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Definitions and Facts

Defining Healthy Online Relationships

Building healthy offline relationships is important, but so are building healthy online relationships. Find out how here!

Just like in IRL, we should try to build online connections that bring out the best in us. Whether you’re looking for community or inspiration online, it’s important to ensure your interactions prioritize mutual respect and safety.  

Meaningful online friendships can help us:

  • Explore our interests and our identities
  • Discover community and confidence
  • Connect globally 

But how do you start a friendship with safety and mindfulness? Is it the language you use? The emojis? What do you even say? More importantly, how do you make sure you do not offend the other person?


We understand, there can be a lot of questions on building a safe and mindful friendship online.


Here are some internal settings you may want to apply when approaching a new friendship in digital spaces.

Healthy Online Friendship Settings

Build trust slowly and trust your gut

Establish and enforce personal boundaries

Communicate honestly about your intentions and agree on expectations

Be up front when the other person says or does something that causes discomfort

Take care of yourself before investing too much energy taking care of an online friend

A healthy online connection will not…

Even healthy online friendships can switch vibes at any time, so it’s important to stay active in maintaining your trust and being mindful of your boundaries. Here are some watch-outs when you’re building a friendship online:

  • Make you obsessed with getting approval or validation from them
  • Drain your emotional battery
  • Create pressure or spiraling anxiety
  • Force you to keep secrets
  • Isolate you from your friends and family
  • Force you to keep secrets
  • Gaslight your boundaries
  • Re-shares your private photos or information

Tips to Navigate the Toxic Relationship

But what happens if you build trust with someone and somewhere down the line, they break or manipulate that trust? If your online friendship turns toxic, know that there are things you can do to navigate it.

  • Tell them to respect your boundaries or the relationship is over
  • Stop responding
  • Confide in someone you trust for support
  • Report their toxic behavior
  • Block them

And make sure you keep your end of the bargain to maintain a healthy online friendship. Remember, when building relationships online, be aware of any toxic tendencies you may unknowingly act on. 

Want to know more about building healthy online friendships? Discover our online quiz!

Need to talk?

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