This Valentine’s Day, I’m asking my husband Pete to skip the flowers and chocolate, and to celebrate our love by joining the #HealthyLove movement with me.
The goal of this brand-new campaign is to raise awareness about healthy relationships and to support violence prevention programs across Canada.
These programs help high school students to recognize abuse and to talk about tough issues like rape culture, dating violence, gender stereotypes, racism, and homophobia. The programs are incredibly effective: 90% of teens learn how to keep their relationships healthy, 82% learn how to get help if they experience abuse. The impact of the programs is even felt outside the classroom: 60% of students see less bullying and violence in their communities.
Joining the #HealthyLove movement is easy:
Read the 14 signs of a healthy relationship (listed below).
Choose a behaviour that you promise to improve in your own relationship, and share it on twitter with the hashtag #HealthyLove.
- Ask your partner to tweet their own promise to you.
For every tweet, between February 12 to 14, Simone and David Carmichael will donate $2 to the Canadian Women’s Foundation (up to $1,000) to support our violence prevention work across Canada!
To choose which of the fourteen statements you will tweet as your VDay promise, you’ll have to reflect on your own behaviour, which isn’t always easy or comfortable. It’s always so much more fun to notice what our partner is doing wrong than to admit maybe we could do better ourselves! But if it helps to strengthen our relationships, I say it’s worth the effort.
Our fabulously generous donors, Simone and David, were the first to join the #HealthyLove movement. They both chose statement #5: “I will help my partner realize their potential,” saying “We believe healthy relationships are at the heart of our families and the larger community. Healthy relationships allow people to flourish and reach the potential of all they can be.”
I’ve chosen #12: “I will be open to compromise,” since I tend to have strong ideas and can be a teeny bit reluctant to make concessions.
My husband Pete picked #10: “I will value my partner’s opinion.” He says, “When I think I’m right, I might not say anything but I could probably stand to be more open to what you think.” How’s that for honest communication?
And Pete? In that same spirit, I’ll just say that while I’m grateful you’ve joined the #HealthyLove movement with me, I’d really like some chocolate, too.
14 BEHAVIOURS THAT HELP TO BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS:
- I will share my feelings.
- I will be truthful.
- I will admit when I’m wrong.
- I will listen when my partner needs to talk.
- I will help my partner realize their potential.
- I will respect my partner’s boundaries when engaging in sexual activity.
- I will express my anger in a nonthreatening way.
- I will never use intimidation or violence.
- I will always speak to my partner with respect.
- I will value my partner’s opinion.
- I will accept responsibility for my mistakes.
- I will be open to compromise.
- I will share decision making.
- I will do my fair share of chores.