Healthy Relationship Week

Apr 1, 2016 | S.Ortman

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque students learned vital tools this week to help them develop meaningful, healthy connections while they traverse the landscape of college life.

The University held its fourth annual Healthy Relationship Week from March 28 through April 1. Nearly 30 classroom presentations on topics such as domestic violence, sexual assault, healthy communication, and love languages occurred throughout the week. UD also hosted a panel discussion titled, “Navigating Similarities and Differences – LGBTQ Communities,” on March 29.

“Giving students the tools to have healthy relationships is so important,” said Tabitha Bartelme, mental health therapist at UD, who helped organize the event.

The tool she gave students was an understanding of love languages. Bartelme based her presentation on Gary Chapman’s New York Times best-seller, “The 5 Love Languages,” that details ways people express and experience love – words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.

Ciera Swackhamer, a first-year communication major from Urbandale, Iowa, never thought about love languages before. She said the presentation showed her how important it is to know those languages.

Several students, who took an online quiz to determine their love languages, planned on asking their significant others to complete the quiz to help strengthen their relationships.

DJ Curtis, a first-year communication major from Espanola, New Mexico, was impressed with the week dedicated to healthy relationships and teaching “the newer generation about love.”

“It gave me an opportunity to see the variety of love languages in today’s relationships,” he said.

To learn your love languages, visit