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Healthy not harmful

Kristin Gooch, Staff Reporter

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There is nothing shady about healthy relationships

In homeroom we have recently discussed healthy relationships, how to maintain them and be trustworthy to the people you love. As teenagers, we are accustomed and subjected to hearing “It’s just young love” or “it won’t matter one day” and to me, that’s not okay. Relationships do matter—no age digression attached. Sure, the older you get the more responsibilities that follow. Sure, situations are not always easy. Fair enough. But why is it okay to tell people from a young age that something they value is not important? That has the potential to be emotionally damaging, and we have the tendency to romanticize the wrong ideas of love (Fifty Shades of Grey anyone?)

As “annoying” as these grit days and building relationship days or activities may seem, I believe they’re important to people who may be struggling with their personal relationships. They may not have support from friends or parents (who may be the person they are struggling with) and yes school IS for learning… so why not learn some human values? Why not learn how to handle emotions? We tend to think of young love as pure fluff and not actual problems but they really can be harmful. And no, I am not saying that relationships are bad. Love is a beautiful, human and natural emotion. I’m saying that when you put everything into a relationship, you have the potential to lose yourself. You may never get a clear understanding of what you want out of love and the people in your life.

It goes past the line of a boyfriend girlfriend relationship. Your plain platonic friendships can be harmful as well. We’ve all had that one “friend” who we always feel like seeking approval from, or changing yourself to be in their good graces. You are better than that. You will be loved for you.

Speaking of being worth it, there has also been major controversy over the movie release of “Fifty Shades of Grey.” It has been said to promote romanticized abuse, and has even coined the term “Fifty Shades of Abuse” on social media. I can’t say I disagree. People do not realize how “harmless” romance fiction can impact real life. According to Independent.co.uk, one in four women and one in six men are likely to be abused (and with Fifty Shades’ opening weekend reaching 81.7 million, those statistics are said to go up.) But it’s not the type of abuse you would normally think. A BDSM relationship has complete potential to be one hundred percent healthy if handled sanely, safely, and consensually.  The main character, Christian Grey, is emotionally and mentally demanding and harmful, still he is painted in some sick light and placed on a pedestal; the fans have judged him based on looks alone. Not many people would consent to harming their mental health, and I don’t think it’s a good message to any age group. Shouldn’t we be past this? It seems like we are aware now more than ever that mental health is a real issue faced by vast numbers of the population. In recent news actor Jamie Dornan (Grey)—the shining star himself—was rumored to have left set after feeling ashamed being with his family. His wife has expressed her discomfort with just the physical level. It’s as if no one realizes the underlying effect this franchise has on widespread population.  Love shouldn’t be seen as a chore or with fear of any type of physical, mental or emotional abuse.

You should always treat special people in your lives like they are the top of your world. Holding another person’s emotions should definitely be a priority, but your happiness should not depend upon the relationship.  Love shouldn’t always be stressful (yes there are hard times and fights) but you should be able to cherish the commitment you hold with someone special. If you feel unhappy, leave. It will be so much better for your emotional health in the long run. Take your relationships seriously and carefully. Trust your gut feeling/judgment on every situation.

Learning to be respectful and responsible in relationships at a young age can make an impact in behavior and self-worth. Fight the stigmas and know you are worth more.

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The news site of Wylie East High School
Healthy not harmful