Relationship Cryptids: The imaginary partners you should not wait around for 


1.‘The Right Person’ 

Myth:  The Right Person comes along and knows exactly what you want. They just get it. Without you verbalizing anything, the Right Person instinctively respects all your boundaries, fulfills all your fantasies, and is the perfect partner.  

Reality: Great relationships don’t happen because two mindreaders end up together. There is no realistic way that a person can be expected to already know everything you want, unless you tell them. Absolutely – some people are naturally better suited for each other, or have an easier time understanding each other’s values. But no two people are exactly alike, and no two people’s fantasized Right Person are exactly alike either. Communicating what you need in a relationship is key. A well-intentioned person who genuinely wants to learn more about you and your needs might not be the magically effortless Right Person, but they can do all the things the Right Person would if you’re willing to tell them what you want. 

2. ‘The Knight/Princess/Fairytale Character’  

Myth: Romantic love is a fantastical adventure in which someone is rescued, a great adventure is had, and the protagonists live happily ever after.  

Reality: Sometimes there will be real life love stories that make you feel swept away into a movie, and those are fun and exciting! But the recipe for a great love story is not the same as the recipe for a great relationship. Excitement, chemistry, and dragons make for an awesome beginning – but basing what you want in a relationship off what you want in a story is forgetting that you will still be living, growing, and changing through your ‘happily ever after’. Take a moment to think about your relationship expectations – are they grounded in real-life experiences, or do they sound more like a fairy tale?  

3. ‘The Other Half’  

Myth: It is normal to spend your whole life feeling like a piece of your heart is missing. You’ll find that piece when you find your Other Half. They complete you. 

Reality: You are a whole person. A relationship is made of two or more whole people. If you don’t feel complete, a romantic partner is not the permanent solution. People are often attracted to partners with differing and complementary traits that may balance their own. Relationships can help us expand our hearts and grow as people, but you will never be less of a whole person outside of a relationship than in one. If you don’t feel like a whole person, there may be some more intrapersonal work to be done. 


-Hadas Marcus, Relationship Education and Violence Prevention Ambassador 

Buck-I-CARE about Preventing Sexual Violence

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month so let’s talk about prevention. What is one way you can prevent sexual violence? Consent. Every time. As a community we need to talk about it- in and out of the bedroom. So, what is consent? Consent is the affirmative, unambiguous and conscious decision to engage in mutually agreed upon behaviors. Consent must be knowing, active, explicit, voluntary, never implied, and can be withdrawn at any time. You need consent for all physical and sexual interactions.

Why is consent important? Everybody has the right to control what happens to their body. Consent is how you interact with other people without violating their boundaries. This isn’t some terrible contract though. Consent and communication are how you know that someone is into you and how you express that you are into someone. With consent each person can communicate what they like and dislike to create a more satisfying experience for everyone involved.
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How do we make sure all our sexual experiences are consensual? Use the CARE method.


Check: It is your responsibility to make sure that your partner(s) can make an informed decision and give consent.Are they substantially impaired by alcohol or drugs, unconscious, sleeping, experiencing emotional or physical trauma, underage, or unable to reason due to a disability? Then it’s not consensual. Using force, threats, blackmail, size, or strength is coercion and coercion is NOT consensual. Check the power dynamic. Does this person hold something over you like a job or a grade? If so, this relationship is not consensual.

Ask: Once you’ve checked, you actually have to ask. But this doesn’t have to be super awkward! Tell the person what you want, ask them what they like, whisper in their ear, use dirty talk. Asking takes practice and may be awkward at first, but this is how you know you aren’t violating anyone’s boundaries.

Respect: After you’ve checked and asked, you need to respect their response. If they do not answer with an enthusiastic yes, respect that. It is ok to show your honest emotions. But your response shouldn’t make the person feel guilty and change their mind. What are other ways you can respect your partners? Believe them the first time they say something. Comfort your partner and affirm their decisions.

Empower: Empower your partner(s) to make their own decisions. Respect and affirm their boundaries inside and outside of the bedroom.Think about your own boundaries and desires and encourage your partner(s) to do the same. Have conversations with your family and friends about the importance of consent and respecting that everyone gets to set their own boundaries.

