Thinking of dating? You’re sooo not alone! Dating is a normal part of growing up. And it can be fun!
That being said, it’s best to be in a safe, healthy relationship. One where you’re totally happy, fulfilled and comfortable. One where you can truly be yourself. These tips will help you get started:
The best relationships start with a friendship. Great relationships are built on trust, equality and mutual respect. When you start off as friends, these things are likely to come easily.
It’s important to get to know each other first before progressing to something deeper. You’ll be able to tell if you have similar likes, ideas, values, etc. You will also be able to tell if this is someone who respects and appreciates you for who you are.
When you’re with someone, you should feel free to communicate with them. If something is bothering you, it’s better to talk about it instead of holding it in. For example if your partner is pressuring you to have sex and you’re not ready, you should speak up about your opinions and feelings. Your partner can’t read your mind. Be as clear, direct and honest as possible.
Don’t be anyone’s secret
One of the coolest things about being in a relationship? Meeting each other’s loved ones! If you can’t tell your closest friends you’re seeing someone, something is wrong. Likewise if your partner only wants to meet you in private places where no one will see you together, you should question that. Is it really love if they are ashamed to be seen with you in public? Think about that.
You should be able to spend time with each other’s friends. It’ll let both of you know where you stand.
Make time for yourself
Being in a relationship with someone doesn’t mean you two must be together all the time. You both need your space. You shouldn’t abandon your friends just because you’re dating. Or stop doing the things you’ve always loved. Once in a while, take a break and do your own thing. There’s joy in being alone too.
Be kind and supportive
No name-calling or silent treatment. No yelling or hitting – no matter how upset you are. Always lift each other up, instead of putting each other down. Believe in each other’s dreams and cheer each other on. Yes, you both will disagree sometimes. But things can be settled in a fair, mature way.
Remember, you deserve to feel safe, loved and accepted. You have the right to leave any relationship where you feel unhappy and unsafe. If you have serious concerns about your relationship, talk to a trusted adult immediately.