How's your relationship? Find out with the relationships graph

The ‘how is your relationship’ graph

When you’re all loved up or have big time feels for someone, it can be hard to see whether your relationship is a good one or not. Don’t worry, it’s good to ask ‘how is my relationship’ from time to time. Hopefully this relationships graph will help.

For more general advice on how to do relationships read the Brief Guide to Relationships 

Loads of people I’ve worked with have filled this out for themselves or with their partner to give themselves a relationship check up. Young people and adults have told me that it’s a useful way for them to see what their relationship needs work on.

Rate each category from 0 – 9 and then connect the dots. I guess the bigger the shape in the middle then the more healthy the relationship? For example

how is my relationship graph

The how is my relationship graph

So here it is. If you draw on your computer/phone screen please use a water based felt tip. Or do it on a bit of paper yeah? If you aren’t sure what each category means I’ve put a little guide below the graph. As you can see, since I first wrote this article I’ve written a few more. Have a click around the relationships section to learn more about how to do relationships.

These categories are just suggestions. You might not be in a sexual relationship, it might be an asexual romantic relationship, or a friendship. Have a think about what’s important to you in a relationship. What do you want and why?

bish how's my relationship graph


Do you trust each other? Do you trust that you aren’t going to deliberately hurt each other, are going to do the right thing about safer sex, that you are each others main squeeze?

Read more about Trust in Relationships

Limits respected

Is there pressure to go beyond each others relationships limits? (To go beyond sexual limits, or limits around how committed you want to be, or the future of the relationship).

Read more about negotiating relationships


Do you both feel safe from physical or emotional harm from each other? Do you try to look after each other? Have you found anything scary? Are you able to say if you are scared about doing something? Are you giving each other enough information and options about doing things?

How to ask consensually.


Is the relationship fair? Do you both share the good and bad? Do you stick to the same rules in your relationship or is one rule different for one person and different for another? Is there a power imbalance in your relationship – eg one person has more money, or space, or has more rights generally? How do you manage that?

Read more about power in relationships.

Feel the same?

Are you on the same page about the relationship? Do you agree on what the relationship is? Friends, friends who have sex, casual relationship, dating, going out, boy / girl / them friend, partners?

There are lots of different ways to do relationships other than just monogamy with ‘the one’.


Are you both able to do your own thing too? To have your own mates/family time, your own career plan, own hobbies, have time on your own, you can make your own decisions about you and your health. Does your partner get eggy* if you put mates before dates?

*90s term for ‘mardy’ or ‘upset’. Hey I like it and I’m old.


This is an old fashioned word used like people like me to say ‘they’re hot.’ How much do you fancy your partner? If your relationship isn’t about that you can replace this with something else like ‘chemistry’ or ‘vibe’.

Think about the beauty standard and what culture tells us is attractive. What about who you’re attracted to?

Good sexy times

Are you doing the sexy stuff that you want? Do you both get good sexual pleasure from each other? Do you feel you can talk to each other about making the sexy stuff feel good (within your limits of what you want to do)?

How to talk about what kinds of sex you might want.

Good times

Do you have good times together? What about doing nice things for each other, going out (even if you are both skint). Do you both want romance? If so do you get and give this?

How to be romantic (this counts for friends too)


Do you support each other? Are you there for each other if you need some support? Are you good to each other. Do you try to make each other feel happy?

Read how to support someone


Do you both feel you are listened to? Do you just shout, get angry, wheedle away, or criticise. Or can you talk, reason and share your thoughts calmly too?


Can you be honest with each other? About how you feel about each other and other stuff. What level of honesty is okay with you both? Are you able to be honest about that?!

After reading all this and doing the graph some of you might find that your relationships are not that great, or even abusive. If so check out my guide to abusive relationships, with some advice on what to do if you’re in one.

If you want to be an expert sex educator with your friends (like that kid in Sex Education) try doing my course Teach Yourself Sex Ed. I guarantee that you will find it interesting, challenging, and way better than anything you learnt in school. It’s free, give it a go.

If you’re a teacher and you want to teach about relationships try my Love, Innit resource pack, it has a version of this that you can print.

Comment below if you like. I moderate all comments before they appear, just so you know!

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© Justin Hancock, 2024 Find out more about me and BISH here.

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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’ve been on the telly and the radio and have written articles for newspapers and magazines. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Read more about me and BISH here. Find out about my other work here Justin Hancock

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If you’re over 18 and would like an advanced version of BISH check out my podcast Culture Sex Relationships. Also I’ve written a sex advice book for adults with Meg-John Barker called A Practical Guide to Sex available wherever you get books. We also did some zines to help you to figure out what you want from sex and relationships. They are at our website.

If you are an educator please don’t just show this website in class, they aren’t designed to be used as teaching resources. Instead, facilitate your own really great RSE with my resources at

11 thoughts on “The ‘how is your relationship’ graph

  1. My boyfriend want me to obey him all the time and we just started this relationship few days ago. He talk to me anyhow now he’s using everything I told him about my past against me. He’s tryna boss me around I guess. And now he’s telling me he want no more connection between us and that really hurt me.
    I’m mentally drained here. I don’t know what to do? I actually wanna save this relationship cus it’s still very young 🥺

    1. I don’t really like telling people what to do because I think it should be your decision, but the fact that you have found this page means that you know something is wrong. Go through the graph by yourself, how healthy is the relationship? I think in a good relationship you might feel really looked after, and mentally feel really amazing. Here are a few more resources that might help you too

  2. I am adding resources to our university’s page on healthy relationships. I’d love to add a link to this by using a picture from it with a hyperlink to the page. Above the picture it would say “Try out BishUK’s Relationship Graph” also hyperlinked. How does that sit with you in terms of giving credit? My only concern is using the photo from the page.

  3. My relationship is a perfect circle on this graph 🙂 Been together over a year now – happy times! Fingers crossed it will be the same next summer when we move in together. Katie (24)

  4. I think this is (yet another) excellent resource by BISH. Love it love it, will be so helpful and useful in sex and relationships work. Keep up the fab work!

  5. Hi Justin,

    I really like this piece of work. Would you be alright if I used it with some of my groups? Of course I would be happy to pay for it, but although we are a charity, we do need to ‘sell’ our work and in that sense could be regarded as a competitor.

    Best wishes


    1. Thanks Dave

      If you buy a set of the Relationships Leaflet then I’ll email you a pdf you can print off and photocopy as needed. You can use it in your work as you wish but I retain the rights to it.


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