Conflict resolution – The ability to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement. Conflict resolution does not mean one person always gets their way - no one should feel pressured to compromise their values or boundaries. Conflict resolution also does not mean that conflicts are "bottled up" or not addressed. For more, visit fighting fair.
Checking In – Paying attention to each other’s needs and taking each other into account when making decisions that affect both of you. This also includes checking in with yourself and whether you are feeling safe and comfortable in your relationship.
Consent – An enthusiastic, mutual agreement that can be revoked at any time for any reason and is necessary in all sexual interactions. For more, visit Consent.
Courage – Choosing to address difficult topics and hear feedback and being open and honest about your feelings and needs. Courage can also include being an ally for partners and friends who are experiencing bias incidents or other incidents of harm – to read more about bystander intervention, visit BeVocal. Practicing courage does not mean putting yourself in situations where you feel unsafe or might experience harm.
Compassion – Thoughtfulness and sensitivity toward others and a desire to reduce distress and provide support. Practicing compassion does not require fixing others’ problems or always agreeing with others.
Celebration – Appreciation for each other and your relationship. Celebration includes excitement about each other’s hopes, dreams, and accomplishments and appreciation of each person’s uniqueness.
Communication – Expressing needs, wants, and feelings and listening for the purpose of understanding.
Build a foundation of appreciation and respect. Practice celebrating each other and your relationship by noticing even small opportunities to say "thank you."
Explore each other's interests and try new things together.
Establish a pattern of mutual respect and accountability.
Remember that Relationships Change. Change is inevitable - maintain communication and work to welcome change as an opportunity to enhance your relationship.
Check in Periodically. Set aside time to check in with each other about changing expectations and goals.
Maintain Individual Identity. Your partner will not be able to meet all your needs. Some of these needs will have to be met outside of the relationship. Do not demand that a partner change to meet all your expectations and respect each other’s unique interests, priorities, and goals.
Communicate Directly and Respectfully. Unless you are concerned about your physical or emotional safety, tell your partner directly that you have decided to end the relationship.
Take Care of Yourself. Break-ups can be difficult – spend time with supportive friends or family and practice activities that bring you joy.
If you have questions or concerns about your relationship or how you are feeling, counseling may help. Counseling can also help you identify and address patterns in your relationships. UT students can contact the UT Counseling and Mental Health Center at 512-471-3515 or call the CMHC Crisis Line at 512-471-CALL (2255) for help or information about local counseling services.
This content was developed collaboratively by the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center and the University of Florida Counseling Center. Some portions of this document were modified with permission from brochures published by the Counseling Services at Pace University, the Counseling Services at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and the Counseling Center for Human Development at the University of South Florida. We thank these institutions for their assistance.