Dating is a normal part of our lives as we discover how to be in a relationship. It’s different for everyone and you might feel you’re not ready to date. Or you may have casually seen other people and now what to explore something longer term.
We can feel a lot of pressure – from friends and the media – to have a boyfriend or girlfriend. But being single is OK too. You might want a relationship, or you might want to focus on other things – study, sport – or you might just like having lots of different people in your life.
Don’t let anyone pressure you into a relationship – only you know what’s right for you right now!
It usually starts with attraction – feeling drawn to someone, wanting to be around them, and wanting to get to know them more intimately. Feeling attracted to someone is completely normal, and what you do about it is up to you. You might want to find out if the other person feels the same way and get to know them better, casually hang out with them in a group of friends before asking them on a date.
Here are things you can think about before you ask someone out:
Being with someone can be fun and exciting. It allows you to show and experiment with nice feelings such as care, love and affection. It also gives you the chance to receive these same things, and to learn what you like and don’t like about being in a relationship.
When you’re with someone you should feel:
If your boyfriend or girlfriend do or say things to make you feel bad about yourself you might be in a bad relationship. You might feel scared, intimidated, controlled or trapped. If you feel this way, it’s an abusive relationship, and it is not OK.
Remember, there’s always a way to get through it. Give us a call at 0800 What’s Up and we’ll help you figure out what to do.
You need to feel comfortable and trust the person you want to have sex with. Talk to them if you don’t feel ready. Even if you decide to go all the way and then change your mind at the last minute, it’s OK to stop. It’s not OK to feel pressured in to having sex.
If you’re having casual sex, make sure you’re both safe and that you respect each other’s feelings. Get more information about sex and how to stay safe from your local Family Planning clinic, your doctor or talk to an adult you trust.
Here’re useful links to check out: