In this day an age, the media has made the idea of a “healthy” relationship seem
nonexistent. For example, Kim Kardashian’s recent marital escapade: allegedly Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries discussed the possibility of divorce early in their relationship. Reporters claim the marriage ended in divorce a week after seventy-two days; it was reported that both knew the marriage was going to end. Kim even reported that divorce has been on her mind a lot lately—the possibility of filing, and she told Kris it wasn’t going to work. The relationships in the media have transformed the sacredness of matrimony into a complete mockery. Is it impossible to have a healthy and functional relationship or is it possible?
According to helpguide.org, “A healthy relationship is characterized by one that best supports in your life, a healthy relationship is meant to improve all aspects of your life, strengthen your health, mind, and connections with others as well.” People need to realize a relationship is an investment, if you’re really in it for the long run—it’s not that easy just to walk away. For example, a relationship is like a baseball game—it’s going to be hard to hit a home run so there’s effort needed to get from first base to home plate, but you just can’t walk out during the fourth inning because the game isn’t going the way you intended. Relationships and the game of love require skilled/determined players, and if both players aren’t equally committed the game, the relationship will fall apart.
Here are some tips if you personally feel that your relationship is worth salvaging, it’s too cliché to say communication is the key to a healthy relationship, because there are so many components that are incorporated.
Relationship Tip 1 is to keep the intimacy alive, of course being in a relationship doesn’t require you to be physically intimate with your partner, but studies have shown that an affectionate touch boosts the body’s level of oxytocin, which is a hormone that influences bonding and attachment—this is proof that intimacy is necessary for a relationship.
Relationship Tip 2 is spending quality time together, its normal for two people who have dated for years to get comfortable, it’s imperative to keep the relationship “fresh”: you can rekindle your love by trying something new with your partner and learn how to play with your spouse again. For example, it’s the cutest thing to catch my parents up in the morning playing classic board games like Trouble; they enjoy every minute of each other’s company.
Relationship Tip 3 is to keep the communication alive and vibrant, because communication is a fundamental part of a healthy relationship—it’s a must to learn your partner emotionally, mentally, and physically. DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN A ROUTINE—talk about varying topics.
Relationship Tip 4 is healthy relationships function on the principle of “give and take” it should be an equal partnership, one person shouldn’t be giving 100% while the other is giving 37.5% and reaping the benefits. You should know what’s important to your partner, learn how to resolve conflicts in a way that benefits you and your partner, and try to stay away from always being “right;” winning the argument shouldn’t be more important than resolving it.
Relationship Tip 5 is to expect the unexpected—don’t think your relationship will only see good times, because any real relationship will undergo numerous “ups and downs,” which will serve as a truth test of your relationship. It’s good to keep an open mind, to not take your emotions/problems out on your partner, and be able to realize when a problem is bigger than the both of you—it’s not out of the norm to seek outside help.
If you feel that your relationship needs more work than these tips can offer, seek counseling, therapy, or spiritual guidance.
It’s hard to have a healthy relationship in college—it’s rare but it’s “do-able.” There’s just more dedication required because your maturity level might not be at the same level of your partner’s, but especially on a small campus at Rider—you need to be above the drama, foolishness, and gossip of your peers. Rider students are so intertwined with one another’s personal lives that it’s rare that people haven’t heard any details about your personal life. For example, you can be hanging out with one of your male friends, but if one or two people see you hanging out with him consecutively—now you’re more than friends. So it’s going to be a challenge to maintain your relationship in college, but it’s not impossible. Just keep this in mind: anything worth having is worth fighting for. Thomas Jefferson said this best: “if you believe your relationship is worth the fight, don’t let it burn like the last ember in a fire.”