Healthy Relationships 101

Healthy Relationships 101 Campaign


REALationships communicate consent.  


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AUGUST 8, 2018) SCCADVASA launches new campaign to create awareness around healthy relationships

The birth of the #MeToo era has charged communities across the globe with increasing efforts to engage in a more intentional, on-going dialogue about healthy relationships, consent, and respect. Developing innovative and effective approaches to engaging communities in the prevention work necessary to ignite transformative social and cultural change is one of the primary priorities of the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA), which has long stood at the forefront of leadership of domestic violence and sexual assault prevention across the state. SCCADVASA is committed to building the space in which healing and prevention can happen and works to change our communities’ relationship with violence by promoting healthy relationships and empowerment practices that increase safety for everyone.

Recently, TJX Foundation awarded SCCADVASA a $20,000 grant as a part of its global aim to offer value to communities by helping vulnerable populations access the resources and opportunities they need to build a better future. With this grant, SCCADVASA is launching a new digital campaign this fall to build awareness of the role and power of healthy relationship practices, both online and off. It’s no secret that the digital ecosystem has sparked a horde of unique challenges in the navigation of social interaction and relationship building. The Internet brings a surplus of options for users to digest when it comes to connecting with others and growing their digital presence, and it is vital to consider the impact online dating and social networking platforms have on the social behavior of our young people. If we are to build a pathway to engagement in changing our society’s relationship with violence, we must speak honestly and directly to those we most want to reach within the platforms where they spend so much of their time.

The new healthy relationships campaign will promote consent, respect, trust, and the value of our personal space—ideas that should be particularly helpful in a time where young people are constantly inundated with instances of violence and toxic relationship practices, such as bullying and harassment, behind the screens of their mobile devices. It stands on a hope that our community can become more informed about the some of the most pressing issues affecting our youth and families today through a lens of inclusivity, empathy, and purposeful social action.

To learn more about SCCADVASA’s new campaign or to donate to support its programs, contact us at 803-256-2900 or P.O. Box 7776 Columbia, SC 29202.

Visit our REALationships 101 Blog

About #REALationships101


SCCADVASA has made a long-term commitment to empower and educate our statewide community with essential insights about healthy relationships as a part of an overarching effort to eradicate domestic and sexual violence in South Carolina once and for all. Through the launch of our healthy relationship campaign, we aim to convey positive messages to our young people about the importance of healthy relationships, how to identify them, and a wealth of other resources and supportive content that could inspire them to use healthier relationship practices with their personal and professional lives.

Download our REALationships 101 Social Media Kit

Our Healthy Relationship Code: 
  • REAL relationships respect personal space.
  • REAL relationships communicate consent.
  • REAL relationships deserve respect.
  • REAL relationships respect limits

Building Blocks of Healthy Relationships:

At the root of healthy relationships is an unwavering, ardent commitment to equality, however, there are other building blocks that are key to consider when engaging in a relationship of any form with another individual.

We've identified four significant and vital attributes for healthy relationships:

  • Respect (/rəˈspekt/): Understand and embrace the core differences in others. Allow others the freedom to be who they are without placing judgment, displaying hostility, or exhibiting any other behavior that could dehumanize them or minimize their live experiences. 

  • Trust (\ˈtrəst\): Assure your friends, family, and partners that they can rely on your character, strength, ability, and truth to be consistent and earnest by following through with commitments, fulfilling your promises, and being completely honest with them at all costs. 

  • Open Communication (\ˈō-pən • \kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən\): Make you needs and sensibilities clear and listen to the sentiments of those you love. Refrain from passing judgment on those you connect with and resorting to blaming or shaming language. 

  • Honesty (\ˈä-nə-stē\): Try not to greet your acquaintances and loved ones with your "representative" and be 100% authentic and forthcoming about your truths. Those that truly love and support you will embrace the real you regardless of your differences. 

10 Tips for Millennial Healthy Relationships: 

Healthy relationships have been shown to increase our happiness, improve health and reduce stress. Studies show that people with healthy relationships have more happiness and less stress. There are basic ways to make relationships healthy, even though each relationship is different. These tips apply to all kinds of relationships: friendships, work and family relationships, and romantic partnerships.

1.   Keep expectations realistic. No one can be everything we might want them to be. Healthy relationships mean accepting people as they are and not trying to change them.

