It’s that time of the year when love is in the air, so to speak. Relationships aren’t just about who you love. They include your family, your friends, your classmates, and even the acquaintances you run into in the library or at the Harold Alfond Forum during an athletic event. To elaborate, people are interconnected through many different interactions and relationships with each other. Just picture a web extending from you. Each string on the web connects to some other person you have met. Each person forms their own web. You can see how this can get completely intertwined. Relationships are fundamental to being human. Humans are social creatures, even those who thrive on seclusion still enjoy the feeling that comes with having a few close companions.
The added stressors accompanied with college can really strain a healthy relationship. New relationships are formed and many broken down. It’s what you call “a part of life.” But with some steady effort put in from both sides of a relationship, it can be maintained. The key to a healthy relationship is equal effort. If one person is always there, always comforting, and always listening, and the other is none of these, the relationship is destined to fail. Below are a few general guidelines to having a successful relationship.
Communication. One of the most important aspects in a healthy relationship is communication. Sharing thoughts and ideas can really help a relationship and build an intimate foundation. It is important to be able to communicate how you are feeling and also be able to listen to how the other is as well. Communication can build trust in a relationship which is one of the qualities that really define the relationship as successful.
Expectations. A relationship built on unrealistic ideals will not last. In a relationship, realistic expectations are necessary. For example, expecting your close friend to ALWAYS answer your calls, especially in college, is an unattainable expectation. Extreme expectations lead to conflict. Instead, try setting a date that works for both you and your friend to chat on the phone.
Flexibility. Not everything works out according to plan in this universe. Be flexible in a relationship. If you had plans with a friend that fell through last minute, having a tantrum will not help the situation. Instead, suggest a rain-check and plan another time when you’re both available. Things come up all the time. A healthy relationship involves the flexibility of both partners and the ability to fix and mend plans.
You. In order for you to give your all in a relationship, you need to be ready. Take care of yourself. How can you be able to be there for someone if you yourself are having a rough time? A relationship is healthy when the people in it are. Take time for yourself and don’t overwhelm yourself with the demands of relationships. If someone is overbearing, tell them you need a break. You can only give 100% when you are feeling 100%.
These are just a few reminders of what makes a healthy relationship. Every relationship is unique and will require different pieces to the overall puzzle. While college seems like an obstacle for many relationships, see it as a time to build on them. Meet people, do things, and expand your horizons. You never know who you will meet and what may come of that relationship!
For more information on healthy, successful relationship building, check out the links below!
This website includes information for building and maintaining all kinds of healthy relationships.
This site is about how to keep you and your partner’s relationship healthy.
This is a guide to maintaining relationships, whether they are your friends, roommates, or partners.