Healthy Relationships are so Important to our Well-being

Healthy Relationships

Strong social connections help us to navigate our stressors, solve problems and overcome challenges.

There are many types of relationships we have throughout our lives. These can include relationships with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors as well as intimate and/or sexual partners.

One of the most important relationships is the one with ourselves. It is important to respect and value ourselves before getting into intimate relationships with other people. When each partner has a good sense of personal identity, self-esteem and contributes to the relationship in a balanced way, this will set a foundation to establish strong, healthy relationships with others.

What is considered a ‘good’ relationship is greatly influenced by society. Beliefs and practices about romantic relationships, marriage and sex vary immensely around the world and affection is expressed differently across many cultures.

Considering a human rights perspective, a healthy relationship involves our awareness of our own feelings and values as well as respecting our partner’s feelings, rights and dignity. 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

Sex and Healthy Relationships

Sexual relationships can be a very pleasurable and positive part of life. Clear expectations, open communication and established boundaries are important. Within any healthy relationship, neither person should feel pressure to have sex. Whether the other person has paid for a date or you have been together for a certain length of time, there should be no expectations around sex. When and if you decide to have sex with your partner(s), there is a shared responsibility around consent (every time).

This includes checking in about using contraception to avoid pregnancy when it involves vaginal sex. Partners also have a shared responsibility to protect themselves and each other from sexually transmitted infections (including HIV). Consent cannot be obtained if substances are impairing either partner’s ability to make decisions.

For more information, please visit:

Sexuality Education Resource Centre
Sexual and Reproductive Health
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living - Healthy Sexuality
Sex and U
Teen Talk