Friday, April 28, 2006
Maintaining a Happy Relationship
Young People and Relationships The information provided here is based on An Intergalactic Guide to Relationships. A project initiated by Central Coast Health. A relationship can be a great way to have fun and create a special friendship, as well as learn a lot about yourself and others. You might have a sense that a relationship is happy and going well when you: • can laugh and enjoy someone's company • feel safe and supported • provide safety and support • share ideas and feelings • respect each other. Every relationship is unique, and you may have your own way of knowing that a relationship is right for you. Even when a relationship is going well it is important that you still put effort into it and don't take it for granted. Be aware of what you need in a relationship as well as what other people need. This way, your relationships have the best chance of growing and continuing to be strong and healthy. If you are in a situation where a relationship turns sour and you are being hurt or, it may be best to end or change the relationship. If you are unsure of how to go about this, talk to someone you trust, like a friend, your parents, a counsellor or youth worker. Suggestions for keeping relationships strong Trusting and being honest - Learning to trust someone and being honest with them may take time. It can also be an important ingredient in a healthy relationship. As you spend more time with someone and start to share experiences together your level of trust may increase. Keep communicating - It's a good idea to keep the lines of communication open. This may mean talking regularly about what is happening in your life and how you feel about it. When people share their opinions and feelings they develop a greater understanding of each other's likes and dislikes. It may also help to work out what each other wants from the relationship. Talking about some things may be hard, particularly if you are sad or angry about something or with someone. It may be helpful to write it down as a way of expressing yourself. You may want to check out the other factsheets for more information about telling someone big news or being angry. Try to accept differences - It is not uncommon to care about someone who has different ideas, interests and opinions to your own. Sometimes it can be difficult managing the difference. It may be helpful to calmly discuss those differences or you may agree to disagree. Respecting someone else's choices and opinions may help them to respect yours. You may want to check out the fact sheet on differences and values. Respecting each other's space - Hanging out together is important in getting to know each other and it can also be great fun. Giving each other space from time to time is also important. Enjoying the company of a number of people, like your friends, and not just the person who you are having a relationship with may help you to expand your interests and give you lots of new things to share. This may also help your relationships to continue to grow and be fun and interesting. Spending time with yourself - Spending time with yourself can be fun. It can also help you understand yourself and help you to understand your relationships with others. If possible, spend time getting to know yourself. This may feel a bit scary at first but over time it can become less weird and more enjoyable. You may want to start by doing something you really enjoy. You can spend time with yourself doing lots of things like being active, listening to music or reading. Being by yourself doesn't mean you are alone, you are with yourself. You may want to think about what and where you want to go in life and whom you might want to take with you. Managing arguments or difference of opinions It is natural that people sometimes have differences of opinion. When we disagree with each other we may feel angry or frustrated. Not letting someone know your opinion, not having your opinion heard, or having to accept someone's opinion without discussion may add to your frustrations and may make a relationship difficult. It is a good idea to express your opinions, let the other person know that you are listening to them and try to reach an understanding between the two of you. You might choose to: • Respect their right to an opinion but not accept their opinion • Agree to disagree • See the other persons point of view • Accept that your opinion needs to change. It may be good to remember that we are all different and the world could be really boring if we were all the same! Trying to accept differences, especially between the people we like and ourselves, can help make ourselves and our relationship healthier and stronger.