Emotional availability in relationships

Image via Thinkstock
Image via Thinkstock

Make sure you and your partner are on the same page

By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer

College age is a prime time to dive into the wonderful (and terrifying) world of dating. Becoming intimate with another person can take on many forms, including everything from casual sex to a full on committed monogamous relationship. Dating has lots of benefits and is something almost everyone experiences, or tries to.

Emotions are the largest factor at play when one starts to date. They affect the quality of the relationship and are also heavily influenced by the relationship itself. Keeping these emotions stable and balanced can be the most challenging aspect of dating. However, it is also one of the most important things to do to assure a healthy relationship for both you and your partner.

Consider your own emotional needs and desires for dating. What do you want out of a relationship? Are you sure that you want a full relationship? Are there factors in your life that may affect the quality of your relationship? This could include stress with school or work, or a personal event that has significantly affected your emotions. If you’re having trouble navigating your own life, opening up that life to someone may not be the best idea at the moment.

Equally as important is a partner’s headspace. Regardless of your own feelings, your partner may have significant factors preventing them from receiving or giving the emotional connection you desire. They may have their own life issues to sort out, be recovering from a bad dating experience, or simply not want the same sort of connection you do. Respecting each other’s boundaries and feelings is an essential part of relationships, but far too often something not communicated or honoured.

Of course, the option of casual dating is always available. This works well for many, and has terrible results for others. Consider if this route is what you want and the consequences it may have on you. If seeing people intimately a few times without a deeper romantic connection works for you, great—but make sure it actually does work. Far too often, those pesky deeper feelings get in the way, and then you have to navigate that path.

Above all, honesty and communication is key in any romantic relationship. Dating is a two-way path, and you and your partner need to be on the same page. Make it clear what you want from each other and if that is actually happening. If one of you cannot provide that a relationship won’t work out.