Love shouldn't hurt

Love is a driving force in our lives, and yet we often don't learn much about how to have healthy relationships and the signs of unhealthy relationships. Our Love Shouldn't Hurt campaign aims to increase knowledge about healthy relationships, signs of abuse, and available resources locally.

Healthy relationships

In a healthy relationship, communication is key. No matter your sexual orientation, you deserve a healthy relationship.

  • Set boundaries. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect — even during an argument.
  • Find the real issue. Typically, arguments happen when one partner’s wants are not being met. Try to get to the heart of the matter. If your partner seems needy, maybe they are just feeling insecure and need your encouragement
  • Agree to disagree. If you and your partner can’t resolve an issue, sometimes it’s best to drop it. You can’t agree on everything. Focus on what matters.
  • Compromise when possible. Easy to say but hard to do, compromising is a major part of conflict resolution and any successful relationship.
  • Consider everything. Is this issue really important? Does it change how the two of you feel about each other? Are you compromising your beliefs or morals? If yes, it’s important that you really stress your position. If not, maybe this is a time for compromise.
  • Respects: your chosen gender pronouns or name, sexual identity and boundaries

Healthy communication

For healthier communication, try to:

  • Find the right time. If something is bothering you and you would like to have a conversation about it, it can be helpful to find the right time to talk.
  • Talk face to face. 
  • Do not attack.
  • Be honest. 
  • Check your body language. 
  • Use the 48-hour rule. If your partner does something that makes you angry, you need to tell them about it but you don’t have to do so right away.

Types of abuse

There are many types of abuse:

  • Physical: is any intentional and unwanted contact with you or something close to your body.
  • Emotional: includes non-physical behaviors such as threats
  • Sexual: refers to any action that pressures or coerces someone to do something sexually they don’t want to do.
  • Financial: can be very subtle. It can include telling you what you can and cannot buy or requiring you to share control of your bank accounts.
  • Digital dating abuse is the use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass, stalk or intimidate a partner.
  • Stalking abuse is when a person repeatedly watches, follows or harasses you, making you feel afraid or unsafe.

Signs of abuse

These are common signs of an abusive relationship:

  • Shows extreme jealousy
  • Physically hurts or intimidates you
  • Insults, demeans, or shames you
  • Ignores your feelings or boundaries
  • Partner may try to control: your money, social media, who you see, where you go, or what you do

Supplemental resources