Healthy Relationships

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  • 57% of ASU students surveyed are involved in an intimate relationship.
  • 31.3% of ASU students reported intimate relationships had been difficult to handle during the last 12 months.
  • 25.4% of ASU students reported that other relationships had been difficult to handle during the last 12 months.
  • 3.5% of ASU students reported that relationship difficulties had a serious impact on their academic performance in the last year.
  • 8.8% of ASU students reported being in an intimate relationships that was emotionally, physically or sexually abusive.

Sources: American College Health Association. American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment: Arizona State University Metro Phoenix Campuses Spring 2018. Baltimore: American College Health Association: Spring 2018 (n=1,304).



Any connection or bond between two people can be considered a relationship. This includes family members, friends, dating partners, co-workers, acquaintances and even, to a certain degree, strangers we come into contact with. Relationships exist on a spectrum from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. Are your relationships healthy?  What steps can you take to improve them?

Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

  • Respect
  • Trust and Honesty
  • Communication
  • Equality
  • Boundaries: Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Sexual
  • Self-Esteem
  • Support

How to Have a Healthy Relationship

  • Treat others the way they want to be treated
  • Let others know how you would like to be treated
  • Hold yourself accountable for your actions
  • Talk about problems in the relationship instead of ignoring them
  • Listen to the other person's perspectives and share your own perspectives

Characteristics of an Unhealthy Relationship

  • One partner tries to exert power and control over the other
  • Communications breakdown
  • Dishonesty, lack of trust
  • Pressure to comply
  • Feelings of insecurity about the relationship
  • Partners spend little time with other friends or family
  • Lack of support for partner's interests and accomplishments

Characteristics of an Abusive Relationship

  • Humiliation and Degradation
  • Sexual and Physical Abuse
  • Threats
  • Control / Intimidation
  • Possessiveness
  • Excessive Jealousy
  • Co-dependence
  • Isolation
  • Substance abuse

For more information about relationships visit


Take Relationships Surveys and quizzes to assess your relationships

It can be difficult to know how to support a friend who is in an abusive relationship. You may want them to leave their partner, yet they may choose to stay in the relationship. You may want them to tell the police about their injuries, yet they may choose to keep their abuse a secret from friends, family and law enforcement.

How to Help Someone in an Unhealthy Relationship:

  • Be a good friend
  • Be respectful and supportive
  • Listen patiently and openly: don't try to place blame on your friend or try to fix the relationship
  • Say that you are concerned for your friend’s safety and want to help
  • Help your friend understand that the abuse is not normal and not his/her fault
  • Ask what you can do to help
  • Connect your friend to resources for assistance and guidance
  • Encourage your friend to develop a safety plan
  • Avoid confrontations with the abuser. This could be dangerous for you and your friend.

Is Your Friend an Abuser? – Are you concerned that a friend is hurting others? What can you do?

  • Learn the warning signs of abuse
  • Help your friend recognize their unhealthy or abusive behaviors
  • Do not support your friend’s attempts to blame the victim for the abuse
  • Do not minimize the severity of the behavior
  • Connect your friend to resources for counseling and assistance with changing learned behaviors

For more information on how to help a friend, visit is a website, chat, text and help line service to help engage, empower and education youth and young adults to prevent and end abusive relationships.

Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence is a community coalition that unites interested agencies and individuals in efforts to end sexual and domestic violence in Arizona. Their website and programs provide education and information to make this a reality.

Relationship Articles provides information for ASU students, faculty and staff about Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.