Here is the full transcript of Joanne Davila, an expert on romantic relationships and mental health, on Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships at TEDxSBU conference.
Listen to the MP3 Audio: Skills for Healthy Romantic Relationships by Joanne Davila at TEDxSBU
Intimacy, security, respect, good communication, a sense of being valued — these are some of the things that most people would agree make for healthy relationships. And researchers would agree, too — there’s a large body of literature on romantic relationships that’s identified the features of healthy relationships. And the list I just provided contains many of them.
Researchers also agree on what makes for unhealthy relationships – things like: fighting so much that you just can’t work things out; not being able to go to your partner for support when you need it; contempt; criticism; hostility; violence.
When these problems happen in relationships, they can cause significant unhappiness. They can lead to the end of relationships and divorce, and they can literally make people physically and emotionally sick. This is why it’s so critical that people have healthy relationships.
But there’s a problem: how many people know — I mean, really know what to do on a day-to-day basis to create healthy relationships? My point is this: we may know what a healthy relationship looks like. But most people have no idea how to get one, and no one teaches us how to do so. We need to teach people how to have healthy relationships.
Now, you know when we typically do so, after it’s too late — it’s called couples therapy. I do couples therapy and it can be a wonderful thing. But many people come to couples therapy with so many ingrained problems and patterns that they just can’t change; it’s too late.