Relationship issues

Dealing with relationships

Relationships, whether with your family, friends or with a partner can be a great source of love, pleasure, support and excitement. But they can also be a source of grief and anguish if they go wrong.

Problems with relationships can be particularly common for students because they are often undergoing a period of personal change, making them feel less sure of what they want, for themselves or from others. Periods of change and self-discovery may make it difficult to be sure of who we are, of how we want to interact with others, and what value to place on particular relationships.

These problems may be made worse if we have had unfortunate experiences in past relationships and so have temporarily lost our ability to trust or by the pressures from others to form or end a relationship, as well as the general pressures from the media which give an idealised view of couples which is often at odds with the reality many people experience.

It may be useful to bear in mind that relationship problems can arise for many diverse reasons, and you may often benefit from help in disentangling these.

Successful relationships

Research suggests that the following attributes are important for developing successful relationships:

  • Acceptance of difference
  • Capacity for boundaries
  • Operating mainly in the present
  • Respect for individual choice
  • Skill in negotiating
  • Sharing positive feelings

External Resources

The Student's Union Just Ask centre provides helpful leaflets of relevance to this topic.

You may also find the following external sites useful: