Relationships – crossing vs respecting the line

Person sitting on pink floor slumped forward and hugging arms around knees

When it comes to unhealthy vs healthy relationship behaviours and attitudes, there are some clear red flags.

Whether you’re questioning things in your own relationship or someone else’s, take a look at these examples of what’s crossing and what’s respecting the line...

Crossing the line (i.e. not ok) ✗

Respecting the line
"When they say they're not ready to bring sex into our relationship, I like to point out there are plenty of other people who would be..." "I just say, I only want to do what you’re into. It’s not hot unless we both want it!"
"I make it clear I don't like them hanging out with those people - I don't know if they're cheating on me or just flirting - but either way I won't allow it."

“We've got our own interests and plenty of different friends, but I like that they're different to me gives us more to talk about!"

"I called her a [insert offensive name here] but it was just a joke because it turns out she's slept with more people than me!"

"We've got better stuff to talk about than who we've been with before. And we’ve got way better names for each other than that kind of disrespectful crap…."

"I’ve promised I wouldn’t share their nude pics with anyone else, but they keep refusing to send me any – so the other day I just snapped a ‘shower pic’ on the sly."

"Sure, I asked, but when they said they weren’t up for sending me nudes I just let it go. If someone’s not comfortable with that kind of thing – for any reason – I’m not going to push it."

"They’re holding out on me because they think it'll keep me interested. I just say, “You can only play that game for so long before I'm outta here..."

"Everybody's got their reasons and feelings about sex, and those reasons are important to them. I’m not going to try to have sex with someone who's not into it!"

"Sometimes I get so angry with them but when I yell they just say even more stupid stuff." "I don't always understand or agree with their opinions, but I'd rather be talking to them and hearing what they have to say than having a fight."
"When they said they wanted to break up with me, I said I would hurt myself if they did.” "I asked them why they wanted to break up and if they were ok, but I also know you can’t pressure someone into changing their mind. And if I start having suicidal thoughts I need to get some immediate help with that."
"He gets pretty pissed off if she even mentions other people, but I think he's just really into her." "Sometimes things get kind of heated between them, but I always I check in with them separately and try to give him a reality check that having friends outside a relationship is totally normal and ok. If that’s stressing him out he should talk to her or me about it."

If you or anyone you know are experiencing behaviours that cross the line please contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732) – it's anonymous, free and available 24/7. If you or anyone you know are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide please contact Lifeline or Beyond Blue.

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