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Relationships in College: What if I Want More?

College is a time of exploration, self-discovery, and newfound freedoms, including navigating the complexities of relationships and sexuality. On top of this individually confusing time, we now have to navigate this modern culture of casual hook-ups that college has somehow adopted as the norm. In this blog, we’ll explore strategies for navigating this culture with confidence, self-respect, and embracing personal autonomy and freedom in one’s sex-life.

One of the fundamental principles of healthy sexuality is autonomy– the right to make informed decisions about one’s body and sexual experiences. This is important to remember in the transition to college, where most of the people you’re surrounded by are living without their parents for the first time and wanting to explore the things they might not have been able to as easily in high school. Exploring is not at all a bad thing, but not everyone has to explore at the same pace. This means recognizing and respecting your (as well as everyone else’s) boundaries, desires, and comfort levels, and asserting them confidently in your interactions.

 It’s a lot easier said than done to assert your boundaries clearly and confidently, especially in a hyper-explorative, hypersexual college environment. Telling someone how you’re feeling is always better than just going along with something and then regretting it later. Remember that consent is an ongoing process and can be withdrawn at any time. Likewise, getting to know your partner’s boundaries is equally important, fostering an environment of mutual respect and understanding.

 Demanding self-respect in your sexual interactions is essential for maintaining a healthy sense of self-worth and dignity. This means refusing to engage in activities or behaviors that compromise your values or comfort levels, regardless of societal pressures or expectations. It might feel embarrassing or uncool in the moment, but it will cause people to respect you more in the long run.

In college environments, peer pressure regarding sex and relationships can be pervasive. It is essential to cultivate resilience and assertiveness in the face of such pressures, trusting in your own judgment and values. When you express your values and beliefs, you will attract people that respect those values and beliefs. They don’t necessarily have to share the same ones, but surround yourself with friends who support and respect your choices and empower you to make decisions that align with your values and goals.  

Fostering a culture of acceptance and non-judgment around sexuality is crucial for creating a supportive and inclusive college community. This involves challenging stereotypes, myths, and stigmas surrounding sex and promoting open dialogue, education, and respect for diverse sexual identities and experiences. By creating spaces where individuals feel safe to express their desires and boundaries without fear of judgment or simple rejection, we can cultivate a healthier and more inclusive campus culture.

 Navigating relationships in college (friendships included!) while maintaining self-respect requires courage, communication, and a commitment to personal autonomy. Know that there is no normal or right way to feel desire, and that you’re probably not the only one feeling the way you do.

 If you’re looking for a place to discuss or learn more about how to navigate sex-life in college, check out Apple Psychological’s Body and Sex Positivity Group for Women Identifying Individuals. Also, if you need support navigating the stresses of college life, or confusion around relationships, boundaries, and identity, check out our College Transition Team or book a FREE consultation with a therapist who specializes in this transitional time period HERE

In addition, Apple Psychological offers other Support for parents and teens. Find out more information and Register HERE or book a free consultation by Clicking Here