Becoming what you are seeking: Building Relational Self-Awareness in emerging adults

Alexandra H. Solomon*, Carolina J. Martinez, James Eric Wren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Emerging adults are attempting to navigate a rapidly shifting and immensely complicated landscape of modern love, often without meaningful sex and relationship education. Although individually oriented relationship education programs for emerging adults make a difference in the knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of the recipients (Simpson et al., Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 2018, 47, 477) and most emerging adults report they yearn for relationship education (Weissbourd et al., The talk: How adults can promote young people’s healthy relationships and prevent misogyny and sexual harassment, 2017), these programs are not widely available. Educators who are working with emerging adults in a classroom or psychoeducational setting are well-positioned to help emerging adults identify and enact healthy and purposeful relational and sexual choices. The first part of the paper orients readers to the “topography” of the modern love landscape by describing four macro cultural themes that impact the intimate lives of emerging adults. The second part of the paper introduces relationship educators to Relational Self-Awareness (Solomon, Loving Bravely: 20 lessons of self-discovery to help you get the love you want, New Harbinger, 2017), an integrative approach to helping emerging adults understand the self-in-relationship. Each of the five pillars of Relational Self-Awareness is defined and operationalized, and specific recommendations are provided for how educators can integrate these pillars into their existing curricula. Clinical implications and future directions are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1539-1554
Number of pages16
JournalFamily process
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • adultez emergente
  • citas
  • educación sexual
  • educación sobre las relaciones
  • psicoeducación
  • relaciones amorosas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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