So how can you prevent sexual violence? Make consent a priority and practice it. Use the CARE method every time. Talk about consent with your friends. Preventing sexual violence starts with you and your community. Buckeyes value consent and care about creating a community based on respect and personal responsibility. Because Buckeyes CARE and so should you.

-Lauren Tucker, Relationship Education and Violence Prevention Ambassador

Sex and Social Distancing? Sexual Health in the Time of COVID-19

Many people may be wondering if it is safe to have sex during the COVID-19 global pandemic.  While the virus has not been found in semen or vaginal fluid (and other coronaviruses have not been shown to be sexually transmitted), it has been found in feces and saliva that could be shared during kissing or other oral contact. Any sexual activity that includes close contact (with the genitalia and mouth in particular) still needs the added protection of a barrier method (condom, dental dam, finger cot, or latex glove).  In truth, this may be the best time to abstain from partnered sexual activity, especially if that partner is not someone with whom you reside.  Consider how a casual sexual encounter may impact those in your homeincluding those who are elderly, have chronic health conditions, or are immunocompromised.  Just because you may not think you are at high risk as a college student, doesn’t mean that everyone around you is in the same boat. 

For those who are living alone, the advice is straightforward: you are your safest sex partner!  As the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene guidelines suggest, masturbation will not spread COVID-19 and good handwashing etiquette (with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after play) is still just as important.  Avoid close contact generally with anyone outside your household.  If you do choose to have sex, try to limit the total number of partnerships as much as possible and keep close attention to their health.  While the Student Wellness Center has suspended free HIV/STI testing for the remainder of the spring semester, Columbus Public Health and Equitas Health still offer testing and treatment (by scheduling an appointment over the phone) in Columbus.  Please see the resources below to learn more. 

If you are occupying your free time by scrolling on dating apps, consider the pandemic a great time to really get to know someone and form an emotional connection before the physical intimacy that will inevitably follow.  Even Tinder has encouraged its users to go on ‘virtual dates’ during this time. The foundation to any healthy relationship is strong communication, and this could become the best time to figure out just how compatible you two really are! 

For those that live with their sexual partner(s)please know that it is normal if you have been totally disinterested in sex for the past few weeks.  In fact, many people are feeling more anxious or depressed during this uncertain time, and mood changes may lead to lower sex drive (libido). Being around your partner(s) for days on end may also have you feeling some type of way. Having honest and emotionally vulnerable conversations with them may help reduce that stress and make you more comfortable with these changes.  It is also important to mention that if anyone is not feeling well, it may be wise to skip sex until their symptoms resolve. 

Lastly, if you were seeing someone at school who has now moved back home, try to focus on other aspects of the relationship and know that there are many ways to connect virtually and still experience intimacy and sexual satisfaction.  Sexting, phone sex, and now Zoom sex may become the way of the future!  These also happen to be some of the safest ways to express our sexuality, as they do not carry the risk of STI transmission or unintended pregnancy. Still, please consider the privacy considerations of sharing and sending sexually explicit content over your phone or the internet before you begin 

In closing, check out some of the helpful sexual health resources below, and know that there is still hope for love under lockdown! 

 -Natalie Fiato, Wellness Coordinator


Equitas Health HIV/STI Testing Clinics 

Columbus Public Health Sexual Health Clinics 

The Free Condom Project 

American Sexual Health Association 

Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 

To our BASICS Facilitator Seniors

Thank you so much for all of your hard work and dedication over this past year. “What can I do?,” is something that was often heard in the office. This question alone shows your eagerness to go above and beyond the job responsibilities. You put the well-being of your peers at the forefront of everything you do which shows true care and compassion. Thank you for always being ready to try new ways of doing things and giving your honest feedback to make the services you provide the best they can be.

Kory-I will miss all of the laughs you provided every time you were in the office and during our team meetings, and the support you gave to each and every student you met with.

Kaela-I will miss your smile that brightens up the room and your drive to truly help others.

It has been a true pleasure to get to know you both over the past six months and I wish you nothing but the best in whatever the future brings. I have no doubt you will soar to heights you never knew you could reach due to your undeniable ambition that was evident through the work you did in the Student Wellness Center.

