Many of us who previously believed that we were sex, relationship and love experts, that is up until last Thursday, realized quickly that we still had so much to learn. After attending the UR Christian Fellowship and Black Students’ Union’s Love and Relationship Forum, I found that things are not exactly what I thought they were in regards to relationships and love.

Director of URCF Bishop Gregory L. Parris, the guest speaker, made certain to stress that love is not something that most people find overnight. It takes time to get to know who someone truly is, and what they’re like beyond the pretty smile and charm.

Both love and relationships take time and effort that cannot be measured through a conversation or accomplished over dinner at your favorite restaurant. They instead have to be tested through experiences, the ways we work through them with our partner, the standards we set and whether or not they are being met.

According to Parris, one golden rule is that when we first meet someone and are planning on giving that person a chance, if he or she looks, acts and sounds too good to be true, they probably are. Yet if you look at college students, the advice that they learn seems to be pushed aside when it doesn’t coincide with their beliefs.

So why do college-educated students face this situation on a daily basis and still continue to ignore this red flag?

There are some of us who are blinded by the truth. We meet a guy or a girl who says all the right things, texts us in the morning with sweet nothings and calls us at night to say how much they miss us, but during the day makes no attempt to spend time with us.

Then there are those of us who see that this person is too good to be true but then refuse to test whether this person really is who they say they are. For example, we can examine how they treat their parents or siblings, and take this into account because the way someone treats their family will most likely be a reflection of how they will treat their lovers.

Another way of learning more about this person’s intentions is through observing how they act or treat you around their friends and whether or not you are still as important to them when it’s just the two of you. If he or she doesn’t act the same, be honest with yourself.

‘Love is blind” is a clich we use far too often. The Love and Relationship forum shone light on the idea that love isn’t what’s blind, but instead we choose to blindly approach love.

We see our lover flirtatiously hugging another guy or girl when our backs are supposed to be turned. Yet we choose to ignore these clear signs. Some of us even get angry for the night and then the next day, but forgive him or her for what they claimed was an impaired act of drunkenness. These are the relationships we know we should end or the individuals we know we should not take the next step with.

One of the main points Parris made was that if we do not feel comfortable taking that ‘next step” with our partners; whatever that may mean individually, we should stay right where we are until we feel ready to do so.

What is vital is that the next step may mean holding hands and having late night conversations to one couple, while it may mean having intercourse to another couple.

The next step should be primarily based on how comfortable we feel with that person and whether or not we are ready to be emotionally attached to that person for the long term.

There were two lessons that were learned from the dialogue with Parris: We should cast away the idea of meeting a perfect guy or girl and know that the next step for me is not the same as the next step for you. These ideas are important to understand for a healthy relationship.

Cooper is a member of the class of 2012.

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