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Love is when two people feel good about themselves and each other. Knowing the difference between love and control in a relationship is important.

What is love?

Love is when two people feel good about themselves and each other. Someone who loves you also helps you feel good about yourself.

This is love:

  • you have a good friendship, not just a physical relationship                        
  • you have freedom to do your own thing
  • you have time and space to see your friends
  • you have your own interests
  • your opinions are respected
  • you can disagree with each other
  • you can go at your own pace, including sexually
  • you make decisions together
  • when you have an argument you can talk about it
  • you have fun together
  • you feel safe
  • if you want to end the relationship, your decision is respected

This isn’t love:

  • you talk to someone else and your partner gets angry or jealous
  • your partner is constantly texting or calling to check where you are and who you are with
  • your partner is verbally aggressive or physically threatening
  • your partner calls you names, puts you down, makes you feel bad
  • your partner uses force, threats or bargains to make you do things you don’t want to do
  • your partner threatens to harm any of your family, friends, pets or property.

This is control. Someone who controls you and tells you what to do or how to behave isn’t helping you feel good about yourself.

Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.

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