2.   Talk with each other. It can't be said enough: communication is essential to healthy relationships.

  • Take Time. Really be there.

  • Genuinely Listen.

  • Do not interrupt or plan what you're going to say next. Try to fully understand their perspective.

  • Ask questions. Show you are interest. Ask about their experiences, feelings, opinions, and interests. 

  • Share information. Studies show that sharing information helps relationships begin. Let people know who you are, but don't overwhelm with too much personal information too soon.

3.   Be flexible. It is natural to feel uneasy about changes. Healthy relationships allow for change and growth.

4.   Take care of yourself, too. Healthy relationships are mutual, with room for both people’s needs.

5.   Be dependable. If you make plans with someone, follow through. If you take on a responsibility, complete it. Healthy relationships are trustworthy.

6.   Fight fair. Most relationships have some conflict. It only means you disagree about something; it does not have to mean you don't like each other.

  • Cool down before talking. The conversation will be more productive if you have it when your emotions have cooled off a little, so you don't say something you may regret later.

  • Use “I statements.”  Share how you feel and what you want without assigning blame or motives. E.g. “When you don’t call me, I start to feel like you don’t care about me” vs. “You never call me when you’re away.  I guess I’m the only one who cares about this relationship.”

  • Keep your language clear and specific.  Try to factually describe behavior that you are upset with, avoiding criticism and judgment.  Attack the problem, not the person.

  • Focus on the current issue.  The conversation is likely to get bogged down if you pile on everything that bothers you.  Avoid using “always” and “never” language and address one issue at a time.

  • Take responsibility for mistakes.  Apologize if you have done something wrong; it goes a long way toward setting things right again.

  • Recognize some problems are not easily solved.  Not all differences or difficulties can be resolved.  You are different people, and your values, beliefs, habits, and personality may not always be in alignment.  Communication goes a long way toward helping you understand each other and address concerns, but some things are deeply rooted and may not change significantly.  It is important to figure out for yourself what you can accept, or when a relationship is no longer healthy for you.

7.   Be affirming.  According to relationship researcher John Gottman, happy couples have a ratio of 5 positive interactions or feelings for every 1 negative interaction or feeling.  Express warmth and affection!

8.   Keep your life balanced. Other people help make our lives satisfying but they cannot meet every need. Find what interests you and become involved. Healthy relationships have room for outside activities.

9.   It’s a process. It might look like everyone on campus is confident and connected, but most people share concerns about fitting in and getting along with others. It takes time to meet people and get to know them.  Healthy relationships can be learned and practiced, and keep getting better.

10.   Be yourself! It's much easier and more fun to be authentic than to pretend to be something or someone else. Healthy relationships are made of real people.

*Adapted from Kansas State University (2006) and the Peer Advocates of Sexual Respect at Amherst College (2007) (via) Amherst College. (n.d.) 10 Tips for Healthy Relationships. Retrieved via Student Life > Health Wellness & Safety > Counseling Center > Self Care & Stress Reduction           


Check Out Our Upcoming REALationships 101 Blogs:
  • Think Before You Ghost: 5 Times It's Ok To Ghost Someone (Available Spring 2019)

    Discusses the Millennial phenomenon of ghosting and when it is or isn't okay to "ghost" others. Where and when do you draw a line in the sand? What are the consequences and benefits of doing so?

  • Sex Education In The Bible Belt (Available Spring 2019)

    Sex and health education below the Mason Dixon differs greatly from what is taught in other regions of the U.S. What are the implications for this? Why is it so taboo for adults to talk sex with their younger counterparts? How do we better engage millennials and the generations following in conversations about sex, love, and relationships. 

  • Revenge Porn (Available Spring 2019)

    What is revenge porn? When did it become such a widely known phenomenon? How does it affect teens? How do Millennials protect themselves from such occurrences? Where do readers find more information and help if they are currently dealing with an incident?

  • Online & Mobile Dating Applications (Available Spring 2019)

    How has the world of dating changed in the emergence of mobile dating apps? What is the new dating safety protocol now that so much access and opportunity are given to the average internet user? What does this mean for Millennials new to the dating scene and survivors trying to protect themselves from perpetrators?

  • Catfishing: How Virtual Sock Puppet Personas Have Taken Over The Internet (Available Spring 2019)

    Exploring the catfish phenomenon and how the art of deception managed to rise in the advent of social media and online dating.