The beginning of a new year and a new semester…a time when many people may already be thinking about resolutions and goals for their health, education, and more. It can also be a great time to reflect on relationships. If you’re not currently in a romantic relationship, now could be a great time to think through the good and bad of the relationships you may have had last year or semester in order to learn from them. And as you seek to move forward, here are four resolutions you may also want to consider before you enter your next relationship:
What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your goals for your life? How do you communicate best? Knowing who you are and how you function is crucial to having a healthy relationship. If you don’t know who you are, you could be tempted to enter a relationship in which you try to be someone you’re not in order to impress the other person or change who you really are to be what they might want you to be. A good relationship is with someone who you can be comfortable with, who knows who you really are and still enjoys spending time with you. So to be in a healthy relationship, you have to know yourself first.
Along with all the typical advice about eating healthy and exercising, you can take care of yourself by finding things to do that make you happy and activities to look forward to. Share experiences with friends and family. Figure out things you’re passionate about and make them a part of your life. Go on a road trip with your girlfriends. Go hiking. Pursue ways to use your artistic or musical talents.
With apps like Tinder making it easier than ever to meet someone, it can also be easy to assume that hooking up can lead to a relationship. However, research shows relationships that start with sex before emotional intimacy is present typically do not become committed unions. So if you’re serious about entering a healthy relationship, hooking up is probably not the best way to do it. By resolving not to hook up, not only will you avoid STDs and the potential for an unplanned pregnancy, you’ll also avoid the potential for regret and confusion to your brain and emotions. For more information on that, see our blog post about how hooking up affects your brain.
You have been uniquely created, and you are beautiful. And because of that, you deserve a relationship where you are treated with respect. You deserve kindness and love that doesn’t have to be earned or require you to prove yourself. If you’ve been in a relationship in the past where this hasn’t been the case, it can be easy to forget how valuable you are and that you deserve better, and it can be easy to slip into another unhealthy relationship. Resolve to instead find a guy who will treat you for the valuable woman that you are, and who will respect you, your values, and your boundaries.
We at Valley Women’s Clinic want you to make the healthy choices in this new year and semester. If you find yourself in need of our services, know that we are here for you. All of our services are free and confidential.