- Get to know the person: maybe he/she is a close friend or a friend of a friend; in any case make sure that you are comfortable with this person.
- Spend time with this person in a group of friends: This could help you feel more at ease with this person and understand more how this person treats others. Is he/she controlling or pejorative? Or maybe he/she is caring and affirmative?
- Plan activities that you both can enjoy: Don’t have every night out with the person be catering to the other because then he/she will never get to know the real you. Compromise is optimal and maybe you can talk about which of your favorite places you would like to take the other.
- Be clear and upfront with the other person: Tell him/her what you feel comfortable doing and what time you would like to be back by.
- Tell at least one friend where you are going: Maybe a roommate or a neighbor, someone you trust, who you will be with, and how to reach you, just in case something happens.
How Healthy is Your Relationship?
Many students enter into a romantic relationship during college. The beginning of the relationship is often exhilarating and easy. As time goes on, a healthy relationship requires good communication and cooperation between partners. The quality of our relationships affects our lives in many ways, including our self-esteem, our ability to handle stress, and our academic and work-related productivity. The following questionnaire can help you identify the health of the relationship that you have with your significant other. Answer each question with a simple "yes" or "no."
- My partner and I have clear communication.
- We have trust in one another.
- There is mutual respect between us.
- We have common interests.
- We are able to perceive things differently without expecting each other to see things the other's way.
- I feel values intellectually, emotionally, and if intimate, physically.
- I am able to grow independently, and I support my partner's growth, thus our relationship is also growing.
- We have activities and friends outside of the relationship.
- We accept each other and do not try to change one another.
- Our relationship adds joy to my life.
If you answered “no” to any of the above questions you may want to explore the health of your relationship. Speaking with a counselor can be very helpful in clarifying any doubts or concerns that you have.
How do you know when it's time to get out of a relationship?
- Has an explosive temper.
- Is jealous of your time, friends, and family.
- Constantly criticizes your ideas and looks.
- Pinches, slaps, or grabs you.
- Forces or intimidates you into sexual activity.
- Blames you for his/her anger.
- Makes you feel afraid.
Even if only one of these applies, your partner rates a zero. Get out or get help now! To make an appointment with one of your counselors in the Wellness Center, Dr. Mike Franklin or Megan- Patrick-Thompson, call 447-5441 for an appointment.
Is someone you know a victim of dating violence?
Answer 'yes' or 'no' to each question.
- Is someone you know afraid of his/her partner's temper ?
- Is someone you know afraid to disagree with his/her partner ?
- Is someone you know afraid of his or her partner's violence toward others ?
- Has someone you know been shoved, kicked, hit or had things thrown at them ?
- Is someone you know limiting their time with family & friends because of a partner's jealousy ?
- Has someone you know been forced to have sex ?
- Is someone you know forced to justify-to his or her partner-everything they do and everywhere they go ?
- Has someone you know been wrongfully accused of flirting with others ?
- Is someone you know afraid to go out without their partner's permission ?
- Has someone you know become secretive or hostile to friends and parents because of this relationship ?
- Has someone you know been threatened by their partner ?
- Do you know someone who's dating partner destroyed or damaged his/her property?
- Has someone you know been ridiculed or insulted by his/her dating partner ?
- Is someone you know being manipulated with lies or un-kept promises ?
- Is your friend dating someone who uses alcohol or drugs as an excuse for violent behavior ?
Is Depression Playing a Part in Your Relationship?
When you’re struggling with an illness that makes you tired, sad, and generally uninterested in life, often the last thing you are able to do is deal with the needs of others. Equally frustrating and emotionally draining is trying to maintain a relationship with someone who’s depressed. It’s hurtful and confusing when a boyfriend or girlfriend increasingly isolates himself/herself, pulls away, and rejects others’ efforts to help.
Each year, depression affects an estimated 19 million Americans and countless numbers of other people in their lives. It can test even the most secure of relationships.
Steps to overcoming your depression and keeping your relationship healthy…
- Share your feelings as much as possible, especially during the really difficult times. Reluctance to talk about how you feel will only create distance between you and your significant other.
- Consider counseling. Your willingness to talk about your relationship and how it may be affected by depression speaks volumes to loved ones about their importance in your life.
- Keep working toward recovery. Find a treatment plan that works for you and stick with it.
- Ask for support when you need it. Be specific about what your boyfriend/girlfriend can do to help.
If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s depressed…
- You’re role is to offer support and encourage your girlfriend/boyfriend to seek professional help. Explain that with the right treatment, people with depression can regain their lives.
- Although you may be prepared to do anything and everything to help, don’t try to take over the life of someone who is depressed. Your boyfriend/girlfriend may seem overwhelmed, incapable, or frustrated, but you can’t run his or her life.
- Give advice in the form of options. For example, recommend a counselor or suggest support groups you think may be a step toward alleviating his or her symptoms.
- Recognize that depression is a real illness that should be taken seriously. Don’t belittle the person by saying such things as “Snap out of it,” “Get over it,” or “Everyone feels down now and then.”
- Realize that depression is not rational. It is painful to be rejected, scorned, or ignored, and this may be how your significant other responds to your efforts to help. Be patient and understanding.
- If your boyfriend/girlfriend suggests he/she is thinking about suicide or hurting himself/herself, take it seriously and get help.
- Care for yourself. Take time to pursue your own interests and socialize. You might also want to consider seeking individual counseling for yourself if you are having trouble dealing with the situation.