Relationships. Whether you’re taken, a single pringle or it’s just a bit complicated it seems you can’t escape the topic these days, and of course everybody has their two pence.

From trouble getting into a relationship to trouble staying in one, we are talking about everything. But one thing we are not talking enough about is how healthy our relationships are.

Relationships are important to us, no matter how old we are, our sexuality, or where we live. What is even more important is the quality of these relationships. The quality of our relationships can impact our physical health, our mental health and also our relationships with other people.

I think one of the reasons why we are not talking about healthy and unhealthy relationships is because some of us don’t realise that we are actually in a relationship. Just because it’s not official (or because it’s not exclusive) does not mean you are not in a relationship. “Casual Relationships” are more common these days and because we don’t always see ourselves as in a relationship it becomes hard to tell what is okay and what isn’t. Even within “official relationships” it can be tricky to recognise unhealthy behaviour as forms of abuse. One consequence of this is that unhealthy behaviours become normalised and acceptable.

The more I am on social media (which is quite a lot as it is my job) the more I have fallen in love with the art of memes. And as funny as they are I think that they also do a good job at highlighting the ways relationships between young people can be dysfunctional and toxic. We need some new relationship goals!!!

We should be respecting feelings not messing with them. Why are we ignoring messages and making people wait for replies? It’s all kinds of annoying! Let’s try respecting other relationships: Mr Steal your girl is not cool! You don’t need an encyclopaedia to understand why your partner is mad all you need to do is communicate better, that means talking AND listening.

I feel as a generation we are settling for ‘not-bad’. Trust issues and insecurities are normal, but it’s better to address them and work through them then to put yourself at risk of accepting unhealthy behaviours in your relationship, from a partner or from your own behaviour. Remember abuse is not always physical, there are other ways a partner can be abusive without physically hurting you.

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©2018 by Peer2Peer Education.