Romantic Relationships

Students experience many different types of relationships in university, often times including romantic relationships. From knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships, to how to deal a relationship breakup, to how to break up with someone — romantic relationships are complicated.

Healthy vs. Unhealthy Romantic Relationships

What makes a healthy relationship?  What makes an unhealthy relationship?
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Communication
  • Acceptance
  • Equal decision-making
  • Support
  • Shared goals, beliefs and values       
  • Pressure to change
  • Distrust
  • Fear
  • Lack of support
  • Restrictions
  • Criticisms
  • Anger and jealousy

There are many ways that people can make a relationship healthy, including assuming responsibility for individual happiness, making time for one another, laughing together, and with forgiveness. Conflict is also a normal and healthy part of an intimate relationship and it is crucial to learn how to resolve it. 

Strategies for healthy relationships

Surviving a Relationship Breakup

Surviving a relationship breakup can be one of the most difficult things we ever do and, on an emotional level, can be one of the most painful processes in our lives. Some healthy coping strategies that will help you deal with the pain are:

  • Don’t fight your feelings (sadness, anger, confusion, resentment, etc). Identify them and let yourself experience them.
  • Try to openly discuss your feelings with people you trust, and/or write them out in a journal.
  • Understand that breakups are often an inevitable part of dating.
More strategies for dealing with a breakup

How to Break Up with Someone

Break ups are hard for everyone involved, but how you end your relationship can go a long was in helping the recovery process. If you are considering ending a relationship, here are some considerations for ending your relationship in a healthy and considerate way.

  • take ownership of breaking up
  • be honest about why you are breaking up
  • initiate the break up in a timely manner
  • prepare yourself for appropriate reactions that may occur 
More strategies for breaking up