Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Teen Talk #1 | Love & Relationships

Today marks the beginning of a new series on my blog called 'Teen Talk'. In these weekly posts, I'm going to be discussing a variety of different topics that most, if not all, teenagers can relate to. The type of topics that I will be covering can be anything from family problems to sex and puberty. Hopefully it will help a few people and if you have any requests for future posts, please let me know.
The first topic that I'm going to be talking about today is love & relationships. I know that a lot of young people, boys and girls, have a lot of questions and concerns regarding this particular subject and through this post, I'm going to cover as much as I can and hopefully it will help you all out.
Love is something that cannot be defined, but it is an emotion that we all feel towards other people throughout our whole life. Whether it be for family members, friends, partners, pets, hobbies or anything else, we all love at least one thing at some point. Often, people find that loving the opposite sex in more than a friendly way is scary, or a new experience for them. It can sometimes seem overwhelming and many people can become very unsure when it comes to loving someone romantically. That is completely normal. Everybody is nervous when they experience something new! I was scared when I started talking to a boy for the first time - and I know I wasn't alone!
How do you actually know when you are in love? - This might seem like a particularly cliché answer, but you genuinely do 'just know'. Sometimes we can think that we are experiencing love when we are actually mistaken, but usually we will just have that feeling and we know that it is an emotion that comes from the heart. When you care about that person more than anything else and you constantly want to be with them due to the smile that they give you, when you would do anything for them and you would protect them during no matter what, when you think that you could see a future with them and you feel as though these feelings will last a lifetime. Those are some of the ways in which you can find out if you're in love or not. It doesn't just last a day - it should last a long time!
 How can I tell if he/she truly likes me or if he/she is just a player? - Finding out the answer to this question can take a long time - it isn't just something that you find out within the first few seconds. You have to really think about it, as well as asking yourself a few questions in the process. If you truly respect that person and they respect you, if you can trust them and be honest with them no matter what the situation, if you can truly talk to them properly and tell them things that you struggle to tell other people easily, then he may just be 'the one'. As far as telling if they are a player or not, you must ask yourself the following questions. Do they call/text when they say they will? Are they reliable, honest and trustworthy? Can you count on them when you need someone to lean on? Do they tell the truth? Be very careful when you start talking to people, as you may end up getting hurt. Talk to them regularly, be yourself, meet up with them a couple of times and then form a judgement on them and see how things go, but don't get your hopes too high before at least 2 weeks of talking and meeting up properly. It also depends on how comfortable and confident you are with them!
What does it feel like to genuinely fall in love? - From my experience, it is one of the most incredible feelings in the world. When you are in a relationship with someone and you are both in love with each other, it is almost like nothing else matters, because you are so happy with that one person and you feel like they are genuinely your soul mate. You can be yourself around them without facing judgement or criticism, you can trust them with anything, you feel safe and protected, they can always make you laugh or cheer you up and you feel as if they are your entire world and more.
Why does nobody ever show an interest in me? Will I ever find someone? - Even if you feel like you will never be in a relationship and you never have a chance at getting married, you are wrong. I think that every single human has a soul mate, but it just takes time and patience to find them. Who cares if you're 20 and you have never kissed anyone, or had a serious relationship? It doesn't matter! You still have plenty of time and believe me when I say your time will come. You have to kiss many frogs until you find your prince in some cases and that's completely okay. There is always hope!
It can take a long time to form a proper relationship with someone. Often, it can be an extremely nerve-wracking, overwhelming experience and various emotions can become more involved.
I want to be more than just friends. What do I do? - Speak to them. It may seem like the most straight-forward, pointless suggestion, but communication is honestly key. Explain how you are feeling and see if the other person feels the same. If they do, then date them! If they don't, just cut them off or leave them alone. It sounds harsh, but if they start distancing themselves from you, or they avoid you whenever they can, then they aren't worth your time or your attention at all. Never chase someone if all they do is continuously run away from you. You could stay friends if you mutually agree on that, but don't waste your time on someone who may not be worth it. If he is ignoring you, just leave him. Don't bother messaging him or pestering him as it will only push him farther away and it isn't worth the hassle. Focus on yourself and those who genuinely do care.
