The movies and the media sell relationships as the ultimate dream. The unsaid message is that you can't be complete or happy until you're in a relationship. Let me tell you from personal experience, that while you're a teenager, it's much better to focus on friendships than romantic relationships. I was boy crazy as a teenager and wasted a lot of time and energy wanting to be in a relationship. The truth is that life does not magically become all right just because you've found Mr Right. There will be plenty of time to couple up the whole rest of your life. For now, enjoy your friends and spend time finding out who you are. Single is not a dirty word.
Relationships! Where do I begin? We all want the fairytale Disney ending, to find Prince Charming and live happily ever after. But you're probably old enough to know that life doesn't usually end up like the movies. Approximately one woman a week loses her life to domestic violence in Australia and one in six women experience physical or sexual abuse from their partner (https://www.aihw.gov.au). And this doesn't take into account the thousands of women that find themselves in toxic relationships. Teenagers can find themselves in toxic relationships too. I have seen girls stay in relationships that were damaging because they were in love, but love can be blind.
According to Karen Young from https://www.heysigmund.com, A toxic relationship contaminates your self-esteem, your happiness and the way you see yourself and the world. She outlines 15 signs that you might be in a toxic relationship - I have included seven of them in this post.
Family conflict is part of life. It can be worse at Christmas time due to things like fatigue and busyness, financial strain and pressure to keep up with the Joneses (buy the best gifts, Christmas tree, festive lights etc.). Trying to spread yourself around when your parents are separated or divorced can be stressful. Dealing with extended family can also create more drama at Christmas. Here are some things to remember when dealing with family conflict:
Domestic violence is likely to increase during Covid 19 while victims are forced to isolate with perpetrators. You have probably heard about domestic violence but you may not understand exactly what it is. Here is a summary of what it can include according to www.whiteribbon.org.au. See their website for more information.
physical assault - this includes things like shaking, slapping, pushing, punching or scratching, kicking, spitting, biting and dangerous driving.
sexual assault - forced or unwanted sexual activity.
verbal abuse - criticism, swearing and humiliation and yelling.
emotional abuse - deliberately causing emotional distress by blaming and criticising etc.
financial abuse - restricting access to bank accounts or cash.
technology-facilitated abuse - includes sharing explicit photos to get revenge.
social abuse - isolating someone from their friends and family.
spiritual abuse - stopping someone from practicing their religion.
Domestic violence can be against men, women or children and is NEVER okay. Please visit www.whiteribbon.org.au for more information. There is help if you need it.
Emily's Voice is an organisation that supports people of all ages who are unexpectedly expecting a baby. You can find information about abortion, stories of women who have continued their pregnancies and support in your state. For more information go to https://notbornyet.com
We've all had that one-sided crush where we were really invested and the other person, not so much.
Falling in love can be scary, especially if you've been hurt before. The best advice I can offer is to take it slow.