Most of us received little information about what an emotionally safe relationship should look like, but we all want to teach these skills to our children. Here is a great checklist of what qualities an emotionally safe relationship has. It’s a great reminder of how to be a safe person for others and a great list of discussion points for your teen about how to behave and what to expect. Tell your child this is what you believe they deserve from their dating partner, and point it out when you encounter these behaviors in others in daily life. In this way, we can be more intentional about modeling these behaviors and identifying positive role models for our children!
Hallmarks of an emotionally safe relationship:
- Trust that the other person has your best interest at heart and treat them as if you do.
- Accountability and reliability.
- Saying what you mean, meaning what you say, but not saying it meanly.
- No name calling or use of demeaning language.
- Taking responsibility for your own feelings, not casting blame.
- No verbal threats.
- Treat your relationship as if it is a living breathing entity.
- Give it room to grow rather than stagnate from neglect.
- Be your partner’s most ardent cheerleader.
- Don’t hold your partner hostage with demands for how a relationship should be.
- Negotiate your individual needs.
- Touch by consent only.
- Don’t withhold resentments only to use them as ammunition.
- Be open to having inevitable difficult conversations, going for a win-win solution.
- See your partner as an ally and not an adversary.
- Recognize that relationships are not 50/50, but 100/100 with each partner bringing all of who they are to the table.
- Be willing to break destructive patterns, knowing that history is not destiny.
- Look to parental role models for what to emulate and what to avoid.