Smart Dating

A TEEN GUIDE

RELATIONSHIP ADVICE

We all have fallen in love at some point. But not all relationships are chocolate kisses. About one third of teen relationships are abusive. Sexual pressure, physical scars, etc. Here's my advice:

Don't date for the sake of dating. It won't be a very good relationship if you don't even care about your partner.

Communicate. Communication is the most important part of a relationship.

You are going to fight. This is OK. No relationship is perfect. Just like friends, you have to get through challenges together.

Respect your partner. If your partner is not ready to hang out as a couple at school, this is OK. No one is rushing you to be anything except each other.

Don't be "clingy." You don't have to be with your partner every single moment of your life. Being alone is as essential as being together.

The benefits of abstinence- Joe Faina

AVOIDING SITUATIONS

Sometimes we can avoid situations altogether. You can hang out with people who are also abstinent (less pressure to be sexually active). You can be more involved with something you love (not have much time on your hands for other people to take advantage of AND having fun).

Pressure

But of course, there are times we can't just go away. Be assertive (firm without being mean) and keep saying no.

Example: (Boyfriend) So, we've been dating for awhile, and I'd like to have sex. (You) No thanks. (B) Come on, everyone I know has already done it. (Y) Well, everyone I know is abstinent. (B) Why did you even date me if you didn't want to have sex? (Y) Because I thought you were actually decent. Guess I was wrong.

Healthy expressions

Grace Brinkert

I am single and 14, but I don't want to date until I'm at least 16. My partner must be respective of my boundaries, kind, not clingy, and close to my age.

Consequences

If you are thinking about having sex a little earlier than you wanted to, think again. STDs. Pregnancy. Multiple babies. Being called a slut. Family. Wishing that the person you marry was your "first." Regret.

How's that for a reason to be abstinent?