The Art of Relaxation: Cultivating Healthy Relationships

Alexa Di Palermo, Staff Writer |

In the life of many teenagers and young adults, it is common to go through many relationships, “situationships,” or crushes. These relationships, if unhealthy, can leave you feeling defeated, heartbroken, and depressed. Not all will end badly or be considered unhealthy, but unfortunately it happens. I’ve noticed that many people in our specific age range have trouble seeing red flags in any kind of relationship. They do not listen to themselves for the sake of love, or sometimes, lust.

Relationships are hard, especially being in college. We are full of emotion, adventure, and have a never-ending list of things to do. Sometimes, it can be hard for people to be aware of the healthy traits for the relationships they are in. In building relationships, it is important to know you!

Hosted by the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center staff, student coordinator Liberty Sager, and doctoral interns Kelsi Baker and Bethany Raymond from the counseling center, The Art of Relaxation Series topic for the week was healthy relationships. Being college students, relationships can be extremely tricky. It can be hard to know all of the facts, but the information we learned was extremely helpful.

A relationship can be defined as whatever you want it to be. It can be strictly sexual, or it can be romantic. It can be completely casual, consistent, or long-term. It is important that you communicate no matter what relationship you are in, to keep things clear and less confusing.

As a group, we all answered questions about what is appropriate to us with certain types of partners, and it became clear that everybody has their own individual boundaries and standards for certain types of relationships. The communication aspect was made to be even more important then. If you are uncomfortable with something that your partner is not, how will the problem be solved if it is not talked over?

In a healthy relationship, no matter what kind of relationship, it is important to look out for traits such as mutual effort, communication, compromise, patience, trust, understanding, and boundaries. No relationship is perfect, and that is something important to understand, but it also does not mean these qualities in a relationship should not be practiced anymore because things get hard, or the honeymoon phase is over.

Besides all of this, it is most important to know yourself. Ask yourself questions like “What do I want from this?” or “Is this really what I am comfortable with?” Answer yourself honestly and try not to be influenced by societal pressures. If your partner does not match up with what you truly want for yourself, they may not be the right one for you.

It is important to remember that no matter who you are, what you have done, or what you think of yourself, you are worthy of healthy relationships. You are worthy of the kind of relationships you desire, and you deserve the right kind of treatment while being in them.

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