Panel offers relationship tips

Upper campus students gather to hear about strengthening their relationships.



Rebecca Mitchell, Writer

For the first time, an event held by upper campus Residence Life had students filling the Horton courtyard to hear from two Center for Marriage and Relationships team members on the topic of relationships on Nov. 3.

Relationships and self-esteem

In the event called “Let’s Talk Love,” director of CMR and professor of psychology Chris Grace and professor of communication studies Tim Muehlhoff spoke for 20 minutes on all kinds of relationships and how relationships affect self-esteem.

Muehlhoff focused on the aspect of how a person becomes defined by their self-esteem, which goes hand in hand with self-perception and develops by the time one turns 13 years old. One’s self-perception remains difficult to change except when surrounded by those who provide a positive influence, who one believes as competent, able to share specific compliments as well as reasonable compliments.

A bizarre dating culture

Another topic Muehlhoff and Grace touched on included the dating culture of Biola, where students delve too deep in relationships. Muehlhoff instead advocates for casual dating done right, where students look for personalities they like, and need, to balance their own personalities.

“I do think what I described is true, that we have this bizarre dating culture at Biola,” Muehlhoff said.

“So, there’s either no dating or there’s dating zero to a hundred, and I think both are just not good. So we’ve got to find that middle thing. And I think by having conversations like this, hopefully people can just come to the agreement that casual dating, if done right, can be very good and very appropriate and very healthy.”

Finding a balance

Muehlhoff and Grace continued to expand on relationship tips as students submitted questions anonymously on index cards or by simply raising their hand.   

One of the questions addressed how to deal with a parent, or parents, not loving their child enough. Muehlhoff and Grace mentioned in those situations the child must continue to reach out and leave the door open for change, but also to not force the parent into their own agenda.

“I feel like one of my parents is to… a certain extent like that. So I just realized that I have to, as soon as I hit adulthood now, that I have to turn back and love them in a Christ-like way,” said Selena Yin, junior film major.

From parent relationships to dating relationships, the event included discussions on many different types of relationships and tips on functioning well in those areas. Overall, one of the goals for the night included allowing students to find a balance in their relationships.

“I think what I hope students get is they can come away feeling encouraged about where they’re at in their relationships they have or are working towards,” said Sam Hammer, one of the event emcees and junior biological sciences major. “It’s important to have conversations because that’s more minds thinking about the same thing, [which] helps further the opportunities and possibilities of things developing more helpfully as opposed to just one mind thinking about it.”

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