The Scoop: Love is more than a feeling — it’s an experience, and both partners are free to define what that experience will look like. A loving relationship means having someone by your side who knows your highs and lows and accepts them as a complete version of you. Unfortunately, some people become mired in toxic relationships where love is nonexistent or unhealthy. To help people avoid this kind of relationship, the One Love Foundation educates people on the difference between healthy and unhealthy love.
One Love was created to break barriers and make relationships a safe space for both parties. Couples need to understand the dynamics of their relationship and identify toxic traits that can grow into destructive behaviors. No one in a partnership should feel like they don’t have a voice or aren’t a crucial component of the relationship. Everyone should feel valued and heard — and One Love is a ready reminder of that.
“We grew up learning that love is a feeling. We watched it onscreen and heard about it in our favorite songs, but there’s so much we didn’t learn and were left to figure out on our own. The truth is, we can all learn to love better.” said Melanie Sperling, the Chief of Staff at One Love.
One Love is a nonprofit organization on a mission to help end abuse and create a world full of healthier relationships. Inspired by 22-year-old Yeardley Love, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend right before her college graduation, One Love launched in 2010 to help save people’s lives.
For some people, witnessing a healthy relationship while growing up was never possible. Oftentimes, people have to learn what love is once they get older. aAnyone can take advantage of One Love’s educational tools and many resources at no charge to discover what healthy relationships should look like.
Discovering the True Meaning of Love
One Love shares many tips on how respect is a big part of a healthy relationship. Love in relationships is not always easy nor is it linear. There are days when it feels like doves are flying in the sky, butterflies are flowing throughout your body, and someone is playing a harp in the background. Those are the days people like to cling to — but unfortunately love does not always look like that.
Oftentimes people don’t like to refer to the rainy days in a relationship. Although you and your partner may be experiencing some bumps in the road, it is still love. One Love encourages couples to accept differences and maintain respect for one another despite those differences that may come up. Everyone deserves mutual respect from their partners, people can identify true love in their relationship by evaluating the respect alone.
“Being able to recognize and have the language to identify the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors are fundamental in creating and maintaining healthy relationships,” said the One Love team. “We provide content through videos, workshops, blogs, and more – to reach young people where they are with this vital education.”
One Love is dedicated to helping people from all backgrounds and ages. One Love’s goal is to help foster healthy relationships in future generations starting with young people. Through teen and campus ambassador programs, One Love teaches adolescents how to adopt healthy communication skills at an early age to improve their overall relationships
“We are committed to educating people as early as possible with the 10 signs of healthy and 10 signs of unhealthy relationship behaviors so they can put learning into practice, starting with family, friends, and classmates,” said Melanie.
The Difference Between Healthy and Unhealthy Love
It’s hard to put the rose-colored glasses down when it comes to the person you think you love. The thought that something is not right with your relationship is enough to make anyone shake. Even though love is supposed to be easy, people can find themselves in relationships that are harmful to their physical and mental well-being. Just like a deceptive serpent, unhealthy love can appear to be a good thing. The feeling in the moment feels right, but One Love is striving to help people break free from deception and understand the signs of unhealthy love.
One Love shares on its website a list of 10 signs that indicate an unhealthy relationship. The One Love list includes several behaviors from possessiveness to manipulation, among others, that people in toxic relationships often overlook.
“Love is more than a feeling, or what we see in movies or hear in songs – rather, it’s a skill that takes continuous practice and One Love gives everyone the tools to have healthier relationships,” said Melanie.
Being able to tell the difference between a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one can be confusing at times when one’s feelings are so engaged. But One Love also lists 10 signs of a healthy relationship that can help people distinguish between the two scenarios. With One Love’s examples of effective problem-solving and support, people can look at their relationships and reflect.
One Love reinforces positive communication between partners and points out relationship issues that can be fixed to help people avoid confusion when identifying an unhealthy relationship. Healthy relationships require difficult conversations. You need to be uncomfortable sometimes to get real with each other. One Love offers classes to help couples understand what healthy relationship communication looks like so they can gain an understanding of how their significant other is feeling.
One Love Foundation Aims to Improve Relationship Health
To maintain healthy relationships with others, people need to be their authentic selves without compromising how they feel or what they value. The One Love team effectively shares how people deserve to be their true selves to build a healthy relationship. Love is not about changing who you are but going through a learning process to help reach your fullest potential.
Thanks to community resources like One Love, more people can learn how to identify unhealthy signs in their relationships and step away from them. This helps build a better tomorrow and impacts how people view love. It also helps people develop an understanding that they deserve. Over the years, many people have stated that One Love has changed the trajectory of their life — and potentially saved it.
“We often hear ‘I wish I had this language to identify unhealthy relationships sooner,’” Melanie said. “We hear of young people every day who were able to identify that they were in an unhealthy relationship after seeing the signs in a workshop and were able to get out before it became abusive.”
The future looks bright for One Love. Melanie told us that the team will continue to find new ways to meet their audience’s needs. The team’s main goal is to change the stats around abuse. Melanie said that One Love plans to find more resources and tools that help people identify abuse so they can prevent it from happening. No matter who you are or what your relationship status, One Love cares deeply about saving and changing the lives of others.
“We are all passionate and dedicated to the organization’s mission and that’s what unites us. We’re a culture that’s built on collaboration,” said Melanie.