Relationships Trust your spidey senseDear Kid (and Bunny),

You look across the room and see the most gorgeous creature imaginable. ZAP!! You fall instantly, totally, completely, 100% in….lust. Raging hormones. Sweaty palms. Dilated pupils. LUST.

In general, there is nothing wrong with lust. Combined with alcohol, drugs, too little sleep, too much stress (the list goes on), it can lead to some wildly stupid decisions. And—oh, dear—there can be a lot of alcohol, drugs, too little sleep, too much stress (the list goes on) during your college years.

Stupid decisions can lead to long term problems.

There is no need to have sex in public. Ever.
More on that another time.

Love, lust, relationships. You can tell they aren’t the same thing because we actually have different words for them.

Relationships—the important kind, not the kind with your barista or the UPS guy—can be hard. They often require contemplating murder. (Word of advice: don’t act on it, but sometimes imagining creative solutions can be a good outlet for frustration.)

More seriously:

Relationships need to be balanced. I do not mean you need to be equally athletic or have equal incomes. But if one of you is always giving in or doing all the compromising, you don’t have balance. If one person is always being blamed (for whatever), you don’t have balance.

Relationships need to have open communication. Some things should be kept secret. Like birthday presents and how often you have your eyebrows waxed. But too many secrets and a preponderance of secretive behavior is a sign you are not in a healthy relationship.

Relationships need to be respectful. Of each other and of the people around you. That means physically and verbally and in any other way imaginable. “I’m sorry” is important and reasonable when someone is 10 minutes late to dinner. “I’m sorry” is not even close to sufficient if there is any kind of abuse. Get help. And Get Out.

The thing is, you know people who are in great relationships. You know people who are destructive, horrible relationships. And you know people who are in relationships you simply cannot understand but seem to work well for them.

You have great instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

We’re going to need a Part III. See you tomorrow.

Love, Mom

P.S. Your parents really are wonderful people. If they’re concerned, perhaps it’s worth at least understanding what has their spidey sense tingling.