October 26, 2023
October 26, 2023

It’s Spooky Season—but Your Relationships Don’t Have to Be!

by
Diamond Marie Thaxton, LMHC
Download Resource

Let’s be honest: with all the dating advice you’re getting from TikTok and presumably from your friends, it can be challenging to determine what a healthy romantic relationship looks like. In addition, with the proliferation of dating apps that facilitate online dating and virtual relationships, the idea of a successful, intimate connection can seem overwhelming. However, while it may be daunting to navigate today’s modern dating journey, the rewards of a loving partnership—including emotional support, personal growth, and an enhanced sense of self-worth—can be very much worth the challenge.

Counslr recently observed that more than one out of every four sessions taking place on its platform over the past three months was initiated due, at least in part, to relationship issues. So, if you are looking for ways to enhance your relationship, you are not alone. But remember: a positive and healthy romantic relationship requires effort, patience, and constant nurturing. Each partnership is unique; what works well for someone may not work for someone else. Be open to recognizing the signs of a mutually enjoyable relationship as well as responding appropriately if you notice any warning signs.

Here are some facts and tips to help you navigate this season of love—and stamp out the spookiness—in your relationships:

Pay attention to “red flags.”

Trust your gut! Relational red flags are often a result of unmet or violated expectations and differences, which can lead to incompatibility, and compatibility is the foundation of any close relationship. Sometimes we overlook things that make us uncomfortable to avoid conflict. So, what exactly is a relational red flag? It is an undesirable quality, which can be a characteristic, behavior, state, or trait a person possesses that the other person would not want in a potential romantic partner (White, 2016). Relational red flags can make you feel uncomfortable or not quite right. In order to identify your red flags, it may be time to examine your values, especially what you want and need from a relationship with a romantic partner.

We are all unique individuals, and we all have different backgrounds and perspectives on how we see the world. Know what gives you that “ick” feeling and try to understand why it is essential to consider. For example, establishing boundaries, such as cell phone or social media access, should be stated and expressed to your partner. If you need alone time or time with friends, this is important to discuss, too, in an honest way. And, it is important that both people in the relationship consider each other’s needs and always come to an understanding and give consent.

Engage in honest and effective communication.

Congrats! You understand yourself and your boundaries. Next, share your needs and limitations with your partner. Sometimes this may seem difficult, because we believe an uncomfortable conversation will make our partner like us less—or even worse, leave us. But, in reality, a strong relationship is based upon how well you both manage conflict and difficult conversations. Having these conversations can bring you closer. Try to follow the two C’s of Communication:

  1. Be Clear. Say what you mean and keep it simple and direct. Don’t beat around the bush or send a meme, hoping your partner understands what you are trying to say.
  2. Be Courteous. Initiate these important and deep conversations when you and your partner are emotionally in the right place. This means that you both are calm, not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and in a positive, open state of mind and ready to receive information from each other. Keep it kind, and never attack your partner.

Always maintain your identity as an individual.

If you’re in college or high school, your priorities are probably to learn, study, network, and have fun. Your romantic relationship is a part of your school experience, but it is not the entire experience. If you are in a different stage of life, you may have different priorities, but the core idea remains true: your romantic relationship is not your entire life.

In every phase of life, be sure that you continue to engage in your favorite hobbies and routines, and don’t alter all your plans simply to suit your partner. You and your partner will have some differing interests, naturally. It’s a great idea to support each other's differences and do those activities together when you can. Still, nobody should give up what they enjoy, or pretend to enjoy things they don’t have any interest in, just to maintain a relationship. Especially if you’re in college or high school, concentrate on your own personal growth and self-improvement first and foremost. These years will be over before you know it, and they are a very special time in your life! Feeling secure, self-assured, and fulfilled in the other aspects of your life is more likely to make you feel present, connected, and confident in your relationship for the long term.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it's equally important to be mindful of signs that indicate a positive and healthy romantic relationship. Look for partners who encourage your personal growth and support your academic and career aspirations. A good relationship should offer a balance between spending quality time together and maintaining your individual identities and friendships. Healthy communication is key, so pay attention to partners who are willing to discuss concerns and resolve conflicts with respect and empathy. Trust is essential, and both partners should feel secure in the commitment and loyalty of their significant other. In a positive relationship, there should be mutual respect for each other's boundaries, and no one should feel pressured or controlled. In addition, shared interests, values, and future aspirations can help solidify a strong connection, ensuring that both individuals are on a similar life path. Keep an eye out for these signs, as they are indicative of a romantic relationship that can thrive and provide valuable support for a long time.

References

  1. White, Richard. “Relational Red Flags: Detecting Undesirable Qualities in Initial Romantic Encounters.” Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, 2016.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to Counslr, Inc., its partners, its employees, or any other mental health professionals Counslr employs. You should review this information and any questions regarding your specific circumstances with a medical professional. The content provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as counseling, therapy, or professional medical advice.

