On Oct. 18, an Assistant Director of Residence Life, Jaime Wright, hosted a Women’s Empowerment Program Lunch in the Gelles Conference Room to welcome guests and discuss what makes a healthy relationship. Several different students and staff members stopped by at different points of the lunch to give their own personal ideas as to what should go into a positive relationship, whether it is a friendship, family relationship or romantic relationship. With this “Bring Your Own Lunch” event, Wright was able to bring a lot of good people together to share some insightful ideas with one another.
There were three key topics brought up during the event: different definitions of a healthy relationship, important things in a relationship and what the people at the event personally looked for in a romantic partner. Everyone attending contributed their own stories and ideas, sharing what they have learned through current and previous relationships in their lives. The most important purpose of the Empowerment Lunch was to promote healthy communication between members, and it worked beautifully for these topics.
At the beginning of the lunch, Wright established important concepts to discuss within a relationship, including trust, honest communication and ways to express appreciation and love. Not everyone expresses their appreciation in the same way, and that difference can lead to a lack of communication, which in turn can lead to arguments. However, Wright established the fact that it’s normal for people to have disagreements with one another, even if they love each other. What’s important is to consider what certain actions or words can do in the long run of your relationship.
“It’s okay if you’re arguing with one another,” Write said. “What matters most is what your actions are in that moment. It’s all about how you choose to be angry.”
An interesting subject discussed by the lunch participants was the establishment of what someone in a relationship needs from their partner. The idea presented involves communicating what you need from your partner if there is some kind of issue or conflict present. Some people may need advice, others may need comfort and sometimes people need to be by themselves for a brief period to collect their thoughts. In a relationship, it’s important to know your partner the best, and understanding and respecting their necessities is crucial for working out serious matters together.
One important attendant to the Empowerment Program Lunch was Christine Adamow, Director of the Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship. Not only did the lunch participants get to know her better, but they also brought up an interesting concept involving personal growth in a relationship. A relationship between two people is not the end goal of life. It’s important to continue on with personal dreams and aspirations, even if your partner is not actively participating in them too. One must realize they are not simply the partner of someone. They must recognize that they are their own person with certain needs that do not always focus on their relationship.
“It’s growing independently, together,” Adamow stated.
Wright plans to further expand on the Women’s Empowerment Program further with future meetings. She intends to invite more students and staff to attend the lunches on Nov. 1 and 15 in the Center for Student Diversity in lower McGowan from 12 p.m. – 1 p.m. She will send out further information via e-mail for those who are interested in attending.