How To Make Make Or Break Your Relationship

In our lives, one of the most important decisions we have to make is who we spend our lives with. Our lives revolve around our relationships, and for many of us, there is an emphasis placed on finding “the one”. While all relationships are important, romantic relationships influence us more than most. With the wisdom of Dr. Christella Mata-Hartshorn, you’ll be on your way to finding and maintaining healthy relationships; avoiding red-flags along the way. If you’re single or in a new relationship, it can be hard to know what you want or if you’ve found the perfect match. Here are a few things Dr. Mata-Hartshorn, AKA Dr. C, has discovered about finding love and knowing a good thing when you have it: 

DISCERNING A RELATIONSHIP

If you’re currently in a relationship, “pray and discern whether or not this person is somebody that you truly want”, because it’s “the best way to build a strong and lasting relationship.” Dr. C

recommends that you “think about why you want to date them. You have to check if that person has the same beliefs as you and if not, are they open to your beliefs?"
For those of you who are single, prayer is equally as important, because God knows your heart better than anyone. Your singlehood is a time to figure out what you want in a future relationship, and why you want a relationship. 

ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES

“Boundaries are important and need to be established early on in the relationship even if it is just a friendship.” Dr. C emphasizes the importance of knowing what you want in a relationship and making sure your significant other knows what you want as well. This goes for friendships and romantic relationships, as Dr. C mentioned, but you must be careful if the lines are blurred between friendships and relationships –“If you continue being friends with a person that has romantic feelings for you then you have to figure out if that is leading them on. At times you must be the one to decide.”

SELF AWARENESS

Be aware of how that person makes you feel when you are around them, and have the courage to stand up for what you deserve. If you have a relationship because this person makes you feel better then be aware because that could be your weakness; meaning, you do not want one person to be the source of your happiness. That leads to an unstable sense of self-worth, which is unhealthy.

"Boundaries are important and need to be established early on in the relationship even if it is a friendship." - Dr. Christella Mata-Hartshorn

No relationship is perfect, but you shouldn’t settle for less than you deserve. “Toxic relationships are obviously bad. It all depends on the problem that has come up though. You have to ask yourself if this is something that you can live with forever.” Dr. C stresses the toxicity in one-sided relationships saying, “You should never try harder than the other person in any relationship. You should pray and ask yourself if you want it more than the other person and if so then it may not be something you want to pursue.” If you find that you are in a relationship that is not something you could live with long-term, the best way to end a relationship is by: 

- Focusing on the positives
Try to make the other person understand that this is what is best for both of you, while being patient, calm, and empathetic.

- Asking God to help you.
Ending a relationship is extremely difficult, even if you know it is the right thing to do. Turn to God with your heartache and anxieties and ask for the strength to do what’s best for yourself.

 - Being Honest. 
Don’t avoid them. Make sure to tell them how you feel and be honest when you talk. Honesty is the best policy!

- Writing it down. 
The conversation will probably be pretty difficult, so, to make sure you say all you want to say, write down the points you want to bring up or things you want to say if you need to. This will ensure that you say everything you need to.

- Doing it in person. 
 This conversation should be in person, because that shows the most respect for the other person. If you are scared of how they will react, meet them in a public place, and bring a friend for support.  

Healthy relationships should be reciprocal – a give and take. They should offer positive support systems that encourage you to be a better you.” Love is defined as “willing the good of another”. It is totally unselfish. So, a relationship should be about what you can give, not what you can take. There are a few things we should keep in mind as we go through singlehood and relationships: “The best relationship consists of love, respect, chastity, trust, honesty, and humility”. Throughout our lives, we are all on a journey of self-growth, and relationships are all about finding someone to grow alongside you.

Colt Balok