Speaker explains how to avoid falling in love with a jerk

Elizabeth Boudreaux

Staff Writer

The director of marriage at an Ohio pregnancy center enlightened students on the topic of relationships March 5 at 6: 30 p.m. in the Gentile Gallery. “Avoiding Falling in Love with a Jerk (or a Jerkette)” was the title of the talk.

“If you want to get on the fast track to getting involved with a jerk, accelerate the pace,” said Greg Schutte, director of marriage at Elizabeth’s New Life Center in Dayton.

A relationship needs time to grow or it really is not a relationship at all, Schutte said.

However, “Sometimes relationships can go on too long,” he said.

Schutte said a couple should set the pace of a relationship like an oven timer, timing the process so that the cookies are still warm when served. Too long and the cookies will burn and taste bad when eaten. Too short and the cookies will be doughy in the middle and make you feel sick later on.

The first step to a healthy relationship, Schutte said, “is being healthy ourselves.”

“Seek always to become a better person and look for a person who’s trying to do the same,” Schutte said.

Next Schutte detailed three patterns of unhealthy needs. First, idealization, which Schutte described to be like wearing “rose-colored glasses. In other words, we look past the red flags.”

Second, Schutte said to practice identification, which pinpoints the fault in the saying that opposites attract. Schutte warned against polar opposites and reminded students that certain principles should be shared in a relationship.

Lastly, there is repetition compulsion, which Schutte said “occurs when you recreate the dynamics of an unresolved relationship where your needs were not fulfilled.”

Overall, Schutte said people should “go into this with (their) eyes wide open.”

Schutte said the Relationship Attachment Model, or RAM, displays five aspects of a relationship: know, trust, rely, commit and touch. For a healthy relationship, these aspects must increase in the right order.

“The safe zone is this: … don’t let one area go higher than the one previous.”

One must know more than trust, trust more than rely, rely more than commit and commit more than touch, Schutte said. Marriage is when all five aspects should peak.

Freshman Luis Amaya said, “The RAM method actually makes sense because you do have to know and trust someone before you can rely on them. … If this is not a good relationship you shouldn’t be in it.”