I extend my sincere appreciation for you both! Be Well!

– Geena and the Student Wellness Center Team

To our Collegiate Recovery Community Seniors

To our Collegiate Recovery Community seniors:

Like you, I am grieving how this semester has ended. When I imagined celebrating this huge milestone in your lives, it didn’t look like this. I expected more days in our lounge together, more impromptu conversations about your life, more in person meetings in our full conference room, and more laughing over games of One Night a Werewolf. However, we have grown and created community in this new virtual space too- and for that I am grateful.

We are so proud of you. It has been a great privilege to see you grow this year – I know many of you didn’t think you would ever see this day, and yet here you are. More than most, you have known and weathered storms much greater than this. I hope that you find celebration with those who have cheered you on through this journey, reflect on how far you have come, and are reminded that your future is so bright.

The fact is, I do not know the CRC without you. You welcomed me in to this community last August as you do every person who walks through our doors, and it’s going to be different not having you around as often. You have taught me so much this past year about what it means to be human — and to share your whole self so openly and honestly.

I know this is not a goodbye letter – it’s a see you soon letter. You’ll always be welcomed home at the CRC and have a special place in our heart. Can’t wait to hug you all soon, and congratulations on graduation from THE Ohio State University!


– Mackenzie, Ahmed and the Student Wellness Center Team


Staying Green During COVID-19 

Sure, we’re all inside more often than usual, but this doesn’t mean that our connection with nature needs to diminish. There’s still a beautiful, green world out there that we can connect with.  

“Biophilia” is the idea that there’s an instinctive bond between humans and nature. We may have lost some of this bond as a society, but regaining this connection can lead to several benefits. For instance, researchers have pinpointed a microbe called M. vaccae, nicknamed “outdoorphins,” which is found in soil and works as a natural antidepressant. These microbes boost your mood by releasing cytokines, which then leads your brain to produce more serotonin. So, simply by digging in the soil and spending time outside, these outdoorphins flood your body and boost your mood! Free therapy – pretty cool 

Here are a few tips to help you regain that connection with nature: 

  1. Get at least 15 minutes of fresh air per day: Hike, walk around, or simply sit in the sun. Even 5 minutes outside has been shown to boost mood. Given that we’re driving and flying less, our air is currently quite clean, so be sure to capitalize on that nature therapy. If it’s too cold outside, try sitting in your car to get some direct sunlight, or sit in front of a south-facing window in your living space.  
  2. Get some houseplant friends: I could go on and on about the benefits of houseplants, but coming from someone who has nearly 20 in my home, that’s no surprise. Studies have shown that because plants increase the amount of oxygen in your home and remove toxins, they improve concentration, memory, reaction time, and creativity. Certain plants continue to emit oxygen throughout the night, such as a snake plant, making them perfect for your bedroom. Another research study demonstrated that geraniums helped individuals recover faster and more completely from high stress situations. 
  3. Subscribe to a local CSA: Right now it’s especially important for us to support local business and to eat nutritious food, and subscribing to a local CSA does both! CSA stands for Community-Supported Agriculture, and it works by consumers (you and me) paying for a weekly or monthly box of locally grown food, and many will even deliver right to your door! You are helping famers stay in business, and you’re getting seasonal food that’s as fresh as it gets. A win-win. Here is a list of Columbus-local CSAs.  
  4. Start an herb garden: This can range from an indoor window garden, to a container patio garden, to a large garden in the ground. You’ll want to wait until around May 1 to plant outside, but until then, you can start seeds on a south-facing window sill. You can even use the cardboard centers of TP to start the seeds in, and then plant the whole thing directly in the ground once they’ve sprouted a few inches. The cardboard will decompose without harming the soil. You can also plant the seeds in egg cartons. Your outdoor garden will not only provide you with fresh herbs, but will also attract pollinators like butterflies and bees, which are keystone species that our entire ecosystem depends on to function properly.  

 These are just a few ways to connect more with the natural world. We could all use a little more nature.  

Enjoy those outdoorphins! 

