Tackling relationship problems as a student

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Health Assured team

05 April 2023

While relationships bring joy to life, they can also be a stressor at times—whether it’s friendships, family relationships or intimate partnerships.

When relationships break down, it can be difficult to know how to approach these situations sometimes. So in this article, we’ll be looking at how you can productively tackle relationship problems.


Accepting differences 

No two people are the same, so, understandably, we’re going to run into clashes of opinion or disagreements with others at times. To make relationships work, we must be open and accepting of others’ differences; this means hearing people out even when your views might not align and appreciating other people’s interests without judgement. 


Respecting boundaries 

We expect others to respect our boundaries, so we should do the same with them, including those closest to us. We must respect privacy, time, space and the limits of another person—if you can be open and clear about your boundaries, even better. You might feel vulnerable opening up in this way. But it can bring you closer as long as you are accepting of one another.


Focusing on your relationship now 

Turbulence in relationships occurs when you spend too much time revisiting past mistakes, regrets or arguments. By focusing on what’s happening now, you can build better connections and appreciate the good things—rather than dwelling on the negative.


Managing expectations 

We can often unconsciously place high expectations on others, and this can lead to emotional reactions. By managing your expectations and ensuring they are realistic you can avoid conflict. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t communicate what you need from others; it simply means that you are avoiding over-the-top conflict when life inevitably (at times) gets in the way.


Constructive conflicts 

If you do experience conflict in your relationship, know that this is perfectly normal. Learning how to navigate these conflicts helpfully will allow you to work things out and move forward. Key things to remember include sticking to the issue that’s currently happening, sitting down together and devoting time to finding a solution, and acknowledging the other person’s valid points. Avoid bringing up other issues, being aggressive, hurting the other person’s feelings or arguing after you’ve been drinking.


Abusive relationships 

If you have even the slightest thought that you might be in an abusive relationship, look out for the signs below. If you need support, you can contact the SAP helpline whenever you need us.

  • You are afraid of your partner
  • They lose their temper easily over minor things
  • Constantly checking who you’re with and where you are
  • Physical violence
  • Forcing you to do something you don’t want to do


Relationship support from Health Assured

We are here to support you with any relationship concerns you might have. Our helpline provides a safe space for you to talk through your problems confidentially with a counsellor. It’s available 24 hours a day, and you can find the helpline number on our portal.


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