March 11, 2008
Many Oklahoma Baptist University couples become excited and anxious during the spring time because of the infamous saying - "Ring by Spring."
For this very reason, WMU Residence Director Jessica Patterson stresses the importance of learning about the ins-and-outs of relationships and marriage. Patterson hosted OBU's fourth annual relationship forum, Relationships 101, on Feb. 12.
"I started it my first year as residence director because we had eight or nine girls getting engaged as freshmen and it totally freaked me out. I was 22 and had a realistic view of what forever was. I had enough married friends to know that living with a boy isn't as easy as you think it's going to be," Patterson said.
Relationships 101 is a forum designed for women who are single, in a relationship, engaged or married. It provides a comfortable atmosphere in which OBU women can inquire about relationship issues and realize the commonality of their concerns.
"The relationship forum gives them a space to ask questions about sex or getting along with your husband, or to voice a fear and to get some perspective on all that," Patterson said.
Leslie Poe, Kerr Dormitory and Howard Dormitory and Apartments residence director, Senior Jessica Geer and Patterson shared their relationship advice at the forum. Each of their stories differs from the other, which gave participants advice on diverse issues dealing with marriage and relationship.
"It's so much more about character and the dynamic of a relationship, and it's so much about learning how to be intimate, vulnerable and coming face-to-face with yourself in a relationship. It's about learning how to navigate through that and not about having this fairy tale Hollywood experience," Patterson said.
Patterson stresses the importance of finding information to better one's relationships with others. She said gaining more knowledge on relationships deters women from believing in relationship myths.
"I really want people coming out of OBU to have successful relationships. You need to gain all the information while you can. Your personal life should be no less important than your academic life. And remember that everyone's story is different and you have to create your own," Patterson said.