What's a Healthy Relationship Like?

group of five teens hanging out


Strong, healthy relationships are important for a happy life. Your connections with family members, friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, and others affect your mental, emotional, and even physical health.

Take relationships in the teen years, for example. Healthy relationships with parents and friends can help a teen become increasingly independent and develop a sense of personal identity and strong self-esteem.

So, how can you tell if a relationship is positive for you?

Here are some signs of a healthy relationship:

  • You feel good about yourself around the other person. You feel safe talking about how you feel. You listen to each other. You feel valued, and each of you trusts the other person.
  • Conflicts, which are normal, don’t turn into personal attacks. You can disagree without hurting each other and make decisions together.
  • The other person motivates you to do positive things like succeed in school and be involved in extracurricular activities.
  • The other person doesn’t encourage you to do risky or self-destructive things like drive recklessly or use drugs. In fact, having healthy relationships can reduce the odds that a person will use drugs. 
  • You feel physically safe around that person.

At any age, your relationships matter, and having healthy relationships with others starts with liking yourself. Treat yourself the way a good friend would treat you. Know that you deserve to be treated well by others.

If you or a friend needs help with an unhealthy relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org or 1-800-799-SAFE.

Learn more: Are you thinking about helping a friend who’s using drugs?

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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