Unlike an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, a relationship based on equality is one in which the dating partners are on an even playing ground. One partner is not trying to control or get power over another. Each person respects the other for his skills, abilities, talents and gifts. Each helps the other grow and shine in who they are. Here are some signs of a healty dating relationship.
NEGOTIATION AND FAIRNESS: Problems or struggles are a part of every relationship. In relationships based on equality, couples seek mutually satisfaying resolutions to conflict, accept change and are willing to talk and compromise.
NON-THREATENING BEHAVIOR: This involves talking and acting so that dating partners feel safe and comfortable expressing themselves and being involved in the kinds of activities that interest them.
RESPECT: This implies that the dating partners don't stand in the way of each other growing and changing. It also means listening to each other non-judgmentally, being emotionally affirming and understanding as well as valuing each other's opinions.
HONESTY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: In a relationship based on equality, dating partners accept responsibility for themselves and their actions. They admit when they are wrong and communicate openly and truthfully.
SEXUAL RESPECT: It is important to respect each other's feelings and the right to have control over one's own body. This means understanding the differences between love, sex and intimacy.
PARTNERSHIP: This involves treating a dating partner as an equal and a whole human being. It also means respecting the partner's decisions and opinions, listening and sharing responsibiliites based on skills, interests and abiliites.
CULTURAL RESPECT: Each of us has a cultural heritage and background. In no culture do people enjoy being emotionally or physically abused in intimate relationships. Cultural respect involves partners allowing each other to be who they are and respecting the other's path as equally important as their own.