On the opposite side of violence and inequality is the relationship based on mutual respect and quality communication. It’s pleasant in all aspects, even in a cyber context.
There is a lot of information on our website about what intimate partner violence is, how to test your relationship, how violence occurs in cyber space… The topic of this page is opposite to that – if we know what violence in partner relationships is, do we know what a quality or a non-toxic relationship is like?
Not everyone in the world has the same idea about what a “partner relationship” is and what it should look like. Still, there are some elements every relationship should have (even if it is just platonic!) in order for us to say it’s non-toxic.
– When we respect our partner’s needs and choices
– When we respect each other even if our needs and choices are different
– When we are not trying to change the other person
– When we give space to the other person to change their opinion/change their mind
– When we’re happy about the other person’s successes and encourage them to work on themselves
– When we talk about our feelings, needs, wishes, and fears openly and honestly
– When we feel our offline and online conversations are safe and non-threatening
– When we have the freedom to say if we are not comfortable with something
– When we feel we are heard without being judged
– When we take responsibility for mistakes
– When we let the other person tell us as much about themselves as they want, when they want to
– When we don’t have the need to check on, interrogate and demand constant checking in by the other person
– When we don’t give false promises
– When we give space to other person for themselves, their friends and persons important to them
MUTUAL RESPECT OF BOUNDARIES, PERSONAL SPACE AND PRIVACY
– When we accept “no” for an answer, without additional questions or persuasion
– When each person has time and space for themselves
– When we don’t expect to know everything about the other person at every moment and we don’t expect them to be constantly available
– When we don’t insist on a joint account on social networks
– When it’s important to be there for the person we love
– When we don’t judge or insult the other person, even if they’re wrong
– When we motivate and support the other person to achieve what they want
MAKING DECISIONS ON COMMON THINGS BASED ON EQUALITY AND COMPROMISE
– When we discuss what our relationship will be like, how often we will see each other or talk to each other
– When we jointly decide how we will spend our time
– When we solve problems through compromise
SEXUAL RESPECT AND TRUST
– When it’s important to us that the other person feels just as good as we do
– When we respect “no” to our suggestions
– When we go step-by-step and ask about every new thing we want to do and respect the given answer
– When we don’t blackmail, manipulate, push…
– When we discuss wishes and concerns honestly
– When we keep intimacy to ourselves and we don’t share it with people in our environment
If we want to describe a non-toxic, quality relationship in one word, based on the examples above, we could say these words could be MUTUAL AND EQUAL. This means that each person has a right to their own self, and that relationship should be seen as a partnership enjoyed by both sides.
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