Today, we are diverting from the topics of etiquette, style, and the arts to talk about relationships. We at Balissande Finishing School think it is important for refined ladies to understand the nature of relationships and the role(s) they must play in them.

We have taught the importance of refined ladies controlling and directing situations towards the most positive outcome possible. You can review this in several earlier lessons, for example, How to Sit, How to Become a Great Conversationalist, When to Interrupt, and Rules for Visiting.

Now, we are here to say: a lady learning to refine her behaviour within intimate relationships is more important than anything else because her intimate relationships affect who she is, what she does; and they always, always, always spill over into her social life.


For example, if a lady allows a man to physically abuse her at home, eventually this will become visible to her friends and family. And it will then, become a topic of conversation. A refined lady never wants to be the topic of such a conversation. Another example, is if a lady allows a man to verbally abuse her… eventually, his verbal abuse will be done in public in front of others.

Ever been in a conversation where a husband told his wife to shut-up; spoke to his wife as if she was stupid, incapable of understanding a topic; belittled his wife in embarrassing ways; screamed at his wife for voicing her opinion; painfully squeezed his wife’s hand in order to force her to shut-up?

There are many ways a disrespectful and unloving relationship can spill into ones social life. So, we now ask you to think of your past… Have any of your relationships become a negative topic of conversation for others? If yes, why? What could you have done to prevent it from happening?

Now let’s move beyond the negative effects a bad relationship can have on your social life. Let’s discuss the negative effects such a relationship can have on you… the short-term and long-term impact on you – your health, your mental well-being, your future. This is more important than anything else.


Negative relationships can cause a whole host of problems – physically, emotionally, financially, and mentally. Some examples…

Someone who repeats belittling words to you and criticizes you to make you feel dumb will lower your self-esteem to a point where you will begin to believe you are dumb. Such a circumstance may cause you to become more dependent on your partner – thinking you are incapable of making decisions on your own. It will also make you speak in a way that does not honour the real you – your truth.

Someone who doesn’t love you enough to marry you in an appropriate amount of time will eventually make you feel unworthy. And the longer such a relationship lasts and the more you ask for marriage and are denied – the more you will begin to hate yourself. Mostly, you will hate yourself for not having the strength to leave.

Someone who constantly argues with you in order to get his way, will eventually wear you down until one day you are subservient. The day this happens, you will have lost your strength, independence, and truth. You will no longer be you. You will be the creature this partner has created.

As ladies, it all comes down to knowing what you deserve; deciding what behaviours you will and will not accept; acknowledging your worth; loving yourself; and demanding respect for yourself and others. These are essential ingredients in maintaining healthy and loving relationships.

A refined lady knows these things. She never continues, encourages, or allows a dysfunctional relationship with a partner. Because she, again, knows eventually it will spill into polite society, causing immense embarrassment to herself and to her family. And most importantly, because she knows it is NOT healthy for her.

A refined lady knows she deserves health. She deserves love. She deserves respect. She deserves honour. She deserves passion. She deserves happiness. She deserves peace. She deserves to be surrounded by beauty.

So, now, we ask you: are you currently in a relationship that is healthy? Are you getting what you deserve? Are you being honoured?


1.. Develop self-control. Refined living is all about self-control. You need self-control to not converse like a ball rolling down a hill. You need self-control to not lick your plate clean at the end of a delicious dinner. You need self-control to not touch every article of beauty in your friend’s house.

So, it is to be understood, you also need self-control to be able to say “NO” to a relationship that is not healthy or loving. You need self-control to walk away, no matter how painful it may be.


2.. Say to yourself: I AM loving, wise, strong, and kind. I DESERVE health, honour, respect, and love. Repeat this often to yourself. Repeat it so often, they become your motto. And don’t be afraid to add more words.

3.. Always self-analyze. You are not perfect. We are not perfect. No one is perfect. Because of this, mistakes will always be made. And improvements will always be a possibility. So, take time out each week to analyze yourself – your health, your emotional state, your mental well-being, your spirit, your relationships, and your actions during the week.

By keeping abreast of who you are, what you are feeling and doing, you can better control any negativity that may enter your life. Most importantly, you can end relationships before they become destructive or wasteful.

4.. Watch movies and videos that exemplify healthy and loving relationships. Surround yourself with these images. Avoid, as much as possible, the images that promote dysfunctional relationships. Start curating your life. Find the inspiration you need and then take control of the direction you want to go.

5.. Make lists. Make a list of what you need to be happy, to feel loved, to maintain a healthy relationship. Also make lists of what you can do, yourself, to achieve these things. Remember, a relationship takes two people. Both people must invest their time and energy into a relationship for it to be successful.

If you are in a happy relationship, use these lists to improve it. Ask your partner for what you need to feel happier, healthier, loved… While you are at it, put on the leader’s shoes and start controlling the direction your relationship is going. There are many ways to do this subtly. But always remember to be respectful and loving. Your purpose should always be to maintain a happy, healthy, and loving relationship.

If you are not in a relationship, use these lists as guidelines for what you want, expect, and deserve. We are living in a time when women have the most legal rights and financial autonomy ever. Use this to your benefit.

REFINED LADIES AND RELATIONSHIPS by Balissande Finishing School6.. Read. We cannot advise enough how important an education is for your mental growth and well-being. Read books on relationships, empowerment, self-help, and love.

The more you educate yourself, the more you will open your eyes and see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Plus, there’s nothing like knowledge to make you feel strong and capable of making wise decisions.

For more tips, check out How to Get the Love and Relationship You Deserve.