How to Love Better

Everyone deserves healthy relationships. At One Love, we believe that everyone has the capacity to #LoveBetter in all of their relationships. 100% of us have done unhealthy things in our relationships or friendships at some point, and we can all work to bring more healthy behaviors into our relationships. This document outlines ways that all of us can be more mindful about our relationship behaviors. While we recognize everyone does unhealthy things from time to time, there is a difference between unhealthy behaviors and an abusive relationship. If these behaviors are consistent, intentional, and/or create fear in the relationship, that is abuse and there are resources below that can help you safely exit the relationship.

*Each relationship is different, so please consider this a guide rather than a rulebook.

Instead of Doing This Do That

Call, text, or Snapchat them repeatedly if they don’t respond to you

Next time you see them in person, explain how it made you feel when they didn’t respond and why that’s important to you. They have a right to their virtual boundaries, and this should be an ongoing conversation in a healthy relationship.

Skip class/practice/homework to hang out with them

Stay true to who you were before the relationship and to the things that made you happy. Independence, including having your own activities, is key to a healthy relationship.

Show up to girl’s/guy’s/friend’s/family night
unexpectedly

Let your partner have space to have fun with their friends! Maybe send a cute text saying you miss them and that you’re excited to see them soon.

Share your location indefinitely (Find My Friends, Snapchat Map, iPhone sharing)

Only share temporarily if necessary and if you’re comfortable with it (i.e. safety, finding each other in a crowded place, etc)

Say “I love you” because you expect something in return

Say “I love you” only if you truly mean it. If you want something from your partner, be open and honest about what you want and why. People fall in love at different paces, and you should know that if your partner doesn’t say those three special words back to you immediately, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they won’t in the future! In a healthy relationship, you respect the pace your partner is comfortable with, both emotionally and physically!

Assume your partner wants to engage in sexual activity because you’re in a relationship

Ask for consent to make sure you’re on the same page. Practice healthy communication before, during, and after engaging in any type of sexual activity. If your partner doesn’t want to engage in anything physical with you, don’t put them down or try to pressure them.

Instead of Doing This Do That

Comment on every picture they post to prove you’re in a relationship or to sabotage someone else’s relationship

Comment on pictures when you truly have something to add, not just to show them and others you’re looking at what they’re posting.

Go through their followers/Ask them to unfollow certain people

Trust your partner to manage their own social media accounts! They should do the same for you. Everyone has the right to follow whomever they wish.

Passive-aggressively bring up photos/posts that they’ve liked or commented on

If you’re feeling jealous about what they do on social media, calmly express to your partner how you feel and why in an honest way. Ultimately, you might not like everything your partner does, but you have to respect that they are their own person. If they continue to do things that make you uncomfortable, you might want to consider if this relationship is really the best thing for you.

Ask your partner for their password or to change their password

Think about why you want that information and what your intent really is. Everyone is entitled to their own privacy - if you’re jealous about what they’re doing on social media, talk openly with your partner about the root cause of that jealousy.

Combine your social media accounts

Let your partner have the space to do their own thing! Think about why you feel the need to have a joint account. Is it out of jealousy and control? Or is it really just about co-sharing (fitness/food/pet pics)? Think about alternate ways you can share your relationship online (i.e. tag them in a cute pic on your account).

Demand your partner/friend posts something to prove to everyone that you’re together or you’ve done something nice for them (i.e. gift, vacation, tickets to the big game)

don’t know how to start that conversation? We know it’s hard, but talk openly with your partner/friend about your feelings. If there’s truly trust and respect in your relationship, there shouldn’t be a need to prove it to others.

Instead of Doing This Do That

Secretly follow them to figure out who they’re with. (Or have your friends do it!)

Have an open conversation with them where you share what you’re feeling and why. You and your partner should talk about what cheating means to each of you and what your boundaries are.

If you have good reason to believe that they are cheating, and they don’t disclose that when you bring it up, there’s clearly a lack of trust and honesty in the relationship and maybe it’s time to consider breaking up.
Ultimately, you should always trust your gut. If you feel in your gut that your partner is cheating and lying to you about it, really think about if this relationship is the best thing for you.

