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Relationships:
When things go right

R U Ready?

Think you should be ‘doing it’? Think all your friends are? Someone saying you should be ‘doing it’?
Do our quiz to see if you are really ready – and be honest with yourself!

  • Do you feel you could say ‘No’ if you wanted to?
  • Can you have a laugh together without anything sexual being involved?
  • Have you both made a special connection, making it feel right to have sex?
  • Are you being pressured to have sex?
  • Are you thinking of having sex because YOU want to, and not just to please someone else?
  • Do you want to have sex because your friends say they’re all doing it?
  • Are you embarrassed to talk to each other about using condoms?
  • Have you both agreed what contraception you will use?
  • Do you understand the risks involved in having sex? (i.e. pregnancy and STIs)
  • If you did have sex, do you think you might regret it later?
  • Have you found out about each other’s bodies and what you like and don’t like?

Definitely Not Ready: You’re definitely not ready to have sex. Concentrate on making friends and having fun. Find out about contraception and condoms so you’re prepared for when you do decide you’re ready. Remember, most young people aren’t actually having sex.

Not Ready Yet: You’re probably not ready to have sex. Talk to your partner about your feelings and see if there are other things you could do together. Find out about contraception and condoms so you’re prepared for when you do decide you’re ready.

Could Be Ready: You could be ready to have sex (but that doesn’t mean you have to!) Sort out contraception/safe sex before you start. And even after you’ve ‘done it’, you can change your mind – you don’t have to do it again or with anyone else unless you want to.

Am I in love?

There is no easy way to find the truth behind your feelings or the feelings of another person but there are some tell-tale signs that love is blooming (or growing deeper). If you agree with 7 of the following 9 statements you are probably in love.

  • You know, because you have been told by your significant other, that your deep feelings are returned in kind.
  • The object of your affections makes you feel special and good about yourself.
  • If/when you feel jealous it is always fleeting; you trust your partner not to betray you or hurt your relationship.
  • Nothing makes you feel as serene as when you and your partner are together.
  • When you fight with your partner you usually make up within a few hours and you always agree that nothing is more important than you both being able to express your true feelings (even if they sometimes cause conflict).
  • Your partner never asks you to choose between him/her and your loyalties to your family and friends - if you do choose him/her over them you always have a good reason and it is always your decision, and your decision alone.
  • Neither you or your partner feel the need to test the others loyalties or feelings.
  • You are more yourself when with your partner than you are with anybody else.
  • If sex is part of your relationship it is by mutual desire and agreement without the slightest hint of commitment testing or persuasion.

But beware! Don't confuse love with feelings of lust, obsession or rebounding. See the Relationships when things go bad page.

Sexuality

Sexuality is a way that people describe their attraction to other people. Sexuality is usually defined in three categories;

  • Gay/Lesbian (attracted to the same gender)
  • Bisexual (attracted to both genders)
  • Heterosexual/Straight (attracted to the opposite gender)

Attracted means more than sexual attraction it is about who you want to build a loving, committed stable relationship with. This is because sexuality is a combination of emotional, romantic and sexual attractions to people.

Not everyone is sure about who they are attracted to, for some people this can change. Some people need to experiment before they can make up their minds; there may also be other issues that make this difficult for example expectations or pressure from family or friends.

Sexuality can make you feel that you don't fit in. It is always good to seek help if you feel this way (see the contacts bar on the right for more info on who to talk to)

You do not have to label yourself if you do not want to, this is a personal decision. Sexuality is a personal subject, just because you may look at people of the same sex does not mean that you are gay; this will become more apparent as you mature, get older and experience life.

The law protects people whatever their sexuality.

Deciding on your sexuality does not mean you have to have sex if you are not ready. Sex can be a big decision so check out our other pages or talk to someone you trust. See our links for further support.

Coming out refers to making a decision to tell your close friends and family about your sexuality, this is a very important time in your life and you should seek advice first from someone you trust or online at a trusted site that brings together experiences of young people who have come out such as queeryouth.org.uk

Remember whatever your sexuality, you are entitled to equal treatment, protection from discrimination and equal access to all services 'The Equalities Act' will protect you.

What do you want from a boyfriend/girlfriend?

A healthy relationship should be based on similar things to a healthy friendship:

  • Good communication
  • Honesty
  • Respect

However, a relationship with a boyfriend/ girlfriend may also involve physical ways of showing you care such as hugging, kissing or holding hands. You may feel like you want to spend all of your time with your boyfriend/girlfriend but having a healthy relationship means keeping healthy relationships with friends and family and spending time apart doing things that interest you.

  • Get to know a person by talking on the phone or at school/college before you go out for the first time.
  • Go out with a group of friends to a public place the first few times you go out.
  • Plan fun activities like going to the cinema, on a picnic, bowling or a roller disco. Both of you should think of ideas of things you can do together.
  • Tell the other person what you feel okay doing. Also, tell the person what time your parents/guardians want you to be home.
  • Tell at least one friend and your parents/guardians who you are going out with and where you are going. Also tell them how to reach you.

Healthy relationships make you feel good about who YOU are and SAFE with the other person. The more you love yourself, the easier it will be to find healthy relationships.

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