Healthy Relationships

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Healthy Romantic Relationships

College is a time when students explore new ways to maintain old relationships (high school friends, family, romantic relationships) at the same time they are discovering new and exciting relationships (new friends, co-workers, new romantic relationships). Whether it's a long distance family relationship or an on-campus romance, healthy relationships take work!

Every romantic relationship is unique, but there are a few things that all healthy romantic relationships typically have. Below is a short list of characteristics of healthy relationships.

Equality: Partners share decisions and responsibilities. They discuss roles to make sure they're fair and equal.

Honesty: Partners share their dreams, fears, and concerns with each other. They tell each other how they feel and share important information.

Physical safety: Partners feel physically safe in the relationship and respect each other's space.

Respect: Partners treat each other like they want to be treated and accept each other's opinions, friends, and interests. They listen to each other, especially during a disagreement.

Humor: The relationship is enjoyable for both partners. Partners laugh and have fun.

Comfort: Partners feel safe with each other and respect each other's differences. They realize when they're wrong and are not afraid to say, I'm sorry. Partners can be themselves with each other.

Sexual respectfulness: Partners never force sexual activity or insist on doing something the other partner isn't comfortable with.

Independence: Neither partner is dependent upon the other for an identity. Partners maintain friendships outside of the relationship. Either partner has the right to end the relationship.

*Adapted from The Red Flag Campaign

image of red flags at mcmicken commons


Look out for the Red Flag Campaign at UC every October.

Know the Red Flags of Relationship Violence

All healthy romantic relationships have ups and downs. It's perfectly normal to have disagreements or misunderstandings with your partner. There are some things, however, that are not normal. Below is a list of red flags of relationship violence, which can include physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.

Control: One partner makes all the decisions and tells the other what to do, or tells the other person what to wear or who to spend time with.

Dishonesty: One partner lies to or keeps information from the other. One partner steals from the other. One partner purposefully misleads or gaslights their partner in order to maintain control in the relationship.

Physical abuse: One partner uses force to get their way (for example, hitting, slapping, grabbing, shoving).

Disrespect: One partner makes fun of the opinions and interests of the other partner. They may destroy something that belongs to the other partner. They may look at their partner's phone call or text history without asking.

Intimidation: One partner tries to control every aspect of the other's life. One partner may attempt to keep their partner from friends and family. They may threaten violence or a break-up to maintain control in the relationship.

Sexual abuse: One partner pressures or forces the other into sexual activity against thier will or without their consent.

Dependence: One partner feels that they can't live without€ the other. They may threaten to do something drastic if the relationship ends.

Hostility: One partner may "walk on eggshells" to avoid upsetting the other. Teasing is mean-spirited.

*Adapted from The Red Flag Campaign

Resources - If you or a friend have experienced or are currently experiencing relationship violence, there are support services for you.

Family Relationships

Just like romantic relationships, family relationships take work. Remember, your family is whoever you consider your family. You do not have to be related to someone to build a family relationship with them. Below are some things to consider while maintaining family relationships at college.

Communication is key: No matter how close or far you are from family, communication is key. Try setting up a weekly call or daily text to keep in touch. Skype and Facetime are also great options if you are far away!

Set Boundaries: Your family might want to talk or see you more often than you are comfortable with. Be open and honest about your needs and wants. Talk with your family about how often you want to talk or visit.

Don't be afraid to ask for help: Going away to college brings a high level of independence and responsibility. If you find that you need help from your family while away, just ask. It's okay to seek support.

Every family is different: What works for your friends might not work for you. Try not to compare your relationship with family with that of friends.

It's okay to feel homesick: College is difficult. It is okay to miss your family and going home is okay. Try to strike a good balance that works for you and your family.

Family relationships are hard: You might have a complicated relationship with your family. That's okay! Communicate when you feel comfortable. If your family is hostile or abusive towards you, consider seeking support or building up new relationships at college.

CAPS is a great resource for students who are homesick or are experiencing struggles with their families.

24-hour line: 513-556-0648
225 Calhoun Street, Suite 200
Cincinnati, OH 45219

UC Blue Ash

Muntz Hall Room 118A
Phone: (513)745-5670

UC Clermont

Student Services, Room 201
Phone: (513) 732-5263