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Bethany Chouinard, Staff Writer

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Relationships

We all know how important the people in our lives are. Relationships are what help humans function smoothly. Whether it’s romantic, or completely platonic, company is always comforting.

Unfortunately though, in adolescence (and often times adulthood), few are able to navigate their way to a healthy relationship. The first step to insuring you are in a healthy relationship, is understanding what that is. Think of any relationship as a house, if your foundation is unstable, your house will collapse the next time a diesel truck roars down your street.

A solid foundation often consists of three things: Communication, Vulnerability, and Trust. Yikes. I know. Those all seem kind of horrible right? In order to build a partnership that will last, first some self-growth and love may need to occur.

Communicating is the staple of any healthy relationship and everyone knows it. How do you expect your best friend to just know how upset you got over them eating your apple? Do you really believe that your significant other can look into a crystal ball or deal cards and find out what that vague text meant? No. Speaking up is key. Recognizing that you have a voice and emotions, and that they need to be heard is the first step.

No human being likes to feel vulnerable. No one likes to welcome the possibility of pain or abandonment. Becoming attached makes you vulnerable. Sharing your feelings makes you vulnerable. Falling in love makes you vulnerable. Being honest makes you vulnerable. Yet, those things all occur in our day to day relationships. So why do we fight our instincts to be who we are? Being vulnerable may open you up to pain, but it also opens you up to creating real connections and to loving. If you’ve ever felt that deeply for someone, I believe you know that the risk is worth the reward.

Trust. Trust. Trust. Another commonly preached about factor of life. It can never be emphasized enough honestly. Trusting someone begins with looking at yourself and your own issues. Do you have commitment issues? A fear of abandonment? These problems all come from, and influence one thing in a relationship, trust. When you can recognize these issues, you’re already half-way there. Now all you must do is try to better yourself, by reducing your fear. If you are constantly worried about what your significant other is doing, is that really a healthy relationship? Is applying that stress to you both really going to help anything? If someone isn’t trustworthy at all, perhaps you should reconsider where you stand with them. However, if that person has not given you a reason to distrust them, maybe take a step back and figure out where you went wrong.

Our foundation is ready to be completed. It is here that the three ingredients get mixed. Communicating makes us feel vulnerable. We feel emotionally exposed. Yet, this builds trust with your friend or significant other, which can only better your relationship. Accepting that you will be vulnerable in the entire situation, is you learning to trust yourself. Quite succinct I know but it’s all that is required. These three qualities fit together like puzzle pieces.

Unfortunately I can only provide you with the foundation. Building the house is your job.

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