Falling in love can be scary, especially if you've been hurt before. The best advice I can offer is to take it slow.
Teen Compass has a Wellness Assessment survey that you can work through and see what areas of your life might need a bit of work. It covers relationships, emotions, spirituality, rest and play, resilience, care for body, organisation and school and work. You can find it here.
I finally got around to watching Beauty and the Beast and I absolutely loved it! I'm such a Disney tragic. I loved the themes of inner beauty, transformation and salvation. But perhaps the film should come with a warning. Boys and men don't generally change. If your boyfriend is abusive, violent, unfaithful or disrespectful towards you, he is not likely to change (even if he promises to). Unlike the Beast, he is not under the spell of an enchantress - he just has issues. It is not impossible for him to change, but it is highly unlikely. He will not be able to do it without professional help either. For the sake of your safety and sanity you need to get out of that relationship. "Between 80 and 100 Australian women die at the hands of their male partners every year – and a woman in Australia is more likely to be killed in her own home by her male partner than anywhere else or by anyone else.” (*The ABS Personal Safety Survey 2006).
Never, never, never take pictures of yourself naked and share them, even if everyone else is doing it. Having an explicit picture on your phone of someone under the age of 18 is considered child pornography and can result in a jail term or being placed on the sex offender register. One 14 year old boy downloaded a video of a girl his age having sex and shared it with students at his school. He was charged with child pornography offences. For more information checkout the Lawstuff Australia website.
While we're on the topic of broken hearts, check out this song by Alana Henderson. Wax and Wane is about a relationship breakup and how it just happens sometimes and it's no one's fault - you might as well blame the cycle of the moon.
It's nice to be in a relationship but there are also advantages when you're not.
1. You can wear your favourite tracky dacks (tracksuit pants).
2. You have control of the remote - Vampire Diaries marathon.
3. You can hang out with your girlfriends guilt free.
4. There's more time to work on that big Economics assignment.
5. You don't have to watch footy and video games all weekend.
6. You can go shopping and try on as many shoes and dresses as you want without all the yawning in the background.
7. You don't have to brush your hair.
8. You can dance around your bedroom singing loudly (and badly) in your flannel pyjamas etc.
9. You can take up a new sport or hobby - netball, ice skating, photography, cake decorating...
10. You don't have to share that family block of chocolate.
If you have a special someone - good for you. But if you find yourself flying solo this Valentine's Day, don't fret, you're not alone (well you kind of are but there are thousands of other people feeling lonely as well). When I was a teenager one of my favourite quotes was, a woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle. Books, movies, magazines and television would have you believe that having a boyfriend makes you happy and complete but this is not Hollywood! Love is not like in the movies. Don't get me wrong, love is great, but it requires a lot of compromise and work. So, if you're by yourself this Valentine's Day, get your single girlfriends together and do something special. Paint your nails, go out for ice cream, go on a picnic, have a movie marathon...