Help! How do I tell him/her that I want to start dating them?! - If you feel that you actually want to get into a relationship with someone, then you need to subtly drop hints. Try and talk to them more and get to know them on a better, more personal level. Invite them for trips out to spend time with each other, show an interest in their life, always ask them how they are and let your true personality shine through. Depending on the reaction that the person gives back, then you can decide what your next step should be. If you receive a positive reaction, try asking them out on a date! Then, see where things go from there and try asking them out whilst having a romantic meal or something like that. If the reaction is negative, then maybe this person isn't the right one for you. Maybe you should just stay friends, maybe not! Try not to be too disheartened and just take it all with a pinch of salt.
My ex is dating my best friend, but I want him/her back. What should I do? - Wait until he/she breaks up with them. If he really does still like you, then why is he/she still with his/her partner? Why are they still going out? I think that you should talk properly and find out how your best friend and your ex both feel. It's not worth loosing a friend over someone else who got involved in you both.
Why do I always fight with my boyfriend/girlfriend?! How can I stop it? - All relationships experience arguments from time to time and as long as they aren't too serious or violent, then you shouldn't have too much of a problem. However, once again, you need to communicate. What are the real issues within this relationship? Can you actually listen and communicate with each other? Listen with an open heart and don't get defensive or mouthy until you have each had your say, then try to calmly resolve things without raising your voice. Counselling is always an option if it gets too much.
Flirting happens during the very first stages of a possible relationship and it can be very daunting getting to know someone that you could potentially start dating, but it does get easier over time and with plenty of practise, don't worry! Try to be confident and remember to stay true to yourself.
How do I tell if she/he likes me? - If you are trying to work out if a girl likes you, there are a few simple hints. She gazes into your eyes, she touches parts of your body whilst talking to you e.g. hand, shoulder, thigh etc., she blinks a lot and flutters her eyelashes, she may also twirl her hair or blush.
If you are trying to work out if a guy likes you, there are also a few hints that they drop when around you. They will look at you until you turn around, then they will look in the opposite direction, he may do something physical to try and pay you attention, he talks to everyone else, but becomes choked up when it comes to you, his behaviour may change around you, he may also turn red/blush a little.
How do I actually begin to flirt with someone? - Be confident! Don't be afraid to take risks and just try to make yourself noticed by going up to them, making conversation when you can and genuinely show an interest. Have fun - be spontaneous and playful! Make jokes, mess around etc. Always make eye contact and smile! Listen to what the person is saying and respond confidentially and naturally, whilst being yourself. Compliment them and make them feel good about themselves! Use your body language and facial expressions to add a bit more character to the conversation! Liven it up!
I get so self-conscious around people I find attractive! How can I feel more confident? - Keep practising. The more you practise, the more you will get used to it and you will learn through time. If you dislike the way you look, do your hair in a different way or change up your makeup routine. Put on a smile and pretend to be confident! Even if you're not, just try pretending as if you were in a drama class. That may help you to actually become more confident. Just don't let things hold you back. Think about what would happen if it went well. Admit how you feel. Don't let your feelings or fear get in the way of things. Just be brave and try your best. You have nothing to loose anyway!
Why does it seem like people are only interested in the 'perfect, popular' people? - Just because you don't look or act a certain way doesn't mean people don't notice you! I know at school it seems like everyone is interested in popularity and looks, but not everyone is like that. You shouldn't worry anyway. There is someone out there for everyone and if someone can't see your worth and how amazing you truly are just by being you, then they genuinely aren't worth it. Don't change just to try and fit in or get more attention. Popularity will mean nothing when you leave school/college. You need to try and be confident within yourself and forget what others think. Always remember that you are special and wonderful in your own way and other people's opinions will never change that.
