Healthy Relationships: Conversing about Ultimatums (because #metoo)

There is so much good going on lately, with #metoo storming social media and providing a succinct way to show solidarity as well as start a conversation and show the need for change.

As a facet of that movement, I want to urge parents to tell your daughters (ok, and your sons) that anyone they might date who tells them ‘do this, or else I will break up with you’ needs to break up with that person On The Spot. No second chances. Relationships based on ultimatums are unhealthy. Let your young women know that no relationship is worth going against their values. Having a relationship doesn’t transform you into a worthwhile human: you have always been so very worthy of good and you always will be.

I want to urge parents of boys as well (ok, boys and girls), please tell your sons to avoid Ever issuing an ultimatum to anyone. Saying ‘do this or else’ is to try to force someone to bend to your will and that is so inappropriate no matter what context, but especially in a relationship. If you are unhappy with the way dating is going and you have tried mature ways of working it out (you may have to ask an adult to give you mature ideas, that is a good and normal thing to do!), then break up. You can respect a person’s limits by breaking up, but not by threatening to break up. Honestly, you’ll find another relationship. If you hold out for one in which you know that your non-negotiables will be met, then you will be able to work through the challenges together.

I know deep in my bones this is a vital conversation to have.

When one person grows up socialized to think they hold all the power, they wield power. Relationships are not about wielding power; they are about communication, staying true to yourself, and respecting the other person’s limits. They’re about a million things, really, but in a healthy relationship all of those things are kind and good.

 

I’m feeling good about parents and mentors nurturing respect through this conversation.

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Disco Triathlon!

One of my best friends (nicknamed ‘Disco’) is running a triathlon in support of ‘Girls on the Run‘, a Chicago-located non-profit. She describes the program as “an amazing program that provides elementary and middle school girls with healthy, positive afterschool running programs.” I am so proud of her and want to do what I can to help.

I am thrilled to be aiding a program dedicated to furthering the success of young women by way of supporting the efforts of a young woman with a practical goal. It’s a beautiful thing to see women band together to accomplish positive goals!

Please donate to her cause 🙂

The funds she raises will pay scholarships for girls who cannot otherwise afford to pay for the program. The donation page also states:

Chicago has made a commitment to ensure that at least 50% of their participants are from Chicagoland’s most underserved, low-income communities. This year Girls on the Run – Chicago will award more than $700,000 in scholarships and subsidies, and next year they are hoping to award nearly $900,000. Thank you in advance for your generous support!

Activities such as running, biking, and playing team sports promote intellectual and physical development, as well as enhancing confidence and social skills. Young women need to learn these skills in order to be prepared to succeed in life. Making use of such opportunities can often depend on what is available in a given locality and what these young women’s families are financially capable of providing.

You are awesome. I’m feeling good about supporting the future of this country~ in the form of its young women’s success!

Get Healthy: Celebrate your Authenticity!

I love MissRepresentation’s emails. They make me so happy. They have a running theme of avoiding appearance-based judgments, and focusing on the people we are.

“This week’s Get Healthy action is about giving yourself the gift of self-love and acceptance. It’s time to stop being so hard on yourself, to let go of “perfectionism,” and to celebrate your authenticity. Take 10 minutes this week to step back, breathe and appreciate who you are and where you are in your life. Write down or think of three things you love about your appearance, your personal life, and your professional life. Use these notes as inspiration during the rest of your week and don’t be surprised if feelings of gratitude arise!”

My list: I love my smile, my sparkly eyes, and my dancey self. I love talking to my friends, taking walks around the neighborhood, and getting hugs from my parents. I love doing art, singing, communicating positivity about fellow women, and photographing cool people.

Aside from these things (please feel free to post your own list as a comment, if you’d like!) I do love my authenticity. I love being me. I know I’m not up to anyone’s specific standards of ‘perfection’, but no one is and I don’t care. I’m happy being me, and that’s what I love most about myself.

It works, try it!