Motto: “Planting Seeds to Help You Grow”

Healthy Relationships

One of the most exciting aspects of coming to college is meeting new people. Romantic relationships may also develop and bring out the best in ourselves and others. However, even the healthiest relationships will experience times of confusion, and challenges. Problems may occur when two people have conflicting expectations of the relationship, are distracted by other academic or personal issues, or have difficulty communicating in ways that their partner can really hear and understand.

Relationships Image

What makes a relationship healthy? Whether it’s between friends or intimate partners, there are certain characteristics that need to be in place. This includes the presence of mutual respect, a willingness to listen, an ability to share one’s thoughts and ideas and feelings of being appreciated. The individuals in the relationship feel supported and cared for by the other person.
If you are concerned about your relationship or a friend’s, do not hesitate to consult with a counselor at Student Counseling Wellness and Resource Center.


Creating Healthy Relationships

Sometimes college students find themselves in romantic relationships that make them unhappy, that do not enhance their self-esteem, and that contain a lot of conflict. A first step in figuring out how to create a healthy relationship or to know whether you are in an unhealthy relationship, is to be clear about the characteristics of both. Therefore, we offer the following lists of characteristics to help you clarify the nature of your current romantic relationship and/or to help you determine what to look for in future relationships.

You are in a healthy relationship when:

  • You are each other's best friend.
  • You always treat each other with respect.
  • You never try to control or manipulate each other.
  • You feel secure and comfortable with each other.
  • Both are allowed to have good You never cheat on each other.
  • You are never violent with each other - no pushing, shoving, grabbing, hitting or punching.
  • You don't scream at each other - you can resolve conflict respectfully.
  • You have fun together.
  • Neither of you are possessive.
  • You have equal power in the relationship.
  • You don't put each other down.
  • You never embarrass each other publicly.
  • You never feel scared around each other.
  • You have privacy in the relationship - your social websites, journals, personal phone calls are your own.
  • Friends outside of the relationship.
  • The people in your life are happy about this relationship and like your partner.
  • You never feel like you are being pressured for sex.
  • There are many more good times in the relationship than bad ones

You are in an unhealthy relationship when:

  • They try to control or manipulate you.
  • They are very possessive.
  • They get jealous when you talk to a friend who is viewed as a threat.
  • They make you feel bad about yourself.
  • They call you names.
  • They yell at you.
  • They try and tell you how to dress.
  • They criticize your friends.
  • They are physically abusive - he/she grabs you, pushes you, hits you, throws objects at you or near you.
  • They deny or minimize his or her inappropriate or abusive behavior.
  • They don’t like you to be close to other people, including your family.
  • They try to physically stop you from going where you want to go.
  • They cheat on you.
  • They pressure you to be sexual with him or her.
  • Their friends are always more important than you.
  • They don't make time for you.
  • They have poor listening skills when you try to communicate.
  • They flirt with others.
  • People close to you dislike and distrust your partner.
  • You feel scared or uncomfortable around your partner.
  • You are afraid of your partner's temper and you are unhappy a lot of the time.

What you should do if you are in an Unhealthy Relationship:

  • Tell yourself that you deserve better than this and get out of the relationship.
  • Get support for yourself from friends, family, your R.A., a counselor.
  • Seek counseling at the Student Counseling Wellness and Resource Center.

How to Help a Friend who is in an Unhealthy Relationship:

•  Tell your friend directly that you believe that she/he is in an unhealthy relationship;
•  Give specific and concrete examples of why you believe the relationship is unhealthy.
•  Tell your friend that she/he deserves better than to be in this relationship.
•  Tell your friend you will support her/him in getting out of this relationship.
•  Suggest counseling.


Relationship Issues and Counseling

If you are feeling distressed about a relationship, you may wish to consider individual or couples counseling. Counseling can help you identify problematic patterns in your current relationship and teach you more effective ways of relating. If you are grappling with a relationship problem and would like some help, we encourage you to contact Student Counseling Wellness & Resource Center (318)274-3338.