Overview

In this section you can explore the topic via videos, real stories and factsheets. To refine your search within the Relationships section use the options menu on the right.

Topic Videos

Jess's Story - Binge Drinking

Watch Jess' story about her experience of binge drinking and managing family relationships.

  • Author: Reach Out
  • Upload Date: 2013-03-01

Created by Reach Out

Stories on this Topic

Featured Story (image)

The best things in life are worth waiting for

Texting, Skyping, Facebooking all helps - a bit

Only one month and 17 days left till I can hug and kiss my hunnie back home in Tassie. At the moment, I am visiting my family at my home-home where I grew up in America, New Jersey to be exact. I am really enjoying catching up with friends and getting to hang out and with my cute Mommy and Daddy who I miss so much when I'm gone, however, missing my boyfriend of two years totally sucks!

Read the full blog about how janine got through her long distance relationship

  • Author: Janine
  • Upload Date: 2013-03-22

Part of our youth blog series

Factsheet

Provided by Reach Out

We have partnered with Reach Out to bring you the best factsheet information we can on this topic. Reach Out offers information, support and resources to help young people improve their understanding of mental health issues, develop resilience, and increase their coping skills and help-seeking behaviour.

Managing Relationships

A happy relationship

Happy Relationship - shadow of two peopleA 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 the relationship 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 abused by someone 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. For more information about violence you may want to check out our Domestic Violence topic page.

Suggestions for keeping relationships strong

Being honest and trusting

Learning to trust someone and being honest with someone 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 is 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 are wanting 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 Reach Out's  Telling someone big news fact sheet for more information.

Try to be accepting of 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 differences. It may be helpful to calmly discuss those differences or it may also be appropriate to agree to disagree. Respecting someone else's choices and opinions may help them to respect yours. You may want to check out Reach Out's Differences and values fact sheet.

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 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 you and the relationship healthier and stronger. You may want to check out Reach Out's factsheets on Resolving an argument or Differences and Values.

Relationship Pressures

You will not always see eye to eye

When you’re in a sexual or romantic relationship, you might experience different kinds of pressure, either from within the relationship, or from outside people or factors. Pressures can come from issues around money, health, study, work or friends. At times they can be stressful and cause a lot of tension, especially when they challenge your cultural, religious or personal ideas and beliefs.

Types of relationship pressures

Relationship pressures can include:

Religious: having different religious beliefs or customs.

Cultural or racial: feeling pressure to follow cultural or racial beliefs and traditions.

Age/maturity: a big age difference between you might raise differences in beliefs or expectations.

Family: your family might put pressure on the relationship for a range of reasons, such as cultural, religious, age or racial differences they're unhappy about, or feeling you are not old enough or mature enough to have a healthy relationship.

Money/finance: Working out who pays the bills can be difficult, particularly when you’ve just moved in together or when one of you is earning more than the other. Jealousy: to or from your boyfriend or girlfriend about relationships with other people.

Mental or physical disability or illness: There are many extra issues and pressures when you, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or a family member suffers a mental or physical illness or disability. Friends: Sometimes your friends might be annoyed that you have less time for them.

Sex: pressure to have sex from your boyfriend or girlfriend or friends when you’re not ready. Check out our sex section for more information.

Moving in together: this causes another range of pressures discussed in the Moving in with your boyfriend or girlfriend section

Managing relationship pressures

Pressures on a relationship can be overwhelming and really stressful. Here are some hints on how to handle them:

Talk with your boyfriend or girlfriend about what you're feeling and what your expectations are. Check out Reach Out's Managing expectations factsheet for more info.

Spend time working on your relationship – relationships don’t just 'happen' they are something to put time and energy into maintaining. This might include doing fun things together like going to the movies.

Talk to those involved in your situation honestly and discuss their concerns about your relationship. Acknowledge their feelings and also discuss your own feelings and where you are coming from.

Talk to someone outside the situation, such as a counsellor or friend.

Find out more information about your boyfriend or girlfriend's differences to you - whether that be illness, religion, or things you don’t feel you understand well enough. This can help you respect differences, expectations, and needs. Or collect information about your own illness or religion and give it to your boyfriend or girlfriend - they may not know where to look for information about you.

Respect your differences: differences are often the things that make a relationship great.

Remember to regularly make time outside the relationship for your friends and yourself.

Thanks to Family Planning NSW for preparing this fact sheet. The information provided here is based on "An Intergalactic Guide to Relationships". A project initiated by Central Coast Health.

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2 Responses to “Managing Relationships”

  1. Richard Smit says:

    Hi,

    Just got the message that the following video does not exist any more on youtube:
    Followed
    01:19 sec
    2012-10-31

    cheers,

    Richard

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