Dating as a young person: Do you feel safe?

Dating is a great way to find out more about a person and see if you have the same values and ideas. But you may find you are in a relationship that is not healthy. If something is not healthy, it’s not good for you.

How do you know your relationship is not healthy?

  • Your partner controls where you go, what you wear, or what you do.
  • Your partner tries to stop you from seeing or talking to family or friends.
  • Your partner calls you names, puts you down or criticizes you.
  • Your partner threatens or scares you.
  • Your partner hits, slaps, pushes, or kicks you.
  • Your partner pressures you to have sex by saying things like ‘if you loved me you would’.
  • Your partner tries to control you by checking your phone to see who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about.

If your partner says ‘I love you’ but then tries to control you, hit you, call you names or humiliate you, that isn’t showing love. When someone loves you, you feel safe, respected, and free to be yourself. You shouldn’t be made to feel scared, bullied or controlled. If these examples are something you are experiencing in your relationship, you are in an unhealthy relationship. It could also be abusive, so it’s important to speak to someone to get help.

This can happen in any relationship. It can even happen in a marriage. But it can happen more easily if you are dating an older man (often called a blesser or sugar daddy) who has more money or power than you.

There are still some people who believe that women and girls are less important than men and boys. They believe men have the right to control women. But they are wrong. Girls and women have the same rights as boys and men according to the law.

You shouldn’t feel afraid of the person you are dating. You may not always be happy, but you should never feel unsafe in a relationship. Go to your local clinic and speak to a healthcare provider, social worker, counsellor, or psychologist and ask for help.

Sex when you’re dating can be fun and can make you feel closer to your partner, but sex can be violent. Find out more here

Being in a relationship with someone older can get complicated. Find out more in this article

Wondering what the difference between love and sex is? Find out here

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