Thoughts on Relationships

Our Relationship with ourself and others

Thoughts on Relationships

What is a Healthy Relationship?

10 Ways to Love Your Body

Love Your Body Day

2004 Love Your Body poster winner, by Crystal Holiday

Crystal Holiday,
2004 Love Your Body
Poster Contest Winner

By Violet Callis, 14

I have never been in a serious relationship; I’ve had a few boyfriends, but no one lasting longer than a month. Sometimes I think about what I do want, though, when I do have a relationship with someone. I’m surrounded by ones that have failed, or have something wrong with them: my friends and their cycle of breakups, my parents, the people on TV and the characters in books. I wonder if mine will turn out the same way. What do you do to have a healthy relationship?

The pop culture we absorb is full of sick ones. For example, the Twilight books that are very popular with people my age. I’ve read them too, and they’re really good, but by default the two lovebirds would have a predator/prey relationship: the boy is a vampire, and the girl’s blood smells really good. Just that she fell in love with this person that was designed to hurt her says something, but she becomes more and more of a martyr as the story goes on. She gives up everything that was important to her before to stay with him, and it makes you wonder if that’s part of why the books are so popular, if it’s because women identify with this.

Last week one of my best friends broke up with her boyfriend. They’d gone out for two years, but things had gone downhill and she was done with it. Everyone in our friend group was relieved she finally ended it, because things had been bad between them for too long. He kept trying to change her, flirted with her friends, acted like a jerk in general. He wasn’t going to make this easy. All day he called, again and again, to beg and cry and basically make her feel terrible. Once, frustrated that she wouldn’t take him back, he started to cuss her out, calling her heartless. My friend started to sob and I pulled the phone away, but he’d already said it. Seeing her just shaking with sadness, and not being able to do anything to help, was really hard. I told myself that I’d never get involved with someone like that.

When I have a real relationship, I hope it’s with someone who won’t ask me to give up parts of my life. I hope it’s someone who loves me without wanting to harm me. With all of the bad examples, I want to learn what to avoid from them, not mold my relationships after them. I know that nobody’s perfect, but you don’t have to be perfect to treat someone with respect.