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文章難度:
Intermediate

Journeys of the Heart

http://www.saf.uwplatt.edu/counsel/info/relatart.htm
used by permission of UWP Counseling Services

{ Print Version }

1
    Romance and love in college - is it wonderful? Painful? Exhilarating? Scary? For some students it may be all of these. And relationships can be complicated and complex: How do I meet someone and what do I say? How do I know if someone really cares about me? What is love? What are the danger signals that things are not going right?1 Can I really trust him/her? How do we develop intimacy? What about sex? Are arguments good or bad? How do I know if we should break up? How do I cope if he/she breaks up with me?
2
    Unfortunately for most people, these questions are answered the hard way -- through trial and error. But it doesn't HAVE to be that way. Although there may be no better teacher than experience, individuals can learn many things about relationships by talking with people, reading books and articles, and, yes, they can learn even by watching movies and TV, if they keep a critical eye, realizing that the media tends to glamorize and idealize romantic relationships.2  Finding reliable and realistic information is critical.3
3
    There are several keys to learning about relationships. The first one is for people to know themselves -- their values, wants, needs, and so on. Before they can truly know what kind of person is right for them, they need to know who THEY are, what's important to them, and what kind of person they would be compatible with. Many times people who go from one relationship to another and another suffer from a lack of knowing and appreciating themselves and are looking for someone else to make them "complete."4  Doing some self-exploration prepares them not only for being in a healthy relationship but also for coping better if a relationship does not work out.
4
    The second key is to keep an open mind and open ears. This is the "research" part of learning. Besides reading and watching TV/movies, observing how couples they know relate and listening to how they communicate can help people become much more educated about relationships.5They see what works and doesn't work.
5
    The third key is to take the risk to get close. This can be the scary part, because individuals cannot predict how a relationship will turn out, and when they risk getting close to someone and developing emotional intimacy, they become vulnerable to being hurt if their significant other breaks up with them.6  However, if they do not take the risk to get close, they also won't be able to experience truly loving or being loved. Yet, how do people know if someone really does care about them enough for them to take that risk? Some clues include how people treat their significant others, such as:
  • considering their feelings and ideas
  • sharing their interests, activities, and beliefs
  • enjoying spending time together
  • displaying respect, trust and support
  • remembering little things that are important
  • letting their partner be first sometimes
  • helping them reach their full potential
  • valuing and taking care of themselves
6
    On the other hand, what are the warning signs that some people may not be worth that risk? Do they:
  • ignore their significant other's feelings and wishes?
  • tease and ridicule them about things that are important to them?
  • not keep their confidences?
  • act more friendly when they are alone than when their friends are around?
  • often show anger and use threats or violence to get their own way?
  • pressure them to do things that make them feel uncomfortable?
  • try to keep them away from their friends?
7
    Being in a healthy relationship is a wonderful experience. But even a good relationship does not always work out. Being able to appropriately cope with a break-up allows individuals to heal from the hurt and be able to risk getting close in the future and finding that healthy relationship that can last for a lifetime.7
8
    Of course, there is much more about relationships than has been covered here. Those who would like to explore this further, are invited to call or stop by Counseling Services, 220 Royce Hall, 342-1865 to make an appointment with one of the counselors.
 

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