To Thrive in a Relationship

To Thrive in a Relationship

Madiha Haideri (10th), Editor-in-Chief

At its core, all relationships need trust and loyalty to survive. Whether that’s trusting them with a secret or trusting them with your life, trust is what helps a relationship bloom; and loyalty from the other pushes them to keep your secrets and your faith. After that comes other significant concepts like their personality, habits, communication and mannerisms. How do they behave with people they just met? How do they handle themselves in anger? How do they react when you make a mistake? How do they treat you when they’re around their friends? What do they do when a misunderstanding occurs? Do they talk it out, or do they avoid it altogether? All of these are important questions to ask the person on the other side of the relationship which tells you a lot about their personality.                      

I interviewed 6 sophomores in order to get a better understanding of how Pitman High students would handle similar situations and what they think it takes to keep a relationship strong and successful. Paige Henderson, Kayla Thompson, Julissa Aguirre, Luis Palma-Diaz, Jonathan Alonso, and Caden Johns were all asked about what they think a relationship needs to thrive. 

Henderson- “I think that the most important thing is communication between people. It is the most important thing to be able to figure out issues. Communicating what is upsetting you or makes you happy is important because relationships won’t work unless communication is happening because they can’t read your mind. Life is not the movies and we cannot assume that everyone knows what you want in life, so in order to make relationships work, you need communication to be able to explain because no one is perfect.”

Thompson- “I would say communication is a big one. Of course, in a romantic relationship, consent is extremely important. You would need to figure out what your boundaries are and what you are comfortable with.” I asked her what she would do if her friend was being different around her other friends, and this is what she said: “I would give them some time and space and I would try to figure out what is happening and if something is upsetting them. ”

Aguirre-  “I think both people have to be loyal for the relationship to work and for them to put in 50-50 so it can total a 100 [percent] so the friendship can be strong.” I asked if loyalty was the top most important for her and she said loyalty and respect both. Then I posed the same question for her: how would you react if you were being treated differently when your friend was with their friends. She said, “Lowkey, I would feel devastated because I would want to feel included in whatever they are talking about. I would ask them if everything is OK with them and talk it out and ask if they are cool with me being there.” 

Palma-Diaz- “I feel like a lot of communication between the two is needed. If someone doesn’t feel a stable connection with somebody, I feel like they should talk about it instead of holding it in. I think you should be careful with your friends. Make sure they respect you and don’t put you in negative places, where in a relationship they could put you down behind your back.” When asked the same question about being treated differently, Palma-Diaz simply said, “I would just talk to them about it afterwards.”

Alonso- “I think both people need to be committed in the relationship and they need to stay loyal. They need to hear the other person out and understand where the other is coming from.” I asked, how would you react if your friend treated you differently when they are with their friends and Alonso said, “In the moment I wouldn’t say anything but later I would discuss it. I think that communication is pretty important because if you don’t have good communication with your person, I don’t think that relationship would work out.”

Johns- “Personally I think that both people in the relationship need to be a part of it. It can’t just be a one sided relationship. They both need to put in effort.” I asked how he would react if his friend treated him differently in some situations. He said, “I would feel left out and disappointed.” 

It is like Henderson said, life is not perfect and one cannot expect to be in the known all the time. Communication, most definitely is the key and one of the most important virtues in a relationship. That is not to say that loyalty, trust, honesty and respect don’t play major roles. Especially in a friendship, those concepts come together to form a bond that is close to what siblings share. That is what makes friendship so sacred. Having people outside of your family that support you, love you and make you feel heard. They are the people that you can turn to in times of need and when you are facing a difficulty. If you can’t, then they are not your friends, they are just people you are acquainted with. 

Granted that even in friendship there are layers of comfort. But the question is how long do you need to be friends with someone to be comfortable enough with them to share your thoughts and views? 1 year? 2 years? Is 5 years enough?

An important quote to remember in your friendships: “If you’re a friend of everybody you’re an enemy to yourself.” – Mike Tyson. Many problems in friendship root from the fact that it is one sided and not enough effort is put into it. So if you have a lot of friends, think about your priorities and start repairing your friendship before it’s too late. Because sometimes, even an apology can’t fix the mess you created all because you couldn’t say no. Instead of looking back at it and having major regrets, fix it now and save yourself a headache later.