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Healthy relationships

10 May 2024

A romantic relationship that is healthy enables both partners to be supported, connected, and retain their independence. So what does this look like and what are the signs that your relationship might be unhealthy? Find out more about healthy relationships.


A healthy relationship can look different for different couples. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Healthy relationships include:
  • Open, honest and safe communication
  • Mutual respect, trust and appreciation
  • Freedom to talk to and hang out with who you want to
  • You can be yourself and share your opinions, even when they’re different to your partner’s
  • Solving problems together
Unhealthy relationships include:
  • Constant checking up on you
  • Increasing isolation from your friends and family
  • Threats to hurt you, someone else or themselves if they don’t get what they want
  • Blaming you for everything
  • Making all the decisions
  • Financially controlling

If you are experiencing violence or notice that signs of an unhealthy relationship, we encourage you to tell someone. It could be a friend, family member, workmate, teacher, employer, health professional, university support service or community service.


For more information about healthy & unhealthy relationships


Pornography use is very common, and in the current internet age it’s also very accessible. Pornhub’s 2016 year in review report placed New Zealand as 5th highest pornography user per capita.


Pornography is the primary source of sexual education for young people today (Donevan & Mattebo, 2017; UK National Union of Students, 2014; Flood, 2010; Hooley, 2017).

However, sex depicted in pornography is not how sex usually looks


Best-selling and most popularly viewed video pornography frequently show scenes involving acts of physical aggression (88.2%) and verbal aggression (48.7%) towards women (Bridges et al., 2010).


Pornography can show unrealistic messages of what sex is like

  • porn stars have often had surgery, waxing, bleaching, and done weight-lifting
  • porn often shows unprotected sex with little condom use (Grudzen et al., 2009)
  • porn often shows women being manipulated into sex, rather than consent (Klassen et al., 2014). Porn stars are acting—they’re required to show a neutral or pleasurable response even if they don’t like what’s happening
  • Pornography use can not only lead to unrealistic expectations around sex, but excessive use can also lead to sexual performance problems.


In contrast to best-selling and most popularly viewed video pornography, healthy sex involves consent, respect for each other, communication and should feel emotionally and physically good for everyone participating.


For more information about pornography.

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