Spring is a time for new beginnings, and this may include new relationships. Here are a couple of relationship tips and reminders to consider to help make sure you start off on the right track:
- Stay True to Yourself: Be sure you’re in a relationship you WANT to be in, where you are free to be you!
- Be sure you are in a healthy relationship: You should feel supported, understood, able to be yourself, and your own opinions and life outside of the relationship. If you do not have respect or equality, you could be in an unhealthy relationship.
- You don’t have to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable: You may feel comfortable kissing, but don’t want to go any further. That’s OK. Consent is continuous! Consenting to one thing, like kissing, doesn’t mean you consent to anything else. Someone has to consent to each step of the process and can stop at any time.
- Self-Love: Sometimes we end up in relationships in order to have someone else make us feel happy or good about ourselves. Just remember: you’re the most important part of a relationship, take care of yourself first and the rest will follow. It is better to be happy with who you are then to be in a relationship that isn’t right!
Thinking about having sex, keep these in mind:
- Visit a clinic near you to get tested for STDs, learn about birth control, and talk about what’s best for you.
- Feel comfortable with your decision, whatever it is! Communicate with your partner about safe sex (e.g., getting tested, birth control options, condoms, and consent!)
- Find FREE condoms near you! They are good to have on hand in case you or a friend needs them. Plus, you can practice using a condom before you have sex.
- Not EVERYONE is doing it, it’s OK to wait or take it slow until you are ready. Remember, less than a third of teens in California have ever had sex! It may seem like everyone is doing it but we know that isn’t true.
- Talk openly and honestly about your fears, worries and feelings. You’re not the only one who is unsure. Your friends, partners, and even your parents might have great ideas to share. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your parents, you can find another trusted adult to share your feelings with.
- If your partner tries to pressure you into having sex, it can be a sign of an unhealthy relationship Learn what healthy relationships look like and where to get help if you think you may be in an unhealthy relationship.
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This blog was reposted from TeenSource.org, a project of Essential Access Health. TeenSource.org is an online hub for comprehensive and teen-friendly information on birth control, STDs, relationships and teen’s rights to accessing sensitive services. The site features youth-developed blogs and videos, a clinic finder, a Condom Access Project and links to TeenSource social media where youth can stay updated on relevant sexual and reproductive health information and news.