Relationships can be exciting experiences for college students, however, they can also be confusing as students often find it difficult to identify whether or not their relationship is healthy. According to loveisrespect.org about 57% of college students admit it is difficult to identify abusive behaviors in their relationships.
College students often have many questions concerning relationships such as: How do I know whether or not a relationship is healthy? How can I communicate better with my partner? How do I set boundaries? How do I balance a relationship and the challenges of college? These can be difficult questions to answer.
A healthy relationship makes a person feel good not intimidated or afraid. There is a quiz, Are you in a Healthy Relationship? on respect.org to assess the health of your relationship. Georgia State University Student Health Promotion offers some relationship red flags to help students identify problematic and/or abusive relationship behaviors such as:
- Pressuring someone to have sex
- Checking cell phone, emails
- Physically inflicting pain
- Isolating from friends or family
What about healthy communication? Good communication is key to a healthy relationship. When you are having a disagreement in a relationship try using I statements instead of you statements when speaking with your partner. When you say you it can sound like you are attacking your partner and it may not be well received. Instead try the following: I feel (emotional word) when (explanation). An example might sound like this: I feel hurt when I don’t receive a text from you for a long period of time.
Sometimes when in a relationship we can feel as if we are not connecting with our partner(s) as much as we would like. It may be helpful for each partner to identify their own and their partners’ love language. There are five love languages which include: words of affirmation, acts of service, gifts, quality time and physical touch. Each person has a love language that speaks more deeply to them than the others. Knowing your love language and speaking your partners love language is key to keeping the relationship thriving.
What about intimacy? This part of a relationship can be exciting and intimidating. Setting boundaries in relationships can be challenging but is vital to a healthy relationship. Try creating a Want, Will, Won’t list of the things you want, are willing to do and are not willing to do in an intimate relationship. This can be a fun way to familiarize yourself with your expectations as well as your boundaries related to intimacy. Remember your comfort level is to be respected. It is never okay to pressure someone or be pressured into something you are not ready for.
It can be difficult to balance a relationship and college. The key is to allow time for yourself, your studies and each other. Her campus.com offers some suggestions such as:
- Make a schedule and set priorities for tasks
- Study together
- Make meal time together time
- Make time for yourself
Relationships can be wonderful but they can also be challenging. If you are concerned about your relationship Georgia State University Counseling and Testing Center offers couples and individual counseling. Our walk-in-hours and location are outlined below:
Citizen’s Trust Building
75 Piedmont Ave, N.E.
(Next to the University Commons)
Counseling and Testing Center, Suite 200A
Monday – Friday: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. (the last walk in appointment is at 4 p.m.)
The Counseling and Testing Center is available for emergencies at any time call 404-413-1640.