Healthy Relationships and Consent

Relationships are so important to our well-being. Strong social connections help us solve problems and overcome challenges. There are many types of relationships in our lives. These can be with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, as well as intimate or sexual partners.

Don’t forget YOU!
There is one important relationship that is often overlooked:  Our relationship with ourselves. It is important to respect and value ourselves before getting into intimate relationships with other people. Having a good sense of personal identity and self-esteem will set a foundation for establishing strong, healthy relationships with others. 

Healthy Relationships
Considerations of a “good” relationship are greatly influenced by society. Beliefs and practices about romantic relationships, marriage and sex vary around the world. Similarly, affection is expressed differently across many cultures. 

A healthy relationship requires self-awareness of our own feelings and values, as well as respecting our partner’s. Some key components of healthy relationships include:

  • Compatibility
  • Communication
  • Honesty and accountability
  • Shared power
  • Healthy physical boundaries
  • Healthy emotional boundaries
  • Trust and caring
  • Nurturing our full selves 

Consent and Sex
Sexual relationships can be a very pleasurable and positive part of life. Clear expectations, communication and boundaries are important. Within any healthy relationship, neither person should feel pressured to have sex. There should be no expectations around sex even if someone has paid for a date or if you have been together for a long time. If you decide to have sex, there is a shared responsibility around consent – every single time. This includes checking about using contraception to avoid pregnancy, as well as using protection to prevent infections. Consent cannot be obtained if substances are impairing either partner’s ability to make decisions. 

Consent is everything as depicted in this novel video illustration called “Tea and Consent.

Tea and Consent 

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