Tuesday, February 14, 2023
We talk a lot about red flags in a relationship, and how to know if your partner could be abusive. It's important to know the danger signs of relationship abuse, and to understand that abuse can be emotional as well as physical.
But how do you know when your relationship is going well? This Valentine's Day let's talk about green flags to look for – these are signs you're in a safe, healthy and loving relationship.
Communication - Do you feel like your partner respects your opinions? Part of being in a healthy relationship includes feeling like you can talk to your partner about both the positives and the negatives and knowing it's OK to respectfully disagree with each other.
Freedom - You have time to see your own friends and follow your own interests outside of the relationship. You enjoy spending time together, and you have the freedom to be independent of each other as well.
Consent - You feel safe saying no to sexual activity. You don’t need to do anything you don’t want to. You and your partner regularly check in with each other to see if you're ok.
Trust - Your partner doesn't have to know exactly where you are all the time. You go where you want, see who you want and wear what you want, and no one has a say over that except you.
Respect - If you want to end it, your partner accepts your decision. Breakups can generate a lot of feelings, and it can be hard to let go of someone you care about. But it's important to respect each other's decision if they need space or want to be out of the relationship.
So, this Valentine's Day, celebrate the green flags you can see in your relationships, and the green flags modelled in the behaviour you see in your friends, whānau and in the media. It's good to talk about what we do want to see, and not only what we don't.
If you are feeling unsafe or like you don't want to be in the relationship anymore, talk to someone you are comfortable with.
These organisations can also help:
- Youthline: Free call 0800 376 633 or text 234 (24/7)
- Women’s Refuge: Free call 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 (24/7)
- Male Survivors Aotearoa - visit their website to find a local organisation that can help you.
- Shine: Free call 0508 744 633 (24/7)
- Shakti - for migrant and refugee women. Free call 0800 742 584 - 24/7
Family Planning has clinics located throughout New Zealand. Use the clinic finder to find your nearest clinic.