Romantic Love. The relationship and the partner is seen
through "rose colored glasses." One's partner can do no wrong. This
type of love is often seen at the beginning of a relationship.
Nurturing Love. Each person encourages and nourishes
the other. Each has nurturing friendships outside the relationship. If one
partner ends the relationship, the other will experience grief but not self-destructive
Addictive Love. The person is totally dependent on
another for love, happiness, and security. If the relationship ends, the person is
Shared Power. In general, each person has an equal say
in the relationship; although at times, one person may have greater say because of
expertise in an area.
Commitment. Each person makes a commitment to care
about the other person, the relationship, and themselves.
Enjoy Coupleness. The individuals view themselves as
part of a couple which brings each more happiness and allows each to be stronger.
Trust. Confidence in your partner and in yourself.
Each person is reliable and honest.
Positive Fighting. Each recognizes that at times they
will disagree and have developed skills to positively negotiate these disagreements.
Acceptance of Differences. Each person is valued for
who they are and what they bring to the relationship. Differences in thoughts,
feelings, values, looks, etc., are accepted and respected.
"We"ness. While there are differences, there
are also shared goals, values, interests, etc. that promote a sense of coupleness.
Sharing Time. The individuals spend time together
sharing thoughts, feelings, and emotions. This includes sharing sadness as well as
happiness. Also, time is spent doing activities together (both work and play).
Personal Time. While they relish their time together,
the couple does not aim to be close all the time. Each person in the relationship
has some independence and privacy.
Curiosity. Each person takes an interest in the other's
job and activities. They care about the quality of each other's life.
Embraces Change. Each believes that personal change
helps make the relationship interesting and supports the personal growth of their partner.
Something Special. Each person remembers that his/her
connection to his/her partner is independent of their relationships with parents,
children, and friends and does not allow perspectives from others to govern their
attachment to his/her partner.
Maturity. Each person realizes that all relationships
go through periods of distance, irritation, or trouble and see these periods as
opportunities for the relationship to grow.
Not all relationships are healthy. One fourth to one half of all dating
relationships involve violence. Dating violence can have many forms. It
may start out with mild forms and escalate as the relationship develops.
Emotional/Psychological Abuse. Jealousy,
possessiveness, controlling of behavior, verbal put downs, name calling, criticism,
Physical Abuse. Pushing, shoving, slapping, pulling
hair, excessive tickling, hitting, punching, threatening with a weapon, physically
Sexual Abuse. Any sexual relations without the consent
of the other person. Touching, humiliating sexual activity, coercion, rape.
- Does your partner call you names, put you down, and/or embarrass you?
- Does your partner say that no one else would ever go out with you?
- Does your partner drink too much or use drugs?
- Are there two set of "rules" for behaving (one person has more freedom than
- Does your partner tell you where you can go, who you can see and talk to, and/or what
you can wear?
- Does your partner want to know where you are, who you are with, and what you are doing
all the time?
- Does your partner accuse you of flirting or sleeping around?
- Does your partner's jealousy make you feel uncomfortable and stop you from doing or
- Do you feel cut off from your friends and family?
- Do you make excuses for your partner's behavior?
- Are you afraid of how your partner will react to what you say or do?
- Is your partner easy going, gentle and loving most of the time and promises never to hit
or abuse again and then breaks that promise?
- Does your partner often lose his or her temper and throw or break things when angry?
- Has your partner revealed violent acts toward others?
- Has your partner forced or coerced you to have sex or do uncomfortable sexual activity?
- Do your arguments get "physical"?
- Has your partner ever pushed, slapped, punched, kicked, or hurt you?
- Are you afraid that he or she will?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in an unhealthy or
abusive relationship. You may want to talk to someone who can help you decide.
If you find yourself in a violent, or potentially violent, relationship, you need to:
- Think first of your physical safety. Get away from the violent person as quickly
as you can.
- Remember that it is not your fault. There is nothing that you can do to deserve to
- Reach out for help. Contact family members, friends, police, counselors or a
spouse abuse center (you don't have to be married to get help there).
- Remember that you cannot change another person's violent behavior. Giving in to
demands, trying to please, pacifying and giving one more chance do not have a lasting
- Remember violence does not just go away. Once started, it usually keeps happening
and gets worse. It becomes a cycle of abuse, but you can break the cycle by refusing
to become a victim.
- Tell him/her that it is not his/her fault. Tell him/her that he/she doesn't
- Believe him/her and let him/her know that you do.
- Be supportive, but don't tell him/her what to do. Whatever he/she decides, it is
- Don't blame him/her for the abuse or his/her decisions. It is difficult to leave a
relationship; he/she may not be ready yet.
- Offer to go with him/her to talk to someone--a teacher, counselor, or a shelter.
- Continue to be there for him/her even if he/she does not leave the relationship.
Let him/her know that he/she can always come to you.
- Don't spread gossip. It could be dangerous for him/her.
- Help him/her to make a safety plan.
Remember, you can't fix it, but you can be helpful by being a good friend.
SHSU Counseling Center (936) 294-1720.
SAAFE House (936) 291-3369 24-hour hotline (936) 291-3529 Office