People often wonder what connects our relationships and mental health.
A human relationship is an association or connection involving two or more people, making an integral part of our lives. As a result, the line between these connections and our mental health is thin and often subject to overlaps regarding a healthy lifestyle.
According to Wikipedia, “mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing”. Thus, we can deduce that emotions and society, which relate to relationships, are components of our mental health.
Relationships can be familial, work-related, friendly, platonic or romantic. People close-knit with family, friends and their community are mostly happier and physically and mentally healthier.
However, as this column illuminates campus life and the setting of our institutions with gender, background and individual differences – where we are bound to connect in the process of pursuing degrees, we’ll examine love relationships and situationships on campus and how they affect our mental health.
Love is everywhere, and everyone desires to love and be loved. Therefore, it isn’t surprising that sparks of love flared up between Habiba and Habib, who found each other on campus.
They seemed to be what everyone felt was ‘a match made in heaven’ because Habib assumed the role of Habiba’s parent. He paid her school fees and footed other bills, but no one imagined that he often battered Habiba. Nobody knew because she kept making excuses for the barbaric act, claiming he wouldn’t pay her bills if he didn’t love her. Habiba was suffering and smiling simultaneously.
Like every other person, Uche desired a healthy and perfect relationship. He was ready to give his all, but his materialistic girlfriend, Cindy, always made him feel he was not man enough. She wanted him to be the perfect ‘sugar-daddy’ who’d tend to all her needs and wants even when they were beyond his reach. It was so bad that whenever Uche failed to get Cindy what she wanted, she threatened to break up with him. They claimed to love each other, but Cindy was draining Uche financially and mentally. Sad it is!
Even Halima, who deemed herself lucky because she found her love far away from the school environment, wasn’t so fortunate after all. She and Aba had been in a relationship for almost three years, but it was a long-distance relationship. He was a working-class graduate while Halima was still an undergraduate. Friends believed Halima was lucky and happy because of how much she prided the relationship.
However, Halima’s happiness was a façade. Her relationship with Aba was full of distrust due to the distance barrier. They questioned each other’s commitment at any given opportunity and walked on eggshells to maintain the relationship. Without a doubt, doubt is a latent disease that kills one’s ability to trust, causing depression.
What’s more surprising than Abiola and Tosin’s ‘relationship of benefits’?
Abiola, whom every spinster on campus coveted because of his dashing physique, agreed to be in a relationship with Tosin, who is madly in love with him. Although Abiola never loved Tosin, he couldn’t turn down Tosin’s offer to give him everything he wanted. As promised, she fed and offered him her body and money, convinced that his love for her waxed stronger. Abiola would threaten to leave her if she failed to meet his demands.
Isn’t it depressing that a pretty girl with low self-esteem like Toyin slaved away because she felt unworthy of the handsome Abiola’s love‽
It is funny how adorable Hawwau and cute Abubakar belonged to team ‘God when‽’. Though their looks were killing, people grossly misunderstood them and did not ask them out: Hawwau looked too pretty to not be in a relationship, and Abubakar’s cherubic face made him look like a serial heartbreaker.
Hmm! Matters of the heart on campus!
While the heart isn’t to take instructions, we can guide it: Relationships ought to be an involvement that gives you joy, peace and love. It should be a union for support, intellectual interactions, honesty and respect. If a relationship brings anything contrary to these, you owe yourself a duty to call it quits. Research asserts that unhealthy relationships increase the risk of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation, none of which you’ll love to suffer.
As there are people who stick together simply because they want to be in a relationship, not caring about the person they are dating, you need to define the kind of relationship you have. You either discard the idea of dating someone who is not into you, or you end up dating yourself.
Know that healthy relationships do not involve doubt; far or near, we must build relationships on trust and constant communication. If either is lacking, the relationship, like a cracked wall, is bound to tear apart.
Healthy relationships do not manipulate; if your partner makes you unworthy or question your self-worth, then your mental health is at stake. You should discontinue the relationship no matter how hard it seems.
Healthy relationships aren’t toxic; exchanging vulgar words and violent blows isn’t love. It is toxicity. Do not create an excuse for an unhealthy relationship no matter how much you want it to work out because it will destroy your physical and mental health.
Healthy relationships stand on trust and honesty; if your partner is not straightforward, talk them out of the charade and know when to quit if they do not change. Do not create an excuse for a cheating or lying partner.
Healthy relationships are patient; exercise patience in your dealings with your partner, minding that some emotions are not immediately reciprocal. It is often hard coping with someone who doesn’t seem to feel the same as one, but it is wise to be patient. If it doesn’t move at your pace, you either move on or keep to the tide.
Healthy relationships are confident; be confident about your choice. Speak up when you like someone and if it doesn’t work out, move on with confidence. Eating instant ‘Breakfast’ is the best!
Everyone deserves a healthy relationship. It doesn’t matter when or how, but we all owe ourselves happiness and pride in who we are, regardless of our relationship status. Do not pressurize yourself because you aren’t in a relationship. Surround yourself with people that know your value, be true to yourself and above all, be happy.
Remember, your mental health is also your wealth. Keep your dealings healthy!
NB: The names used are fictional.
Please drop your questions in our comment section and we’ll address them in the next edition.