The Foundation of a Healthy Dating Relationship


The Foundation of a Healthy Dating Relationship

An article written with Fondation Marie-Vincent

When discussing healthy dating relationships, a common way to approach the subject is to talk about “red flags”, those signs that warn you that a relationship is toxic or violent. Although it is important to be able to recognize them, it is also helpful to learn to identify ’’green flags”, positive signs that hold promise for the future. Keep reading to learn a few of these signs that form the foundation of a good dating relationship.


When they are healthy, dating relationships make you feel good, safe and respected. They share a few common elements:


🗨  Open, honest communication: talking about your troubles, about what you’re feeling and thinking and about what’s important for you, and asking your partner to share in turn.

👂 Listening: being available for your partner, listening to them and feeling listened to non-judgmentally.

⚖ Equality and balance: so that each partner feels equally important in the relationship and no one takes advantage of the other.

👍 Respect: for yourself and your partner (even during disagreements). Respecting their tastes, interests, opinions and choices. Having a positive attitude and using kind, supportive words and affectionate gestures. Some examples are “Wow, that outfit looks great on you!”, “Don’t give up—I’m rooting for you!”, “I understand. It’s lousy, but you’ll succeed, I’m sure!”

🧘‍♀️ Freedom: feeling free to express your needs, wants and boundaries. Feeling that you can change your mind with no consequences for yourself or your relationship. Being free to have your own leisure-time activities.

👏 Wanting what’s best for your partner and being happy when they succeed.  

🥰 Trust: knowing that you can count on this person (and that they can do likewise) because they have always been respectful and honest with you.

💗 Sharing, having fun, loving one another!


And, most importantly, a healthy, respectful relationship is based on the free and informed consent of each person involved. This is very important when you have sexual relations with your partner.

What is consent?

Read our article to find out more.

Is there consent?

To be valid, consensual sex must involve four elements: respect; equality between partners; partners of the proper age and with no improper family ties; expression of consent.

Learn more


To be able to give or withhold your consent, you have to learn to listen to yourself, ask yourself what you want, and set your own boundaries while accepting those of other people.

Find out more


It is totally normal to not always agree with the person you love all the time. Some arguments are healthy, as they allow each person to speak out in a healthy way, to stand up for themself and to find a solution—together. But sometimes conflicts occur more frequently and are more intense, leading to disrespectful, violent behaviour.

Take stock of your situation!

Listen to our podcast!

In association with aidersonenfant.com, we discuss a sensitive issue in this podcast: violence in teen dating relationships—how to talk about it and get help.

Communicating, discussing, listening, expressing yourself—all things that can be learned!

Learn the right way to communicate in your relationships


Dating relationships play an important role in self-esteem and well-being. However, keep in mind that no one has to be in a dating and/or sexual relationship, or feel the need to. The important thing is to feel good!

Resources that can help you

Need to talk to someone about what you’re experiencing?

Talk to a counsellor at Tel-Jeunes : it’s anonymous, free and available 24/7


External resource

Love – Tel-Jeunes

With Our Partner


The Marie-Vincent Foundation supports children and teens who are victims of violence by offering them the services they need—all in one location. It helps prevent sexual violence by focusing on education and awareness, and by helping children with problematic sexual behaviours.

Access the site