5 / wish i were wearing

dress // vest // necklace // boots
If it weren't so ding darn cold today, I would be wearing this outfit to commemorate Wear Orange Day for Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. (Instead, I'm bundled up in layers that include my favorite orange blazer.)

Healthy relationships and dating abuse, specifically in teens and young adults, are things I'm incredibly passionate about. I've written a few posts on this ole blog about media and relationships (here and here), but haven't talked a whole lot about partnerships in themselves.

It's hard to have a healthy relationship without knowing what that even looks like. Healthy relationships are built on equality, respect, trust, and open communication. Of course, there are other things that it takes to make a relationship work, but most everything falls under one of those four categories: setting boundaries, engaging with friends and activities outside of each other, sharing and listening, never violating privacy, encouraging one another, not making the other feel guilty for things that aren't their fault, and taking responsibility for things that are.

It's so crazy to look back on relationships I had in the past and identify how unhealthy they were. I felt like I couldn't take up any space and that my voice didn't matter. I felt insecure, and believed if the other person would only XYZ, then I wouldn't feel so jealous. I didn't love myself enough, and I loved the other people too much to see how things really were.

I had initially written a blog post in the form of a letter to nineteen-year-old self who was in a pretty toxic relationship back then. There were several break ups and getting back togethers. There was a really unhealthy living situation that just kept getting worse. There was a lot of admiration, but not a lot of respect. I know you'd probably love to read that letter, but I ended up deleting it. It was more for me to write and understand, than to put out on the Internet and be judged. We've all been there.

So what can we do this year to make our relationships more healthy? Not just our romantic relationships, but with friends and family, too! I think my intention will be to ask more questions when I communicate. I've worked to become better at using I-statements, and I feel that I'm a good listener, but my communication might be more productive if I create more space to learn about how the other person feels.

What can you do to promote healthy relationships, or make your own relationships healthier?

PS. If you have any questions about healthy, unhealthy, or abusive relationships,
you can visit loveisrespect.org for more support!

PPS. Notice a new little button in my sidebar? It's for a super awesome link-up I'll be doing with a few blog ladies on Feb 19th called Many Days, Many Ways. The point of the link-up is to show how you style an item in your closet as many ways as possible. The goal is to get us thinking about a closets in a new way, and to be inspired by others bloggers who did the same! Be sure to get your post ready by Feb 19th to participate!

4 comments

  1. Great pieces, I love the boots.

    For me the hardest thing about having healthy relationships, outside of the one with my boyfriend, is getting friends/family to communicate and connect outside of social media. It's a constant struggle.

    http://myfifthavenue.blogspot.com/

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  2. I feel like understanding a healthy relationship is difficult these days. As we try to navigate the social media world and popular TV shows showcase unhealthy choices, lines start to blur. I hope a lot more of ladies take a look through some of your posts like this one to start thinking in a new way.

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  3. Such a great topic to post about. The image of a healthy relationship isn't getting the attention it deserves and that's really just making the problem worse in today's society. I love how open and willing to share about your past you are with this blog and hope that someone might be able to see the transformation in you and strive for the same in their lives if they see themselves in a situation that 19-year-old you once was in.


    On a lighter note...I'm excited for the link-up! I just read about it on Danielle's blog!
    -Chelsea
    chelsandthecity.blogspot.com

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  4. you are amazing. i definitely feel like we focus on romantic relationships more than all relationships. i've definitely had my fair share of toxic relationships, and i'm working on voiding all of those out of my life. you are seriously so awesome. also umm that orange dress, i want.

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