College provides great opportunities to form new relationships. The decisions we make in developing healthy relationships can increase our self-esteem, improve mental and emotional health and give us fuller lives. A healthy relationship is one where both people feel safe and respected and is based on trust, honesty and equality. Here are a few tips on healthy dating:
- Be patient. Relationships take time, effort, patience and compromise.
- Be realistic.Have realistic expectations of what you and your partner can/are willing to do.
- Keep your relationship in balance.You may be the only one sending cards, cooking meals, buying flowers or rearranging your schedule. Don’t continue to give when the other person isn’t an equal partner.
- Be your own person.Keep your own interest, hobbies and friends.
- Take it slow.Just because you are physically attracted to someone doesn’t mean you have to have sex. Become friends and enjoy the time you spend with one another. Develop trust before emotionally and/or physically involved.
Play it Safe!
If you decide to be abstinent or sexually active, communication is the key. Talk to your partner, express your needs and establish your limits. Discuss protection, birth control, sexual history and other risks.