Behind the Couple Photos: A Relationship Advice Blog

Welcome to Her Campus Hofstra’s new relationship blog: talking about everything from breakups, relationship problems, sex, and everything else you can’t talk about in normal conversation. Now dating in 2018 can be amazing for some people who constantly have butterflies in their stomach, or it can be the beginning of a bad breakup you’re still unable to recover from. Either way, it's hard. Especially in college. Now, I’m no expert, but I’ve been through more than the average college kid has faced. Send over your questions to my Instagram: @delilah.gray and I’ll try to answer them in the next post!

 

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Sex Talk: Consent in Relationships

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to listen up because this fact of relationships is long overdue. Just because you’re in a relationship, it doesn’t mean that you consent all the time. Being in a relationship doesn’t give your significant other an all-access pass to sex whenever they feel like it. If you or they say anything along the lines of "Honey, I’m not in the mood," that isn’t an invitation to turn them on for your pleasure.  Many people, including myself, have experienced nonconsensual sex while in a committed relationship— it’s time to end that.

Typically, when people think of nonconsensual practices, they think of crimes like sexual assault or rape. A more common one within relationships is called sexual coercion. According to Women’s Health, sexual coercion is "any sexual activity that happens when you’re being pressured, coerced, or threatened to perform sexual acts or feel like you owe them to do it." A survey from Violence and Gender depicted 13.6% of men said they would have intentions to rape, and about 32% of men in college have intentions to force a woman for sex, only if "nobody would ever know and there wouldn’t be any consequences." News flash: There’s no difference. According to RAINN, 68% of rapes go unreported, largely due to the victims not knowing it was a crime or that harm was intended. So, many didn’t know it was constituted an assault. It’s time to stop.

18% of college students think if they didn’t say, "no" they consented— according to Bustle. If they don't say no, that doesn’t mean they said yes. Kissing or touching isn’t consent, undressing isn't consent, but asking if they want to do it and knowing boundaries IS consent.

Sexual coercion is not your fault.

If you feel in danger, call 911 or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-HOPE (4673).

My advice is to verbalize your boundaries. Now, I know it’s hard, you don’t want them to leave or not love you anymore. But think about it, if they’re worth it, they’ll respect your boundaries. There’s always another person out there that will if they won’t. Let’s make 2018 the year you put your well-being above all else.

Photo by Andrea Tummons on Unsplash

Relationship Crisis: What to do when your friends don’t like your significant other

We’ve all been there: there’s this cutie you’ve been drooling over for weeks now and after millions of subtle hints— they finally ask you out. And it goes extremely well, to the point where you’re now making daily appearances on their Snapchat, going out to new places you couldn’t go while single, and willingly sharing your pizza with them. Everything’s perfect, except for one part: your friends don’t like him.

What do you do now? It’s a lot more simple than you think:

  1. Talk to your friends about it. See why do they hate them— maybe they see something you don’t (beginning signs of a toxic relationship, cheating, etc). Let's face it, in the beginning of any relationship, we’re all blind to some red flags. Most of the time, your friends have known you longer than your S.O, so they know where they’re coming from.
  2. Arrange for your friends to meet up with your significant other again in a more relaxed environment and see if they pass the test. If not, it’s time to reevaluate.
  3. Go on for a bit and see how it goes, but make a calendar. Make a calendar and put a star on the days you guys fight. Reflect on the month and see if maybe your friends are right on this one.

The Verdict:

  • Siding with the boyfriend: Don’t cut out your friends just because they don’t like your S.O. If they’re your real friends, they’ll respect you and just want you to be happy. Give it awhile, life has a funny way of mixing everything up when you least expect it.
  • Siding with your friends: If you see the red flags and imminent doom, then run, my friend. If it’s that bad in the beginning, I promise it’ll only get worse. Eat a tub of ice cream and watch 90s sitcoms with your friends to ease the pain.

Photo by Ryan Riggins on Unsplash

Reminder: You’re a smart, capable person and it’ll work out either way, lovelies!

Cover Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash