Being in a new relationship can make you feel excited, grown up, happy and in control. It’s normal to enjoy getting compliments, feeling special, safe and feel like you’ve got more confidence. But relationships can sometimes change and it can be hard to know when things are starting to go wrong.
When you’re in a healthy relationship, the other person shouldn’t try to control you. If they are using threatening behaviour, such as harming you physically, sexually, emotionally, financially or psychologically, this is what a controlling behaviour is, so if your relationship doesn’t feel right, it may be time to end it.
Ending a relationship can be really difficult, and there are some things that could put extra pressure on you. These could include things like grooming, blackmail or emotional pressure. If your boyfriend or girlfriend makes you feel scared in your relationship, it’s important to get support. Try talking to an adult you trust, if but there is no one in your life you can talk to, we are here to listen.
People who exploit relationships are very clever in the way they do it.
They often make you feel that it’s your fault, or what they are asking you to do is a normal part of a relationship, when it isn’t.
Tell someone you trust.
Sexting is when someone sends or receives a sexually explicit text, image or video on their mobile phone, usually in a text message.
Many young people think that sexting is okay and a normal part of healthy relationship. However, it’s important to understand the risks around sexting, and how easily sexting can go wrong – even when you don’t think it will.
Nearly 1 in 5 people receiving a sext have passed it onto someone else, or even posted it onto the Internet with devastating results for the victim involved and the person who shared the image.
If it feels wrong, it probably is.
Anyone can find themselves in a relationship that isn’t healthy. Relationships can be confusing.
Relationships can be exciting, but when they change, they can wreck lives. They can make young people feel unsafe or threatened, meaning they feel they’ve got no choice but to continue in be in that relationship.
Controlling or threatening behaviour can be physical, emotional, financial, psychological or even sexual.
It’s difficult for young people to know that they are being groomed or pressurised to have sex or do something sexual. It’s even more difficult for people to recognise it. It’s another thing again to have the guts to report it.
Everybody has a responsibility to help young people know what a healthy relationship is, show to spot the signs of sexual abuse and report it.
Do you know how to tell if you’re an unhealthy relationship, or are even being abused in some way?
Some signs of an unhealthy relationship
They’re really intense – They’ve got really extreme feelings or really intense behaviour that you might find suffocating. Do they always want to see you and don’t want you to see your friends? Do you think they’re a bit over the top? You should have your own space.
They’re jealous – We all get a bit a jealous, but the problem is when they try and control you because of it. Are they getting upset when you get a text? Do they look through your phone? Are they really suspicious?
They’re manipulating you – It’s not always easy to spot, but do they ignore you until they get what they want? Do they try and get in your good books with gifts, and are always apologising?
They’re isolating you– Do they get annoyed if you don’t spend all your time with them and want to spend time with your friends? Do they make you question your family and friends. Are you becoming reliant on their money, or even their attention?
Having sex when you don’t really want to
Being in an unhealthy relationship can led to you doing sexual things that either you don’t want to do, or think that it’s OK, but really aren’t.
You might think that you’re in a loving relationship, but really they’re using you in some way.
Being controlled in this way can happen to anyone under the age of 18: male or female, straight, gay or bisexual, disadvantaged or privileged, and from any background.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or girl – it can happen to anyone.