People need to feel safe in their committed relationship. Otherwise, they are not comfortable being fully honest, which hinders intimacy.

There are three types of safety in relationships:

  • Physical Safety
  • Emotional Safety
  • Commitment Safety

In physically safe relationships:

  • Partners do not hit, shove, choke, destroy property or engage in other violence.
  • Neither partner feels afraid of the other.
  • Arguments do not become volatile.
  • Neither partner threatens or controls the other.
  • Your children and pets are safe around your partner.

In emotionally safe relationships:

  • The relationship is based on acceptance and unconditional love.
  • Both partners share opinions and feelings without fear of humiliation or put-downs.
  • Partners are also good friends.
  • Both respect the other and honor their differences.
  • Partners support and encourage each other.

In commitment-safe relationships:

  • Both partners want to be in a long-term relationship.
  • Both partners contribute equally to the relationship.
  • Both partners are willing to work on the relationship.
  • Partners talk about the future and agree on goals and plans.
  • Partners do not threaten to leave when they argue or disagree.

(Adapted from Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program)