As Valentine’s Day approaches, you may be re-evaluating your own romantic relationship. Romantic relationships often get complicated, especially when college students are still figuring out what they want to do with their own lives.
When you begin a committed relationship, no matter how much you believe that you are “in love,” don’t let the relationship consume your time or compromise your individuality. The truth remains that some relationships, no matter how committed, come and go. Don’t sacrifice your interests or other relationships to focus on only one person. You need to continue to develop your own interests and maintain your own circle of friends.
Remember, a healthy relationship is all about support and encouragement. Someone who loves you will support you and your interests, not try to restrict your friends and activities. Healthy relationships generally have a positive effect on your life, with each person bringing out the best in the other. Unhealthy relationships can have a negative effect on all aspects of your life — academics, health, finances, self-esteem and on your future. But how can you tell if you are in an unhealthy relationship?
Seriously consider ending a relationship if you:
- are constantly criticized or harassed
- have reduced self-esteem as a result of the relationship
- feel manipulated
- feel pressured to do things you don’t want to do, such as drinking, taking drugs, having sex, skipping class or lying to family and friends
- stay in the relationship because your partner needs you
- are afraid of your partner’s anger, temper or moods
What many people call love is sometimes more about dependency, unhealthy attachment, neediness and fear. Feeling like you are on an emotional roller coaster is an intense feeling but it is not love. Real love is about caring, respect, freedom, admiration, appreciation, affection and cooperation. And real love is always based on caring enough about yourself not to settle for less.
Counseling Center quick facts:
- Counseling Center is located on the 3rd Floor of St. Joseph Hall - Room 345
- Open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Walk-in for emergency/crisis
- Call to make an appointment 215-248-7104 or fill out the blue paper in the waiting room.
— Sandy Bumgardner, Psy.D.