Hey there, Badgers!

I hope you all had a lovely February and it was filled with love! If not, I hope you had an amazing time watching Netflix and eating chocolate, such as myself. With all the buzz that 50 Shades of Grey has been getting in the media, I feel that now is a great time to talk about safe relationships! 50 Shades of Grey is an extremely problematic series for numerous reasons,  mainly because the lack of consent and the enormous amount of physical abuse that is portrayed.

Being in a safe relationship is critical because when in a relationship, you not only have to look out for their best interests, but your interests as well. Being in an unhealthy relationship is extremely toxic and has a detrimental impact not only on yourself, but the people around you. With February just wrapping up, I have created a short list that will help you ensure that your relationship is on the right track. Lettuce Begin!

1. Trust:

A lot of couples find themselves walking on eggshells due to lack of trust. Trusting your partner is just as important as earning your partners trust. I know it is a lot easier said than done, but trust is a huge deal. Don’t give your significant other a reason to not trust you and don’t automatically assume that your partner is up to no good. DISCLAIMER: Trusting your partner means giving them space! You are a in a relationship but personal time is never a bad idea.

2. Consent:

Intimacy is a wonderful way to express your feelings for your significant other; however, consent is always important and is non-negotiable. Intimacy is a shared experience and it works best if you look out for your partner as much as yourself. Ask your partner if they like the way you are doing something, or what they would like better. NEVER assume something will be okay. If you are wondering what consent DOES look like:

  • Only YES means YES
  • That’s it
  • It’s that easy
  • Anything that is NOT a YES is NOT consensual sex

What consent does NOT look like:

  • Trying to convince your significant other to do anything after they have said no
  • Your significant other is under the influence of alcohol
  • Threatening your partner
  • Using force
  • There is NO such thing as an implied consent. It’s a YES or a NO
  • Consent is not an opportunity for negotiation or persuasion

NOTE: Consent can be withdrawn at any moment.

I mention 50 Shades of Grey because a lot of the intimate moments were not consensual, and there was moments where the female lead character was often afraid, which is NOT okay. If your significant other is not comfortable with something, DO NOT even think about it. Real BDSM is 100% consensual on both ends, and the way that 50 Shades of Grey promotes it is nothing more than sexual violence.

3. Communication:

Communication is key in every relationship. If there is no communication, then that is a huge problem. Ask your significant other how their day is going or tell them all about how much you cannot stop thinking about them. Communication is key, and it can take place in numerous forms – including arguments and your body language. If you don’t like something that your partner does, then address it. They may not know that what they are doing is hurtful.

4.  Mutual Respect for Your Significant Other:

Respecting your partner is extremely important because there is no better way to show your partner that you care about them than to respect them. Now, respect can take place in a variety of ways.

  • Respecting their body, space, and beliefs
  • Working to build your partner up, and not tear them down
  • Acknowledge the fact that your significant other is also effected by the choices that you make

5. Dedication:

We all love that pursuit when we are trying to start a relationship with someone. We will give up sleep to talk to them every night, cancel plans on friends to be with that person, and will even do crazy, irrational things to get that person. Often times, this fades away and that person you would have done anything to be with becomes just another person. If you find that you are missing that “spark” that was once there, get it back! Don’t let the flame burn out.

Additional Resources available to Brock students:

Keep in mind that I am no Dr. Phil and this is just a guideline on healthy relationships. Have I dropped the ball somewhere? Let me know below or shoot me a message VIA Twitter or an E-mail. Have fun, Badgers and stay safe!