Unfortunately, cheating is a part of life sometimes. It can be an extremely heart-breaking, tricky situation to deal with, but you do get over it eventually and find happiness afterwards, I promise.
I've just been cheated on - What do I do?! - I know exactly how it feels to be cheated on, I really do. As much as you may love the person (or think you do) and you want to keep running back to them and try to sort it out, it won't make any difference. A cheat is always going to be a cheat and you shouldn't be wasting your time on a worthless loser when you could be with someone amazing who will actually treat you right. It will be difficult at first, but you need to remove them from everything. I appreciate that may not be easy if you go to the same school or you have to see them regularly, but limit contact as much as you possibly can. Block and delete them off all social media, burn/get rid of any memories such as clothing, presents, cards, pictures etc., just generally remove every single thing that reminds you of them. Distract yourself with other things and other people in your life. Eventually, it will get easier and you will begin to stop thinking about them as much. Just remember what they did to you and how it made you feel. Do you ever want to experience it again? If you stay with them, it will most likely just happen again, so think of escaping whilst you can!
Should I forgive my partner for cheating on me? They said it was a mistake. They promised they won't do it again. - Whatever you do, don't make the same mistake as me. Don't ever forgive them or take them back, not even for a second. What they did to you cannot and should not be justified in any way and they shouldn't be given a chance for the same thing to happen again. They are toxic; they are poison. Get rid of them! Ignore every single word they say. It's all lies. You don't cheat on someone as a mistake. Please don't forgive them or tell them it's okay, because it absolutely 100% is not okay. Never, never, never. Put yourself & your own happiness first and leave them!!
Why don't people leave their partners before they cheat? - For example, if you had a boyfriend/girlfriend, but you felt attracted to someone else and you didn't feel you genuinely loved them and wanted to be with them anymore, then why didn't you break up with your boyfriend/girlfriend before going behind their back and sleeping with/doing stuff with someone else? If you no longer feel a connection, or you know you're going to go out and get drunk, don't stay with the person! Break up with them before you sleep with/have an affair with someone else. Simple.
I have just cheated on my partner. How can I apologise? - I really don't think there is anyway to apologise for cheating on someone. Instead of sugar-coating things and lying, I think that you should always tell the truth straight away. Be honest with your partner and explain the situation. Be honest with yourself and accept responsibility. There is no point hiding away. You must take responsibility for your actions and understand what you have done wrong. Don't beg and grovel in order to try and tempt them back. It makes you look desperate and even more pathetic. Don't hide. Face up.
Usually, most break-ups are pretty tough to get over and they can take a long time, which is perfectly normal. However, remember that everything happens for a reason and you will find someone else.
I don't love my partner anymore. How do I break up with them nicely? - Falling out of love with someone is normal. It's ok to loose feelings for someone - it's a part of life. Always break up with someone in person. Never do it through text or social media. Break up with someone as soon as you decide that it's time. Don't just string someone along when you no longer have feelings for them. Realise that all break-ups will hurt and it will take time to heal, so don't beat yourself up over it. Try to part on good terms. You may bump into them sometime if you live locally and it will be a lot less awkward if you are civil with each other. Be honest and meet up properly to talk the situation and your feelings through before making any decisions. Listen to each other's point of view first.
My boyfriend/girlfriend has just split up with me. I'm heartbroken! - Calm down. Everything will be okay. Keep smiling, no matter what happens. Give it time to get over, because it will get easier over the next few weeks/months, but you just need to be patient and try to distract yourself. Go out to see your loved ones or give them a phone call, take up a new hobby, book a holiday, have some drinks or a pamper night one evening. Block them off everything and delete all their social media accounts from your life. Don't have anything to do with them if you don't want too. Leave yourself to have some time away from romance/dating and just focus on other people/things.
Even though we have broken up, is there still a chance of friendship? -  It's completely up to you. Some people may find it really awkward and uncomfortable to stay friends with an ex, but for others, it may be different. There is no right and wrong, it's just down to personal opinion and it really does depend on the situation and how you broke up. It's not my place to say what you should do!
