As we grow and develop, relationships and human interaction help us learn and grow into who we become as adults. While these building blocks are important, we may find that some are problematic, need boundaries, or need evaluating. Below you will find a list of resources that will help you navigate healthy and unhealthy relationships, sexual health, and sexual misconduct.
New experiences are an integral part of college life: a fresh start away from home, newfound freedom as an adult, emerging friendships, and new relationships. Whether platonic, romantic, or the relationship with oneself, building and maintaining relationships can be challenging. It is essential to understand what healthy relationships look and feel like, as well as to be able to recognize the warning signs of one that may have become unhealthy. Below are some resources to help you navigate the newfound relationships you develop.
- Characteristics of a Healthy, Functional Romantic Relationship (Campbell University)
- What is a Healthy Relationship? (National Domestic Violence Hotline and Break the Cycle)
10 Signs of Healthy Relationships
Healthy relationships bring out the best in you and make you feel good about yourself. A healthy relationship does not mean a “perfect” relationship, and no one is healthy 100% of the time, but these signs are behaviors you should strive for in all your relationships.
10 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationships
While everyone does unhealthy things sometimes, we can all learn to love better by recognizing unhealthy signs and shifting to healthy behaviors. If you are seeing unhealthy signs in your relationship, it’s important not to ignore them and to understand they can escalate to abuse.
Because I Love You
Such a simple phrase can take on a different meaning in an unhealthy relationship, escalating from a statement of care to one of control.
“Frientimacy: 3 Requirements to Fulfilling Relationships”
Our world is getting “better” at connecting us and yet we’re reporting feeling more disconnected than ever. The issue: loneliness. The solution: understanding the three actions that lead to belonging. Shasta Nelson is passionate about all things friendship. As founder and CEO of GirlFriendCircles.com — the female friendship learning community — she speaks and writes regularly on this important topic.
Good Boundaries Free You
This TED Talk explores the impact of those things you say yes to and the things you say no to. Boundaries can shape your life and relationships in many ways.
You can listen to the Love Intently podcast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Google Podcasts, or read their blog to identify your attachment style, discover your love personality, and speak with experts in the field about empowering yourself to have thriving relationships.
The 5 Love Languages Quiz
Take this quiz to discover your primary love language, what it means, and how you can use it to better connect with your loved ones.
How to tell if you’re in a toxic relationship and tips for fixing it, or if needed, ending that relationship.
Warning Signs of Abuse
Every relationship is different and partner violence doesn’t always look the same. Possessive and controlling behaviors don’t always appear overnight and may emerge and intensify as a relationship grows. Check out The Hotline for some common signs of abusive behavior.
This is just a sampling of apps available to support you in developing your relationships. On-campus and off-campus resources are also available to help support you with any concerns you may have in this area.
Gottman’s Card Decks: Curious what questions to ask to strengthen a relationship? Gottman Card Decks can help by offering questions and statements to discuss with your partner. Available for download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Paired – Couples and Relationships: A guide to help improve communication, stay connected, and deepen intimacy as a couple. Also includes tips from experts on a variety of relationship topics. Available for download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Splitwise: This app allows you to keep track of bills, split bills among roommates or friends, and see when bills are due. You can view your balances, track spending trends, set up email reminders and more. Available for download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Sexual health and well-being are important aspects of one’s life to explore and cultivate within one’s own set of values and beliefs. College is a time that many people start examining their own values around sex, discovering their preferences, and learning to express what they want from their relationships. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships that’s free from pressure, discrimination, and violence.
The University of Lynchburg Health Center provides sexual health care, contraceptives, STI testing, sexual health prescription services, specialty health care referrals, and gender affirming care, among other services.
Why is sexual health important?
The American Sexual Health Association provides definitions and understanding of sexual health and why that education is important to individual development.
How to establish sexual values
Establishing your values and boundaries surrounding sexual intimacy is important to your development as a person. Read this article for five helpful suggestions.
Below are some sources to expand your knowledge around sexual health and STIs.
- Mayo Clinic: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- CDC: STD Facts Sheet
- 14 Facts About HPV You Should Know
- Get Tested
- UW Medicine STI myths
The Birds and the Baes
Want to ask your doctor about sexual health but don’t know where to start? If you’re not sure what you should be asking about — or even how to ask it — this guide has got you covered. Just answer a few questions — questions like the ones a healthcare provider would ask — and this site will give you a personalized guide as to how you should approach these topics!
My Sex Doctor App: A discreet, educational app that can be used offline and contains answers to a wide array of questions related to sexual health and well-being. Please note: The app does contain an entire section about LGBTQ+ topics, but other parts of the app tend to use more gendered language and heteronormative assumptions. Available for download free on the Apple App Store.
Gottman’s Card Decks: Not sure how to start a conversation about sexual values or preferences with someone? Gottman Card Decks can help by offering questions and statements to discuss with your partner. Available for download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Paired: Couples and Relationships: A guide to help improve communication, stay connected, and deepen intimacy as a couple. Also includes tips from experts on a variety of sex and relationship topics. Available for download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Sexual misconduct can take many forms, including sexual assault, dating violence, and harassment. Understanding what sexual misconduct is and its prevalence on college campuses is an important first step in addressing and preventing this issue.
Learn more about reporting sexual misconduct at Lynchburg.
- The Impact of Sexual Violence (PDF) – From the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), learn more about how assault and harassment impact individuals and everyone around them.
- Campus Sexual Violence: Statistics – From the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN), learning more about the statistics surrounding sexual violence on college campuses will help you better support yourself and peers.
- Know Your IX – Know Your IX is about empowering students to stop sexual violence and is a project by advocates for youth. This is a great website to learn about the federal laws surrounding Title IX and to learn your rights as a student under these regulations.
Explore some additional tips and tricks to engage further in your knowledge around consent, the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct on college campuses, and bystander intervention.
Consent and Tea
This video illustrates the concept of consent through tea.
It’s On Us
It’s on all of us to stop sexual assault. This site hosts multiple educational videos as well as information on how to get involved.
Seven Comparisons to Show How Simple Consent Really Is
Seven everyday comparisons that show just how simple the concept of consent really is.
The Hunting Ground
This is a documentary about sexual assault on college campuses.
On-campus and off-campus resources are available to help support you with any concerns you may have in this area, including Title IX Reporting and Interpersonal Misconduct.
LiveSafe App: In our commitment to campus safety, the University of Lynchburg launched a new safety tool called LiveSafe. The LiveSafe App has already improved communication between students, faculty, and campus security, and allows for faster emergency response in distress situations. By having access to the latest safety information, our goal is to help build a safe campus together.
The app allows you to send your location to campus security in an emergency, report tips anonymously to campus security, request a security escort, let friends or family monitor you as you walk home so you never have to walk alone, receive broadcast messages and review emergency information and procedures, find campus and local resources or assistance, and receive real-time safety alerts from campus security to your phone. Available for download free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.