Healthy relationships

A healthy relationship between partners is a crucial element of sexual health. While everyone may have a different idea of what makes their relationship healthy, relationships are generally considered healthy if they include trust, communication and respect [41599].

Other aspects of healthy relationships with intimate or sexual partners can be:

  • support
  • compromise
  • companionship
  • freedom of self-expression
  • listening to each other
  • mutual emotional support [41599].

Healthy relationships allow individuals to feel safe, cared for and happy. People in healthy relationships are more likely to feel satisfied with their lives and less likely to have physical and mental health problems [41600].

Unhealthy relationships can often impact mental health, emotional and social wellbeing, and physical health. Unhealthy relationships can include aspects such as:

  • lack of communication
  • lack of trust
  • control issues, including financial, social, technological and physical
  • jealousy
  • excessive anger
  • physical or verbal abuse
  • forced or unwanted sexual interactions [41599][41601].

Healthy sexual relationships can improve social, emotional and physical health for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. As with all aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, understanding the impact of culture, history, kinship, traditional laws and family practices, grief, trauma and systemic oppression and exclusion, is fundamental to understanding healthy interpersonal relationships [17538].

This portal focuses on sexual relationships rather than family or friend relationships.


Key resources



Bec Morgan - When the fresh water meets the saltwater

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