Maintaining Healthy Relationships
Relationships aren’t always easy to maintain…college opens the door for all kinds of new relationship challenges such as roommate issues, casual dating, serious dating, friendships, and sex. You may also be confronted by interpersonal issues when you play on an intramural team, become involved in a student organization, or decide to join Greek life. These various relationships can provide a great deal of comfort and support during your college years, but they can also be a source of confusion and stress at times. How do you keep the lines of communication open so that you can maintain strong, honest, and respectful relationships? Review the qualities of healthy relationships below:
|Communication--both people in the relationship need to feel free to express positive and negative feelings, complaints, and affection||
|Expectations--both people need to be on the same page about what they want from the relationship||
|Conflict--in all relationships, there are times when communication breaks down; healthy relationships are able to clear up conflicts and to emerge stronger as a result||
|Boundaries--both people need to be clear about what is okay/not okay in the relationship
Limit-Setting Skills Handout
- Choose to set limits. You will tolerate a difficult relationship situation just as long as you choose to tolerate it. To change the situation, you need to be the one to choose to set boundaries in place.
- Identify the source of your feelings. It often takes some real soul-searching on your part to figure out the source of your anger or resentment.
- Decide when, where, and how to set the limits. Think about the entire situation. Consider your time, emotions, and means. Remember that setting limits is about getting your needs met.
- Express the limits clearly. For example, you say to your friend, "I will loan you my car once per week for two hours."
- Stick to your limits. You are not responsible for making the other person obey the limits. You are only responsible for following the limits yourself and for reinforcing them.
Print the handout above for more information on limit-setting.
Do you think that you might be in a relationship that is NOT healthy for you?
Take a look at the handout "Are You in an Unhealthy Relationship?", review signs of verbal and emotional abuse in the guidelines for "Recognizing an Abusive Relationship", or visit web resources on Physical/Emotional Abuse.
Get More Information
- The Friends and Friendships Web--This site is designed to assist with making and maintaining friendships; it covers topics such as building a friendship from casual friends and setting limits in friendships.
- Healthy Romantic Relationships in College--This online brochure is specific to romantic relationships and contains information on building a healthy relationship, resolving conflict, and coping with outside pressures on the relationship.
- Sexual Assault - Focus on Education (S.A.F.E.)--This section of our web site offers information, education, referrals, and resources for all types of sexual violence on the SUNY Geneseo campus.