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What is Love? How to Identify Unhealthy Relationships

What is Love? How to Identify Unhealthy Relationships

The Women’s Center and One Love Foundation collaborated on the Love Doesn’t Succ event on Oct. 28. Love Doesn’t Succ provided Loyola students an opportunity to plant succulents while learning to detect healthy and unhealthy signs of relationships through pop culture examples. 

One Love is a non-profit organization working towards the prevention of relationship abuse amongst youth through empowerment and education. The non-profit was created by the mother of Yeardley Love, a senior lacrosse player for the University of Virginia who was killed at the hands of her ex-boyfriend three weeks before her graduation on May 3, 2010. 

Madi Welder, engagement manager for the foundation said, “One Love’s mission is to educate young people on healthy relationships and ultimately create a world with better, healthier relationships. And I personally am a survivor of relationship abuse. So, taking from my experience, I use it to educate others with One Love content and hope that they don’t have to go through what I went through.” 

TV show and movie examples of romantic relationships and friendships were shown to demonstrate the 10 signs of an unhealthy and healthy relationship. Popular media like “You”, “The Kissing Booth” and “Mean Girls” showcased a variety of relationships when broken down are unhealthy or healthy. 

Leslie Krebs-White, the project director for the Women Center’s Office on Violence Against Women said, “We wanted to present this as a way to show that society normalizes this based on the movies and TV shows we watch and even the music that we listen to. When you watch these movies and TV shows and realize that it’s not normal, it kind of gives you the idea to see things from a different perspective.” 

Media examples like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Friends” exemplified the signs of a healthy relationship. Five out of the 10 signs include comfortable pace, independence, healthy conflict, taking responsibility, and respect. 

“Setting your boundaries and sticking to them. Not letting people push those boundaries is very important. All relationships need healthy communication, whether it’s healthy conflict or communication in general,” Welder said. 

Love Doesn’t Succ also incorporated an analysis of unhealthy relationships throughout the succulent planting session. Peers engaged in an open dialogue and challenged the depiction of relationships in the media. The unhealthy signs include intensity, manipulation, sabotage, belittling, and betrayal.

“The two main objectives that we hope that everyone learns are to spot the signs and access resources. In the TV shows and movies that everybody is watching right now, I hope people will be able to pick out those signs because picking it out in other people’s lives is always a little bit easier than trying to spot it in your own,” Welder said.

One Love is working to spread the message of relationship safety and creating healthier relationships among youth. They are hoping if students understand the signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships, it will empower them to take action in their own lives. 

After the event, Ashiya Tripline ‘26 said, “I feel a little more prepared than before. I knew of red flags and green flags but now I know more. I feel like it would be easier for me to talk to my friends and be like ‘Hey, I don’t think this is working out. This friendship that we have or that relationship you have.’” 

Featured Image Courtesy of Samantha Jones

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What is Love? How to Identify Unhealthy Relationships