By Hannah Nicholson

Relationships make humans unique to any other creature on earth. Humans desire deep, intimate relationships. NU dedicated a night to conversing about relationships through a men’s relationship panel in Butterfield Chapel and a women’s relationship panel in Perks Lounge on February 6.

The women’s relationship panel consisted of five staff and faculty members, including Traci Grant, Director of Academic Success and Advising Office, Larissa Lilly, Director of Community Life, Dr. Renee Bourdeaux, Assistant Professor of Communication, Dr. Kari Brodin, Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages, and Dr. Rowlanda Cawthon, Assistant Professor of the College of Business. The event was set up similarly to the mental health panel that took place last semester, where a number was available for the audience to text in questions anonymously.

The panelists were asked to share background information regarding their personal romantic life and a myth about relationships. Lilly talked about the myth that “the grass is greener on the other side.” For example, a single person thinking their life will be more fulfilling if they enter into a relationship. Grant, who has been married for almost thirty years, talked about the myth that one perfect soulmate exists.

“There is not one magical person that you have to find out there,” Grant said, “If you end up getting married, you have to learn how to be married to that person.”

A variety of subjects came up about romantic relationships throughout the night. One of the questions covered the area of setting boundaries. Bourdeaux spoke about having difficult conversations in the dating phase to build up your relationship and set you up for the future, intentionally planning on having the conversations that require vulnerability to share about the mistakes you made and possible boundaries crossed.

The audience appeared engaged and filled up the entire room. Elizabeth Lehosit, a freshman, expressed surprise about how open the panelists were with the audience and enjoyed the event.

Lilly touched on realizing the difference in your singleness of the waiting period and the pursuit period, and advised students to devote attention to the season they are in.

“Live out your singleness and find joy in it,” she said.