be keeping things from each other.

It is very important to be educated about relationships. Healthy relationships can help one grow as a person, and knowing what a healthy relationship looks like is useful in identifying which relationships to keep and which to get rid of.