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What Does Feeling Safe and Valued in a Relationship Look Like?

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What Does Feeling Safe and Valued in a Relationship Look Like?

As members of the LGBTIQ+ communities, we don’t often see our relationships modelled in the media or in the wider community. Sometimes society or our own internal feelings of homophobia, biphobia or transphobia might stop us from believing that we deserve positive and respectful relationships. Many LGBTIQ+ people have relationships which are safe, positive, loving and respectful of individuality, regardless of the forms they take.

Good communication is an important part of any relationship. Every person in a relationship should be able to express their needs and what is important to them in a relationship with their partner or partners.

Relationships take work


Conflict can occur in any relationship. It might be related to financial pressures, the care of children, or housing stress. It might be because your partner is also your carer, you are parenting with an ex-partner or there may be changes happening for both of you. Being able to talk about conflict and issues within relationships is important to safe and fulfilling relationships, however, good communication takes time and commitment from all involved.

If you do start to feel worried or anxious about your relationship you could start by talking to your partner or partners. If you can’t talk to them, or feel unsafe to do so, you might need to think about why. You may feel more comfortable or it may be safer to talk to a trusted friend or to seek professional help instead.

Need to talk to Someone: Contact QLIFE/ Switchboard

Fostering respectful relationships


With all the excitement of a new relationship, and as our relationships shift and change overtime, we can forget to make time to check in and ask ourselves questions like: do I feel respected? What makes me feel safe? How do I know when I can trust someone? What does it feel like to be valued for who I am?

Here is a short list of behaviours to remind us what makes a relationship respectful.

Does your partner or partners:

  • Take responsibility for their behaviours and emotions?
  • Have realistic expectations of themselves and others?
  • Honour your boundaries? Can they say ‘no’ and accept your ‘no’?
  • Compromise?
  • Have interests outside the relationship?
  • Listen to you and value your perspective?
  • And are they ok with not being right?

It is important to remember that the list above is not a checklist for the ‘perfect relationship”. If you answered ‘no’ or ‘not sure’ to any of these behaviours it might be a good time to check in with your partner/s to talk about your relationship.

If you don’t feel that you can talk about this with them, reach out for support from a friend, family member or a professional.

Need to talk to Someone: Contact QLIFE/ Switchboard


More in this category: Making Decisions »

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