Power and Control vs. Equality

So why does anyone have relationships?! What do we need them for? Healthy relationships are important. Human interaction is a basic need. Having a partner you can trust, communicate with, count on, laugh with, feel emotionally and physically safe with is what dating is all about. Sounds great, right?

A healthy, mutual and equitable relationship should include all of the things included in the “equality wheel” below. There might be more you expect from a partner that’s not listed here. I would add the right to privacy (including on your phone, Facebook and other social media), and DEFINITELY the right to make decisions about sex and other physical parts of a relationship. Consent should always be gained and never assumed even when you’re in a relationship. Lastly, I would include “nonviolence” meaning any form of violence (physical or sexual) is never acceptable.

equality1

Unhealthy relationships have elements of power and control in them. The “power and control wheel” below provides examples of different forms of power, control and abuse that might be present in an unhealthy relationship.

powerandcontrol

You can CLICK on either of these wheels if they’re difficult to see on your computer or device.

A good visual activity would be printing these wheels off and using a highlighter to identify which parts of each of these wheels are present in your relationship and comparing them!

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Evaluating your relationships

Whether you’re in a relationship, thinking about dating; have you ever taken the time to literally evaluate your relationship?

 

Here’s a tool to help you start to think about what’s really going on. Sometimes young people know something feels wrong, but can’t quite explain what it is. The following questions should help.

 

You can use this tool to think about all of the relationships and friendships you have! You could even use it twice for the same relationship to compare the relationships progress over time. Things change, right? Share your thoughts with a friend, a family member or someone you trust.

 

Let’s get evaluating   🙂

 

In thinking about a partner or a friend…

 

  • Can you name 5 characteristics of this person that you really admire or like?

 

  • Is this person glad that you have other friends?

 

  • Does this person ask for your opinion about things? Do you make decisions together?

 

  • Have you ever felt pressured to have sex, or engage in any sexual activity with this person?

 

  • Does this person have good relationships with his or her friends and family?

 

  • Does this person talk and listen?

 

  • Do you consider this person a friend?

 

  • Do you act like yourself when you are with this person?

 

  • Does this person have other interests besides you?

 

  • Does this person expect you to say where you have been when you have been apart?

 

  • Does this person constantly text, call or check up on you when you’re not with them?

 

  • Does this person lose his or her temper easily?

 

  • Does this person get angry if you do not always pay attention to him or her?

 

  • How does this person handle conflict?

 

 

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What is your relationship reality?


Hey everyone! I’m posting a video I found that I like to use to get young people thinking about their “relationship reality”. I always encourage teens to think about all of the relationships in their life when they’re considering what is healthy and unhealthy – friends, family, boyfriends or girlfriends.

What’s important to YOU?

Take a peek!

 

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