Alumna: virtue is a necessity in cultivating healthy relationships


Franciscan University alumna and Culture Project representative Marriana Leach spoke Monday evening on the challenges of love and relationships in modern times, offering heroic virtue as the solution.

Leach acknowledged the different fears men and women have that hold them back from healthy relationships, man’s being the fear of failure and woman’s being the contradictory fears of not being enough but also being too much.

“These fears keep us from … the freedom that we are called to, the freedom that we’ve been gifted with,” Leach said. To overcome these fears and find the love one seeks, Leach advised cultivating heroic virtue.

Leach proposed four characteristics one should use to determine if one is ready to date: sacrificial love, consistency of virtuous actions, humility in shortcomings and confidence in Christ.

Leach also spoke on the necessity of men to be bold in leadership, both in letting a woman know how he feels and also in carrying it out in the relationship.

She emphasized the necessity of verbal communication in confirming or denying feelings for someone. “Communicate where you are (and) what you want,” Leach told the men present. This honors women and will be appreciated immensely by them, she said.

Leach also spoke about chastity in relationships, stating that communicating boundaries sets the couple free. “It’s not about saying no … it’s about choosing real love,” Leach said, and about choosing to root one’s self in reality and disposing one’s self to the good of the other.

Sometimes the longing for human love can blind one from the reality of divine love, Leach reminded. Seek God like he is the only thing that matters, concluded Leach, because he is, and all relationships should be founded on him.

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