|dress // vest // necklace // boots|
If it weren’t so ding darn cold today, I would be wearing this outfit to commemorate Wear Orange Day for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. (Instead, I’m bundled up in layers that include my favorite orange blazer.)
Healthy relationships and dating abuse, specifically in teens and young adults, are things I’m incredibly passionate about. I’ve written a few posts on this ole blog about media and relationships (here and here), but haven’t talked a whole lot about partnerships in themselves.
It’s hard to have a healthy relationship without knowing what that even looks like. Healthy relationships are built on equality, respect, trust, and open communication. Of course, there are other things that it takes to make a relationship work, but most everything falls under one of those four categories: setting boundaries, engaging with friends and activities outside of each other, sharing and listening, never violating privacy, encouraging one another, not making the other feel guilty for things that aren’t their fault, and taking responsibility for things that are.
It’s so crazy to look back on relationships I had in the past and identify how unhealthy they were. I felt like I couldn’t take up any space and that my voice didn’t matter. I felt insecure, and believed if the other person would only XYZ, then I wouldn’t feel so jealous. I didn’t love myself enough, and I loved the other people too much to see how things really were.
I had initially written a blog post in the form of a letter to nineteen-year-old self who was in a pretty toxic relationship back then. There were several break ups and getting back togethers. There was a really unhealthy living situation that just kept getting worse. There was a lot of admiration, but not a lot of respect. I know you’d probably love to read that letter, but I ended up deleting it. It was more for me to write and understand, than to put out on the Internet and be judged. We’ve all been there.
So what can we do this year to make our relationships more healthy? Not just our romantic relationships, but with friends and family, too! I think my intention will be to ask more questions when I communicate. I’ve worked to become better at using I-statements, and I feel that I’m a good listener, but my communication might be more productive if I create more space to learn about how the other person feels.
What can you do to promote healthy relationships, or make your own relationships healthier?
PS. If you have any questions about healthy, unhealthy, or abusive relationships,
you can visit loveisrespect.org for more support!
PPS. Notice a new little button in my sidebar? It’s for a super awesome link-up I’ll be doing with a few blog ladies on Feb 19th called Many Days, Many Ways. The point of the link-up is to show how you style an item in your closet as many ways as possible. The goal is to get us thinking about a closets in a new way, and to be inspired by others bloggers who did the same! Be sure to get your post ready by Feb 19th to participate!