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Boyfriends and Girlfriends

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Healthy relationships

Healthy relationships look like this: 

Affection and kindness

  • They make you feel wanted and cared for
  • They give you compliments on the way you look and who you are
  • They like being around you, they aren’t afraid to hang out with you in public
  • They don’t put you down or embarrass you when you’re around their mates
  • You have fun together and feel good hanging out with each other

Safety and respect

  • You feel safe when you are around them
  • They respect when you say no and don’t try to pressure you or try to make you feel bad about it
  • If you want to end the relationship they respect your decision even if they are hurt
  • Getting it on is not the most important thing or only thing that happens
  • They never make threats or try intimidate you

Freedom and independence

  • You can be yourself without pretending
  • You feel okay to express what you think and feel without being judged or criticised
  • You can spend time on your own or with your friends and family and they respect that and don’t get jealous or mean
  • You feel comfortable hanging out with them and their mates
  • You have freedom to do the things you enjoy

Support and care

  • They show an interest in you and your life
  • They listen to you and support you when you feel down
  • They make an effort to get along with your family
  • They keep things private, they never talk about you behind your back, spread rumours or talk about very personal things with others, including how and when things get physical

Team work and togetherness

  • Decisions about where you hang out and what you do are made as a team
  • It’s okay to have disagreements or differing opinions without things getting nasty
  • If there is an argument – you will both make an effort to make things okay again
  • They are honest about how they feel and will own up when they’ve done something wrong
  • They don’t always make everything seem like it’s your fault
  • When things do get physical – they are gentle, respectful and only do what you both feel keen to do
  • They don’t make you choose between them and your friends, family or hobbies

How to talk to someone you like

Starting up a conversation with someone you like can feel really nerve-wracking! People may find it harder than commenting on someone’s photo on Facebook or chatting to them online.

You may stay up at night thinking of all the awkward things that could happen if you talked to them or just thinking about how hot they are and that you’re going to blush and stumble!

Your own mind can be very powerful tool in this situation. If you picture things going wrong, you will go into the conversation feeling awkward and nervous. However, if you picture things going well and you see yourself as confident, happy and relaxed, then you will go into the conversation feeling less nervous and more positive.

Think about the spaces where you and your crush are around each other. If you have mutual friends, this could be lunch times, or perhaps you walk the same route home or are on the same bus.

Maybe you have some classes together. Often a simple “Hey, what’s up?” Or “Hey - how are you?” is enough to get a conversation going. If the conversation falls flat after that you could ask about something you might have in common. Believe it or not but almost everyone (no matter how different they are) can find things in common with each other. 

Some conversation starters could include asking about...

  • What they did on the weekend or their plans for the next weekend

  • What movies/dvds/tv show they have seen recently

  • What kind of music they are into

  • What their plans are for the holidays

  • If they are at a different school, which school and what it is like there

  • How they are going with exams and study

  • What they think of a particular subject/teacher/school activity

  • What they might want to do as a future career

  • People you both know and how you know each other

How to tell someone you like them

It’s never easy at any age to tell a crush that you like them, especially if you’re currently good friends. You have to consider whether it is worth risking your friendship because if you guys go out and then break up, it is not always easy for ex’s to stay friends. Also even if you remain friends, your friendship will not be the same as it was before.

If you think the risk is worth taking, try to get a sense from them about whether they might feel the same way. Hang out together and have fun. If you’re getting the feeling they like you back, and you want to take it to the next level, then the best way to tell them you like them is to just say it!

You can do this face-to-face, with a note, with a txt or in a phone call. It won’t be the last time you let someone know you like them, so it will be good practice, whatever the outcome. The thing is, if they tell you they are not keen – then make sure you respect that and don’t keep hassling them – that is more likely to push them further away than bring them closer. 

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