Educational psychology expert offers Valentine’s Day tips

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 22:38

DENTON (UNT), Texas--From young love to long-lasting relationships, a courtship and marriage course at the University of North Texas explores romantic relationships and how they change across the life cycle.

Julie Leventhal, lecturer of educational psychology in UNT’s College of Education, teaches the class, which has about 42 students this semester. They discuss communication, conflict, mate selection, pregnancy, childbirth, family planning and work-life balance, among other topics. Students come from a variety of majors – including family and development studies, public affairs, business and journalism.

Watch a video of Leventhal talking about romantic relationships:

“Many students use the information on a personal level in their own relationships, but this class can help any type of professional,” Leventhal said. “When working in a corporation, you will have people coming in with struggles in families and life, and even if you are not going to be in a relationship or have children, you need to know how to interact with others dealing with these issues. These are important personal skills.”

Leventhal offers these tips in time for Valentine’s Day.

What expectations do couples have surrounding Valentine’s Day? Is it important for couples to celebrate and recognize the day?

“The expectations are changing,” she said. “It depends on what matters for you in your specific relationship. You might have a friend who places a lot of emphasis and value on giving gifts at Valentine's Day and going out to dinner, and that's great if it works for them as a couple. If that doesn't work for you and doesn't work for your significant other, then so be it.”

Do relationships get easier with time?

“There is a perception that after a certain point in time in a relationship, it changes and becomes easy and you don't really have to think about the relationship or try too hard. The reality is that is not always necessarily true. We do have a seven-year time period when if you can be successful in the first seven years, things do calm down just a little bit. But the reality is, couples who have been married 50 years might experience similar problems to those who just got married. And people who just got married might not have any kinds of problems. There is not necessarily one specific point in time that we can say it gets easier. It does eventually, but we don't really have a good cut-off for it.”


MEDIA: Leventhal’s courtship and marriage class is held from 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To arrange interviews with Leventhal and her students and to get video or photos of the class, contact Ellen Rossetti at 940-369-7912.



About UNT’s College of Education

UNT’s College of Education prepares students to contribute to the advancement of education, health and human development. Founded in 1890 as a teacher’s training college, UNT now enrolls more than 4,000 students in the College of Education, which consists of four departments — counseling and higher education; educational psychology; kinesiology, health promotion and recreation; and teacher education and administration. UNT’s College of Education certifies about 1,000 teachers a year — making it the largest producer of new teachers in the north Texas region. Students are also prepared for careers as researchers, counselors, leaders, physical activity and health promotion specialists, child development and family studies specialists and more.

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