I don't want my ex to love anyone else! - I understand that this can be one of the most difficult things to come to terms with, but you need to be strong and understand that it will happen eventually and it's just a part of life. You will end up loving someone else someday too, I'm sure. Just remember that your ex probably wasn't the right one for you, but there are plenty more fish in the sea. If you happen to see your ex and their new partner out and about, that's fine. Don't make eye contact, don't talk to them, just ignore them and pretend you didn't notice. It will hurt at first, but it gets easier. The way you are feeling is a completely normal, natural reaction, so please don't think you're being silly!
 Q&A Time
The next few questions are random ones that I haven't answered yet as I thought I'd leave them to the end as they are a little more open and miscellaneous.
How can I manage my boyfriend/girlfriend and my friends? - I would suggest purchasing a diary and setting dates in advance. Maybe you could ask your group of friends what their plans are for the week ahead and see what they say, then set a few dates and then find out when your partner is free and set a date on the days you aren't busy. They will all understand that you need to have a social life as well as time for your partner, so try not to worry about it and research tips if you need too. For things such as an anniversary, where you will be with your partner, if your friends wanted to meet you then you could just explain that it's your anniversary, but you will meet them the next day! Everything will work out, but you just need to stay organised and try to plan your time better.
What activities can I do with my boyfriend/girlfriend? - You could go to the cinema, out for a meal, go shopping, go to each other's houses, go to the park, bowling, zoo... anything at all!
What about if people try to get in the way and break us up? - Insignificant people do not matter! I have always had people getting in the way of relationships and trying to steal my boyfriend off me, but if your boyfriend/girlfriend is truly worth it and is committed to you and the relationship you have, then it shouldn't matter or even affect what you both have. There will always be jealousy from others, but try to talk to your partner about it and just see how it goes. Talk to the jealous person if they are really getting in the way or distance yourself from them. It will all work out, don't worry!
I haven't had my first kiss yet - what do I do? - I only had my first proper kiss a couple of months ago and I'm 14! It doesn't matter what age you are or anything. As long as you are ready, then that is all that matters. So what if you're 20-30 and you have never kissed anyone or done what everyone else has done. That doesn't matter! It goes to show that you have respect for yourself and your body, which is more important than popularity and fitting in with what everyone else is apparently doing. When the time is right, it will happen naturally. Tell whoever it is that you are a little nervous and if they respect you enough, they will take it slow and go at your pace. It just happens naturally. Copy what the other person does and go with the flow. It really isn't that hard, I promise you. Google it or watch YouTube videos if you need to in order to give you some peace of mind! I did it too!!
Everyone else is having sex and getting physical, except me. Why is this? Am I weird? - Quite often, there is a lot of pressure within today's society and a lot of competition to try and get as sexual and as raunchy as possible, when it shouldn't be that way! Be proud that you're 20 and you haven't had sex. That doesn't matter at all, neither does people's opinions. It's not their body or their life, so they shouldn't even be focusing on what you're getting up too. Take your time, do it with someone you trust and ignore what other people think. Listen to your own body and forget the crowd. Half the time, people end up regretting it as they are so young and they just want to show off, so be proud that you saved yourself and you didn't regret it! Just because people say things, it doesn't mean they are true.
People keep pressurising myself and my partner to do things. - Ignore them and absolutely don't do what their saying! The first time I went out with my now boyfriend, everyone was constantly pressurising us and trying to make me do things, even threatening to chuck me in the lake or the bin and they stole my phone until I kissed him! It's absolutely pathetic. You shouldn't even be around those types of people. Just forget they even exist and stay away from them as much as you can. Don't allow them to break you and your partner up. It is between you two, nobody else! They are irrelevant.
I really hope that this blog post helped some of you. If you have any further questions, feel free to let me know and I will try my very best to answer them. Remember, everything happens for a reason!


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