Healthy RelationshipsMany of us can probably visualize our idea of the “perfect relationship.” It is more important, however, to aspire to a healthy relationship comprised of the following four principles:
RespectWhen two people are in a relationship, there should be mutual respect for each person as an individual. Having a healthy, respectful relationship means that each partner values the other and what is important to them.
HonestyHonesty about what we want in a relationship can be challenging. Many people often hide or mute their own feelings and values because they do not want to jeopardize their relationship. However, being honest with yourself and your partner demonstrates respect for each other.
TrustTrust in a relationship means that you can expect the other person to be a support to you and you a support to them.
CommunicationCommunication is critical to the three other characteristics already discussed. It is how we share respect, honesty, and trust with a partner. Strong relationships demonstrate an openness to conversation about all decisions in the relationship, particularly around value-based decisions such as sex.
Relating & DatingDating is not equivalent with a sexual relationship. Too often, the words sex and intimacy are used interchangeably.
Intimacy is used to describe something of a personal and private nature. While sexual intimacy is certainly personal and private, emotional intimacy is a much more significant element of a healthy relationship.
Relating implies an emotional intimacy between partners. What does dating mean? The jury appears to be out among today’s college students.
Relating & Dating Under the InfluenceFrom formals to parties, the likelihood of meeting someone at an event where alcohol is being consumed is fairly high. One of the negative aspects of mixing too much alcohol with relating and dating is that it condenses time. Things that usually happen in weeks may happen in hours. Because inhibitions are lowered, people often feel more comfortable flirting, letting someone know that they are “interested,” and even initiating a sexual relationship.
However, when people have had too much to drink there is no opportunity for respect, honesty, trust, and communication to occur. Someone under the influence may not be in a position to COMMUNICATE their desire to be/not be sexually intimate and, on the flip side, may not be in a position to HEAR that someone wants to be/not be sexually intimate. The result is often one that results in shame, blame, and guilt “the morning after.” At its worst, situations involving alcohol could also result in a sexual assault.
Everyone deserves to be in a healthy relationship, and everyone has the right to demand a healthy relationship! To read more about your rights and responsibilities in a relationship, click here.
Dating ViolenceDating violence continues to be the most accurate indicator of future partner abuse. Abuse that begins during dating often continues and intensifies over the course of a relationship.
Dating violence is a pattern of violent behavior (physical, emotional, or sexual) by one partner in a dating relationship toward the other partner. Often, violence begins through emotional manipulation and escalates to physical abuse.
Warning signs of dating violence include:
Persistent and frequent personal injuryFailing gradesDropping out of normal activitiesAvoiding friends and social eventsIndecisionChange in dress and appearanceSecrecyAvoiding eye contactCrying spellsSudden change in mood or personalityFearfulness with regard to conversation about partnerWarning signs of an abusive partner include:
Wants to get serious in a relationship very quicklyWill not take “no” for an answerIs jealous and possessiveMakes all the decisions for partnerDismisses other people’s feelingsWants to control partner’s activitiesPuts constant pressure on partnerDemands to know where someone is at all timesUses guilt trips to emotionally manipulate partnerBlames partner for behavior (e.g., “you made me do it”)Apologizes for violent behavior and promises not to do it againResourcesFor more information about dating violence and how to help a friend, click here.
If you or someone you know is in a violent dating relationship, the following resources are available to you on campus:
University Counseling Center for individual counseling.Public Safety for reporting.Office of Health Promotion for more information about dating violence.If you or someone you know is in a violent relationship, the following resources are available to you in the community:
National Coalition Against Domestic ViolenceRape, Abuse and Incest National NetworkCenters for Disease Control and Prevention Family and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention TeamBattered Women’s Justice Project, National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women, Philadelphia, PA (800)903-0111
I would say there are no perfect relationships. All people are different. And it is impossible to find two people who would behave absolutely the same in different situations. The main rule of a happy relationship is mutual respect and understanding. If you want to meet your half, start your search on the dating sites, you may start with this page. You will like to meet new people here.