Part 5 of the safe, sane and consensual relationships series.
None of what we’ve written in this series is going to alleviate short-term loneliness, and it’s not meant to pass any judgment on short-term arrangements or purely-sexual hookups. On the other hand, if you are looking for a long-term, reciprocal, head-over-heels-in-love, sexy, and safe relationship with someone who works well for you, (especially if you have trouble imagining anything ever working well for you romantically), consider doing the following tips:
- Learn as much as you can about relationships and communication.
- Develop a support network of people with similar values.
- Take care of yourself and be as self-aware as you can.
- Grow and improve yourself and how you interact with people.
- Build friendships based on respect, communication, and common interests.
- Don’t over-focus on any single individual until you know them well.
- Take your time and don’t compromise who you are in order to be liked.
- Do things, help people, create, make mistakes, fix some, learn, & engage in life.
Do Things, Be REAL, and Share your real with others so that they can love you!
I really appreciate the feedback that has come in from all of you as part of writing this series. One of the comments I received involves point 4 in “relationship misconceptions.” Many people wrote that for them, friendships often last longer than relationships, and it is worth not carelessly responding to a crush. This is valid for many people for a lot of different reasons. The point I was going for is not that you should date all of your friends or give into every urge. On the other hand, for many of us, establishing the trust and safety necessary to have a functional relationship requires getting to know a potential partner as friends before opening up other possibilities. This is very much a case-by-case personality preference. What has worked for me is to take it slow with people who I suspect will be worth dating when I know them better.
One of the reason this series was written, was because when I needed to give this resource to a friend, I could not find one. Since then I have found some quality resources, but I wish to also see this available as a mainstream knowledge source for everyone to use. I hope the series will be particularly helpful to people who are new to dating or not having much luck at it, or those who have had a series of more serious relationships that did not treat them well.
If you liked this series, you may also find the following resources helpful for continuing to explore these issues:
- Respect: A Girl’s Guide to Getting Respect & Dealing When Your Line Is Crossed by Courtney Macavinta, Andrea Vander Pluym
- The Aspie Girl’s Guide to Being Safe with Men: The Unwritten Safety Rules No-One Is Telling You by Debi Brown
- Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud, John Townsend – They also have a book about boundaries not relating to dating.
- Dr. Nerdlove – Dispenses love, sex and life advice for geeks.
- Captain Awkward – Advice. Staircase Wit. Faux Pas. Movies.
- The Respect Institute: I matter. You matter. – Relates to the book above.
- Sexual Abuse, Consent, and Culture – YouTube video from the vlogbrothers.
- Searching for the Secrets of True Love with Nate Bagley – Podcast about what makes long-term relationships stick.
Here are some of the resource pages about Creating Consent Culture. My collection of favorite resources is wiggly and ever-growing; the two most relevant sections for this topic will be: Relationship Skills & Social Justice and Sexuality, Body Image, & Gender Identity.
If you found the series useful, great! I’d love to hear from you! In particular:
What in this series most useful to you?
Which strategies you might add to your repertoire?
What would you like to hear more about?
Thanks for reading and thinking!
Please help create a consent culture by sharing, commenting, and talking about this with others.