-Joe Doherty



Eco-Friendly Self-Care

So often ‘self-care’ conjures images of full bathtubs, lots of plastic products, or a huge stack of journals. These are fantastic self-care methods but aren’t the most environmentally friendly. Caring for yourself and caring for the environment don’t have to be mutually exclusive!  

Here are some eco-friendly self-care strategies you can use, even in this time of social distancing: 

  1. Spend a few minutes outside. Obvious, right? The wonderful thing about self-care is that it can be done anywhere! Practice grounding or breathing exercises out in the sun or on the grass. Take a book outside or just listen to the birds chirp. Just appreciate the natural environment around you! 
  2. Get active. You don’t have to become a marathon runner or speed walker. Try hiking or biking one of Columbus’ many Metro Parks trails or at one of Ohio’s State Parks. Yoga is a popular meditative practice. My personal favorite? Bouldering! 
  3. Focus on your physical space. Sometimes cleaning and organizing your space is the best self-care. Take some time to do your laundry, wash your dishes, and pick up your room. Bonus points if you limit the amount of water you use, turn off lights you aren’t using, or use eco-friendly cleaners.  
  4. Thrift. One common stress response is to buy new things (guilty!) The fashion industry is notorious for the textile waste it produces. Thrifting gives clothes and other items a new life (yay, recycling!), reduces carbon emissions, and is great for your bank account.  
  5. Give back to the Earth. Go plant something! No matter your skill level, experience, or space constraints, there is something you can grow. Trees are a great choice if you have some space. Urban and mini gardens can be grown in multiple small planters. Houseplants count, too – and can help clean the air indoors. Just be sure any indoor plants you have are non-toxic to your pets.  
  6. Cook something. You don’t have to use all organic ingredients. Whatever your self-care food is, making it at home will reduce carbon emissions needed to transport it and the packaging the food comes in. The environment, your stomach, and your mood will thank you! Check out the Fuel for Life blog for inspiration. 
  7. Hang out with your pets. Whether it’s playing outside or hanging out on the floor, time with your pet lowers stress hormones and gives you a mental break. And we love them. Need I say more?  
  8. Put your devices down. Connection is great. But constantly checking your notifications can cause a significant amount of stressTry disconnecting from your devices for a few minutes. Check out this video for more digital wellness tips! 

All forms of self-care are wonderful and valid. It’s important to find whatever works best for you. Remember that wellness is a balance of all the dimensions, including environmental wellness. What’s your favorite self-care strategy? Let us know on social media! 


– Cate Heaney Gary

Craft Break: Spring Wreath

Take a moment to work on your #CreativeWellness and complete our Spring Wreath Craft!

Supplies Needed:

  • 18 inch circular grapevine wreath
  • 14 inch heart grapevine wreath
  • Ribbon
  • Fake flowers
  • Florist wire
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Any other decor


To our Wellness Coaching Seniors

Dear Wellness Coach Seniors,

First of all, we miss you! It’s too bad that we can’t celebrate with you in-person, but we wanted to express our gratitude for you all here, before our virtual celebration together.

It’s been such a treat getting to know you all over the past 1-2 years. We’ve seen so much growth in each of you, and it’s been amazing to see you craft your own style of being a Wellness Coach. You went from never having coached another person before, feeling the very real imposter syndrome that we all experienced in the beginning, to quickly becoming an expert coach, and even taking on leadership roles by passing on your knowledge to Coaches-in-Training. Wow. You’ve come a long way.

It’s also been a joy getting to know each of you personally. From formal supervision meetings to informal chats in the Wellness Coaching suite, it’s been wonderful connecting with you and hearing more about your lives – what you’re involved in, what you value, and what your goals are. Your passion for helping people is apparent, and we hope you continue to spread this kindness and compassion far and wide.

Last year alone, we provided nearly 700 sessions. We couldn’t do that without you all! Also, about a dozen other universities consulted with us this year, because they wanted to build their own Wellness Coaching Program, and were so impressed by ours. I hope you’re proud to have played such a big role in a program that’s inspiring new, peer-to-peer coaching programs across the country.

We’re proud of you all and wish you luck in your post-grad journey! Please stay in touch, and let us know if there’s anything we can do to support you in the future.

Be well & thrive,

Joe & Nicole