Double Sunrise Young Women's Health: early teen to college years

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What is a Healthy Relationship?



As young women grow, feelings and thoughts about relationships shift and change too. It's important to have friends at school and at activities, and it's important to maintain a comfortable relationship with your family as well.

Part of growing is sorting through relationships. Friends can be a lot of fun, and sometimes disappointing too. Relationships with family members change as well, somedays feeling better than others. The point to remember is that girls need healthy relationships to grow. It may help to know that changes in caring relationships can create stronger and better relationships, although the road there is sometimes rocky. A girl may think at times, "I feel alone."

What is a healthy relationship? This is a good question. Generally, a healthy relationship is one that is respectful and caring.

Jean Miller Baker, author of "A New Women's Psychology" defines "Five Good Things" to a identify a healthy relationship. Simply put, they are:

  1. A sense of zest or well-being that comes from connecting with another person. For instance, you may leave time spent with this person feeling energized at times, and quietly content at other times.
  2. The desire and energy to take action within the relationship. For example you may want to clear up a problem that you sense between you. When involved in healthy relationships you also enjoy being involved and active in your life.
  3. An increased sense of knowing yourself and the other. In a healthy relationship you will, with time, find yourself more confident of who you are, and also know the other person better too.
  4. An increased sense of worth or feeling good about who you are. Again, as you are around people who are caring and respectful, you develop a gentleness about yourself and know that you are valuable and good. This is difficult for girls to feel at times, yet the more that you around healthy relationships, the more this feeling will grow.
  5. Happiness for more relationships beyond the present ones.

Healthy relationships empower all people involved in them.

Relationships are not always smooth. There always comes a time in a relationship when you need to express yourself or stand up for yourself. Maybe you felt hurt at what the other person said or did, or maybe you need to say "no" to joining an activity that doesn't fit your mood. Eventually, no matter how great a relationship is, you will need to speak up. How that person reacts will tell you a lot about the other person in a relationship. Hopefully, you will be pleasantly surprised...

Written 7/00 Revised 8/02

Keeping connected in order to grow

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