Real Relationship Goals

One of the common problems in today’s world is unhealthy relationships. This can be a friendship, boyfriend/girlfriend, or even a parent. However, one of the problems that a lot of girls have when they get to college is forming good relationships — especially with the gender they are attracted to. 

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Why this is important has infinitely applicable reasons that everyone can learn from. Respect is one of the main staples of any relationship. Without it, you cannot have a healthy, enjoyable experience with someone and here is why:

Anyone can understand that their actions towards you will have consequences that may or may not affect you, but respect is what makes them care if it does. A boyfriend or girlfriend who flirts with other people, yells at you, or even cheats, is not a person who respects you. This is especially true when someone who cheats is forgiven. This cheater now knows that they can figuratively walk all over you and you will be there to tell them that “it is okay” even if at first, you’re mad at them. The same goes for not listening to rules and boundaries you have set forth. Someone who does not respect your boundaries, does not care if they aren’t listening to you. That’s where you come in. You are entirely in charge of understanding what you are okay and not okay with. And while a boyfriend or girlfriend can cheat on you, a lot of the reason why this happens begins when the relationship initially forms. 

The beginning of a relationship is probably one of the most important and fun times in someone’s experience with their significant other. However, this is a critical moment for setting boundaries. If they aren’t set in the beginning, it becomes more difficult to set them as the relationship progresses. The problem starts when the person of interest begins to do things that make you feel bad or confused: taking hours to answer, but then showing you attention; complimenting you to death, but then acting like they don’t know you in public. Looking at this from a removed point of view, we can easily say that these people have ulterior motives for being nice to you — whether it's a hookup (as opposed to the wanted long-term relationship, or that they just have manipulative tendencies) you deserve the treatment that you are asking for.

What’s important is that if respect is asked for and not received, it’s time to leave, sis. 

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This is what helps someone set their boundaries. A relationship should be a safe and comfortable space to talk about the things that you like and don’t like — and you should also be listened to, not just heard. Likewise, the other person should also be able to voice how they feel without feeling attacked or offended. By doing this, both people can feel listened to and understand where the other person is coming from. Someone who does not listen or care about what you have to say is not someone who loves you. 

While that seems like an obvious thing to say, there are not-so-obvious signs that someone is doing this to you. This can include downplaying the original boundary you made. For example, you don’t like when they poke your stomach because it makes you insecure even though they are clearly doing it as a form of endearment, so you ask them to stop and explain why. Then they decide to start poking your legs instead. The problem still isn’t resolved and the person clearly is not getting the point. They didn’t listen or don’t care that it makes you insecure, even though they aren’t trying to upset you. 

Small things like that are left alone and not talked about turn into larger problems. Someone in a relationship who feels ignored or not listened to is more likely to lash out at their partner. This is why talking things through and understanding the other person is important and having a safe space to talk in a relationship is definitely important. 

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Another aspect of a healthy relationship that ties into respect and communication is empathy. Without respecting and understanding your partner you cannot empathize with them. In the event that you or a partner accidentally hurt each other, empathy is what allows the other person to understand the hurt they’ve caused and have the relationship move on from that point. 

Without even talking about potential hurt being caused, empathy in general is what stops bad things from happening. It causes the person to think “How would I feel if this was done to me?” which is followed by the person acting accordingly to that thought. Empathy is one of the key components of forming an intimate and trusting relationship. 

In Conclusion... 

Empathy, communication, and respect are all things that allow a love to blossom. Without being able to grow and cherish time together, a relationship will suffer, leaving both people unhappy. It’s important to remember that if you are not receiving enough of any of these, you will start to feel unwanted, pressured to please this person, or even just feel that you are loved less than the person who you love so much. 

If that is the case, leave. You can always find someone who will be able to give you the things that another person refuses to.