If you have good reason to believe that are cheating and they do disclose that when you bring it up, it’s probably time to have an honest conversation about whether or not you want to stay together. If you’re choosing to stay with a partner who has cheated, think about your motivation for staying (i.e. to prove something to them or to your friends? To get back at them? Or is it because you’ve had an open conversation and now have more trust than before?)

Create a fake Instagram and direct message them to see if they respond

Look through their phone (texts, social media, email, etc)

Instead of Doing This Do That

Ignore it.

Trust your gut!

Try to get revenge by engaging in the same or similar unhealthy behaviors to show them how it feels.

Talk to your partner about the behaviors you see and why they worry you. If your partner respects you, they’ll be interested in listening to what you have to say and change their unhealthy behavior.

Make excuses for them, to yourself or others (i.e. they were drunk, or are just stressed out).

Understand the importance of taking responsibility – alcohol, drugs and stress are never an excuse for unhealthy behaviors.

Break up spontaneously without a safety plan, or when under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Safety plan! Think of a strategy to break up with your partner that involves other people like friends, family, and experts who can help keep you safe. Remember, the most dangerous time in an unhealthy or abusive relationship is during and after a breakup.

Wait to talk to someone about unhealthy things you’ve noticed

Little red flags build up over time and are worth talking through! Find a trusted friend or adult to talk to about your partner’s behaviors and how you feel about them.

Blame yourself

No one deserves abuse. You might understand why your partner acts in unhealthy ways, but that doesn’t make it okay. Unhealthy behaviors are unhealthy regardless of what sparked them, so try
to focus on the behaviors instead of rationalizing the situation

Confidential resource, on-campus

RMC/ JSU Student Health Center​

1701 Pelham Road South, Jacksonville, Alabama​

256.782.5310​

www.jsu.edu/studenthealth​

  • Pregnancy testing​
  • STI screening​
  • Referrals to other resources 

JSU Student Counseling Services​

On-call counselor 24/7, contact UPD to access​
147 Trustee Circle​
256.782.5475​

www.jsu.edu/ccservices

Giselle Sharp is the victim and survivor counselor working especially with students who have experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking.


Confidential resource, off-campus

2ndChance, Inc. 

  • 24-hour crisis hotline for domestic and sexual violence survivors​
  • Emergency shelter​
  • Forensic exam support and advocacy in local Emergency Department​
  • Court and legal advocacy​
  • Support groups and holistic wellness activities for survivors and their support systems​
  • Counseling services​
  • Assistance with pets​
  • And more!​​

Crisis Line: 256.236.7233​
Administration Office: 256.236.7381​

2ndchance.org​

  • Rape Response Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Facility​
  • Specially trained to handle sexual assault cases​
  • Offers exams 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.​
  • Free of charge​

Birmingham, Alabama​
205.323.7273​
crisiscenterbham.org/rape-response.php​ 


Private resource, on-campus 

Title IX Office​

Oversees the university’s centralized review, investigation, and resolution of reports of sexual misconduct, sex-based discrimination, or sex-based harassment (including incidents of sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, and domestic violence).​

Coordinates supportive measures

Jasmin Nunez
700 Pelham Road North​
Angle Hall, Suite 301-A​
Jacksonville, Alabama 36265​
256.782.5769​
titleix@jsu.edu

University Police Department (UPD)​

Salls Hall 700 Pelham Road North​
Jacksonville, Alabama 36265​
256.782.5050​
jsu.edu/police​

​Call UPD if you need to access a counselor after-hours, UPD will connect you ​

If you’re doing or experiencing one of these behaviors, the relationship is likely not abusive, but there can still be room to improve it. However, if these behaviors are consistent, intentional, and/or create fear in the relationship, that is abuse. Here are some resources that can help you safely exit the relationship.

  • Connect with local or national resources in real time
  • www.loveisrespect.org
  • If you find yourself engaging in some of these unhealthy behaviors, we encourage you to seek professional help from a counselor or therapist.