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Respectful relationships

Respectful relationships

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As an international student, you will meet new people and have fun in ways that may be new to you.

Some of your new friendships might develop into more serious relationships. Healthy relationships are often referred to as ‘respectful relationships’, ‘ethical relationships’ or ‘good relationships’. No matter what type of relationship it is (e.g. family, friend, classmate, boyfriend, girlfriend), a respectful relationship typically exhibits characteristics of:

  • Respect mutual feelings of regard; a sense of feeling affirmed and safe
  • Communication  really listening, hearing and being heard; understanding; being able to say no
  • Trust feeling trust and being trusted
  • Equality freely making your own choices

No two relationships are the same. To understand how relationships work, you need to know yourself and what your limits are. 

There are many things that make you who you are. This includes things like your values, culture, beliefs, relationships, experiences, spirituality, thoughts and feelings. Think about the important things in your life, what you feel strongly about, your dreams and aspirations and what makes you unique.

Limits are physical, emotional, spiritual or sexual boundaries that you don’t want to cross. Knowing your limits can help you make the right decisions and also keep you safe. We are all different, so what’s important to you and where you set your limits may not be the same as someone else. It’s about respecting yourself and respecting that others may be different from you. 

What is consent?

Consent or consensual sex is when both parties are of legal age, agree to have sex by choice, and have the freedom and capacity to make that choice. This means agreeing to sexual relations without fear, bullying, force or intimidation. Giving consent is active, not passive. It means freely choosing to say 'yes' and also being free to change your mind at any time.

Consent is like a cup of tea, watch this video to learn why: