Planned Parenthood

Relationships 101

Teen Couple

Relationships at a glance:

  • Getting close to someone emotionally and physically has risks and rewards.
  • The keys to a healthy relationship are respect, honesty, trust, equality, and good communication.
  • Talking with your parents about your relationships can help you make sure they're healthy.

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Do they like me back?

You’ll never know unless you ask!

A lot of people get shy and nervous when talking to someone they have a crush on — it definitely takes courage, and preparation always helps:

  • “Keep calm and carry on.”Calm your nerves — breathing, exercise, music, talking with a friend first — whatever it takes. 
  • Give yourself a pep talk (you’re fabulous, after all).
  • Figure out how to start the conversation. Asking people about themselves is a good way to get the convo going, and can help you figure out what you have in common. Almost everyone likes to talk about classes, music, sports, movies, and food, so having topics like these in mind can help you avoid awkward silences.
  • Once you’ve figured out what to talk about, find a time when you can have some privacy. You might consider calling, texting, or chatting with them.
  • If the conversation goes well, consider asking the person to do something with you, like going to a movie or a concert. This way you have some time to get to know each other. Going out with a group of friends can take some of the pressure off, so you can just have fun.

And for real: although sometimes it feels like there are different rules for girls and guys, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Remember, it’s the 21st century—it’s 100% okay for any gender to do the asking!

What’s a healthy relationship?

If you're in a relationship, ask yourself if it's a healthy relationship that makes you feel good about yourself and each other. We tend to think about health in terms of doing something that's good for our bodies. But a healthy relationship isn't just about physical health. A healthy relationship makes you feel good about yourself and makes you feel safe. Is your relationship verbally, emotionally, and sexually healthy? Here are some things to think about:

Respect

  • Do you listen to each other?
  • Do you treat each other as friends?
  • Are you proud of one another?

Trust

  • Are you both cool with spending time alone/with your own friends and family?
  • Do you feel secure about the relationship and trust each other?
  • Do you have faith in each other's decisions?

Honesty

  • Do you both admit when you're wrong?
  • Do you both feel like you can tell the truth?
  • Do you forgive each other's mistakes?

Equality

  • Do you both get to make decisions about how you spend your time?
  • Do you give and take equally?
  • Do you both compromise?

Good Communication

  • Do you talk about your feelings with each other?
  • Are you able to disagree without disrespecting each other?
  • Do you listen to each other without judgment?

How can I tell if I'm in love?

No matter how old you are, it's not always easy to know if you love someone. When you crush on someone or are sexually attracted to someone, it can be hard to get them out of your head. This might feel like love, but love is more than crushes or strong attraction. Love means caring deeply for someone else. People show love by being there for each other, solving problems together, sharing hard times as well as good times, helping each other grow, and by being patient with each other.

Your parents and other adults you trust can help you figure out whether you're in love or not. They know how it feels to have a crush, to be attracted to someone, and what it's like to be in love. Find out more about talking with your parents. 

What counts as cheating?

People have different opinions about what cheating means. So it's up to you and your boyfriend/girlfriend to decide what cheating means for your relationship. This means you really have to talk to them about it and set limits you both feel comfortable with.

Some ways to tell that something you're doing might count as cheating:

  • You have to hide or lie about what you're doing.
  • You feel guilty about it.
  • You wouldn't want your bf/gf to do it.

What’s the best way to break up with someone?

Let’s be honest: both breaking up with someone and being dumped sucks. But, you can make breaking up suck less by being straightforward and direct about your feelings.
Staying in a relationship that you don't want to be in isn't healthy for either of you. Relationships only work when both people want to be in them. So be honest, even if it’s really hard.

If you're feeling unsure about what to say, try writing down your feelings and reasons for wanting to break up before you do it, and practice saying it out loud to a friend or family member. But, you need to be the one to tell them how you feel — no one else can break up with them for you.

Dropping hints here and there that you’re unhappy can seem like a good idea, but actually makes things harder. Acting rude or distant and hoping they’ll just “get the hint” will probably only confuse and hurt them. Be direct.

My boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with me. What now?

A broken heart can really hurt, but time heals all wounds (no seriously, it does). You really will feel better someday. So how much time do you need to get over it? The answer is different for every person and every breakup.

First, know that it’s okay to be sad after a breakup. After all, you probably really cared about the person, no matter how bad the breakup was. So do what you need to do — cry, listen to sad music, go for a long walk or run, or write in a journal. Whatever works for you.

Talking about it with someone who cares about you and is willing to listen can also help. Don’t overlook your parents! You might not want to open up to your parents about it, but they know how special you are and they’ve got a lot of experience with relationships and breakups. Plus, it’s their job to take care of you when you’re sad — so let them help.

If you try everything and still feel depressed, think about talking with a counselor. If you need help finding a counselor, you can talk with your parents, doctor, school counselor, or your nearest Planned Parenthood health center.

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Relationships 101