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Healthy Relationships

Being in a committed relationship and being a student may present problems with performing the many roles that one has. The relationship may provide necessary emotional support through some very stressful times, but it may represent additional responsibilities and demands on your time.

Students often have irregular hours and place a high value on independent, spontaneous activity.

When difficulties do appear, there may be a tendancy to put the relationship on hold, expecting that the diffculties will disappear. Your partner may expect a more predictable schedule, cooperation, and time together. In consequence, you may feel that you cannot live up to all of your partner's expectations.

Frequent problems for students in relationships include:

  • money - tuition and living expenses, loans, etc.
  • rat racing - all of the other roles and responsibilities that you have may make life hectic.
  • communication breakdowns - these are bound to happen occassionally.
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Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship

Source: Wellness Reproductions Inc. 1994.

  • communication is open and spontaneous (includes listening).
  • rules/boundaries are clear and explicit, yet allows flexibilty.
  • individuality, freedom and personal identity is enhanced.
  • each enjoys doing things for self, as well as for each other.
  • play, humor, and having fun together is commonplace.
  • each does not attempt to "fix" or control the other.
  • acceptance of self and other for real selves.
  • assertiveness: feelings and needs are expressed.
  • humility: able to let go of need to "be right".
  • self-confidence and security in own words.
  • conflict is faced directly and resolved.
  • openness to constructive feedback. 
  • each is trustful of the other.
  • balance of giving and receiving.
  • negotiations are fair and democratic.
  • tolerance: forgiveness of self and other.
  • mistakes are accepted and learned from.
  • willingness to take risks and be vulnerable.
  • other meaningful relationships and interests exist.
  • each can enjoy being alone and privacy is respected.
  • personal growth, change and exploration is encouraged.
  • continuity and consistency is present in the commitment.
  • balance of oneness (closeness) and seperation from each other.
  • responsibilty for own behavior and happiness (not blaming other).

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