October 26, 2023
October 26, 2023

It’s Spooky Season—but Your Relationships Don’t Have to Be!

by
Diamond Marie Thaxton, LMHC

Type your email to download

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Let’s be honest: with all the dating advice you’re getting from TikTok and presumably from your friends, it can be challenging to determine what a healthy romantic relationship looks like. In addition, with the proliferation of dating apps that facilitate online dating and virtual relationships, the idea of a successful, intimate connection can seem overwhelming. However, while it may be daunting to navigate today’s modern dating journey, the rewards of a loving partnership—including emotional support, personal growth, and an enhanced sense of self-worth—can be very much worth the challenge.

Counslr recently observed that more than one out of every four sessions taking place on its platform over the past three months was initiated due, at least in part, to relationship issues. So, if you are looking for ways to enhance your relationship, you are not alone. But remember: a positive and healthy romantic relationship requires effort, patience, and constant nurturing. Each partnership is unique; what works well for someone may not work for someone else. Be open to recognizing the signs of a mutually enjoyable relationship as well as responding appropriately if you notice any warning signs.

Here are some facts and tips to help you navigate this season of love—and stamp out the spookiness—in your relationships:

Pay attention to “red flags.”

Trust your gut! Relational red flags are often a result of unmet or violated expectations and differences, which can lead to incompatibility, and compatibility is the foundation of any close relationship. Sometimes we overlook things that make us uncomfortable to avoid conflict. So, what exactly is a relational red flag? It is an undesirable quality, which can be a characteristic, behavior, state, or trait a person possesses that the other person would not want in a potential romantic partner (White, 2016). Relational red flags can make you feel uncomfortable or not quite right. In order to identify your red flags, it may be time to examine your values, especially what you want and need from a relationship with a romantic partner.

We are all unique individuals, and we all have different backgrounds and perspectives on how we see the world. Know what gives you that “ick” feeling and try to understand why it is essential to consider. For example, establishing boundaries, such as cell phone or social media access, should be stated and expressed to your partner. If you need alone time or time with friends, this is important to discuss, too, in an honest way. And, it is important that both people in the relationship consider each other’s needs and always come to an understanding and give consent.

Engage in honest and effective communication.

Congrats! You understand yourself and your boundaries. Next, share your needs and limitations with your partner. Sometimes this may seem difficult, because we believe an uncomfortable conversation will make our partner like us less—or even worse, leave us. But, in reality, a strong relationship is based upon how well you both manage conflict and difficult conversations. Having these conversations can bring you closer. Try to follow the two C’s of Communication:

  1. Be Clear. Say what you mean and keep it simple and direct. Don’t beat around the bush or send a meme, hoping your partner understands what you are trying to say.
  2. Be Courteous. Initiate these important and deep conversations when you and your partner are emotionally in the right place. This means that you both are calm, not under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and in a positive, open state of mind and ready to receive information from each other. Keep it kind, and never attack your partner.

Always maintain your identity as an individual.

If you’re in college or high school, your priorities are probably to learn, study, network, and have fun. Your romantic relationship is a part of your school experience, but it is not the entire experience. If you are in a different stage of life, you may have different priorities, but the core idea remains true: your romantic relationship is not your entire life.

In every phase of life, be sure that you continue to engage in your favorite hobbies and routines, and don’t alter all your plans simply to suit your partner. You and your partner will have some differing interests, naturally. It’s a great idea to support each other's differences and do those activities together when you can. Still, nobody should give up what they enjoy, or pretend to enjoy things they don’t have any interest in, just to maintain a relationship. Especially if you’re in college or high school, concentrate on your own personal growth and self-improvement first and foremost. These years will be over before you know it, and they are a very special time in your life! Feeling secure, self-assured, and fulfilled in the other aspects of your life is more likely to make you feel present, connected, and confident in your relationship for the long term.

Conclusion

Ultimately, it's equally important to be mindful of signs that indicate a positive and healthy romantic relationship. Look for partners who encourage your personal growth and support your academic and career aspirations. A good relationship should offer a balance between spending quality time together and maintaining your individual identities and friendships. Healthy communication is key, so pay attention to partners who are willing to discuss concerns and resolve conflicts with respect and empathy. Trust is essential, and both partners should feel secure in the commitment and loyalty of their significant other. In a positive relationship, there should be mutual respect for each other's boundaries, and no one should feel pressured or controlled. In addition, shared interests, values, and future aspirations can help solidify a strong connection, ensuring that both individuals are on a similar life path. Keep an eye out for these signs, as they are indicative of a romantic relationship that can thrive and provide valuable support for a long time.

References

  1. White, Richard. “Relational Red Flags: Detecting Undesirable Qualities in Initial Romantic Encounters.” Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, 2016.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and should not be attributed to Counslr, Inc., its partners, its employees, or any other mental health professionals Counslr employs. You should review this information and any questions regarding your specific circumstances with a medical professional. The content provided here is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as counseling, therapy, or professional medical advice.

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