Ask Yourself . . .
Sometimes it's hard to tell whether a relationship is healthy or not. To help figure this out, ask yourself the following questions:
- How do you feel when you're around him/her?
- How do you feel AFTER being around him/her?
- How do you act around this person compared to how you act around other people?
- What do you like/dislike about the relationship?
How do you feel when you're around him/her?
Your feelings when you're with the person you're dating are good clues to determine if you're dating the right person – or whether you're ready to date at all.
Sometimes you might really like your partner but feel uncomfortable with him or her alone. If your discomfort isn't due to the way the other person acts, you might not be ready for one-on-one dates. This doesn't say anything about your individual maturity or how you'll date in the future; it just means that right now you aren't comfortable.
You could try going on group dates with your friends to spend time with the person you like while being in a more comfortable environment. This can also help you to get to know someone before spending one-on-one time together, which can make for safer and easier dating.
You might also feel uncomfortable with the person because of the way he or she acts. Try to pinpoint what bothers you about the person. Do you like the idea of having a partner more than how she or he actually behaves? If there is something specific that makes you uncomfortable, try talking to your partner about the problem.
You might also take a look at our article, Dating Violence and Abuse, to see if your relationship has signs of abuse. Many people don't recognize verbal or emotional abuse, but it is a serious problem in relationships.
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How do you feel AFTER being around him/her?
How you feel after being with someone can help you determine whether the person is treating you with respect and whether this person fits with your general morals and values.
If you feel serious qualms after being around this person, you might talk to a friend or trusted adult about your feelings. Negative feelings could also be a sign of abuse, so look at our article, Dating Violence and Abuse, if you haven't already.
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How do you act around this person compared to how you act around other people?
Acting differently around the person you're dating can mean that you aren't showing him or her your true self. Changing who you are for someone else will almost always leave you unhappy. Often, the person you're dating liked you in the beginning for you, not the person you're trying to be.
If you're acting in ways that conflict with your morals or values, you might want to rethink your actions; you might feel guilty now, and if the relationship ends, you may be upset about how you've acted. A trusted adult or friend might be able to help you sort this out.
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What do you like/dislike about the relationship?
Although these are simple questions, you might be surprised about your responses. Are you dating someone just because he or she is cool or because dating the person makes you cool? Do you enjoy the relationship?
Listing what you like and dislike might help you come up with problems that you can fix by talking to your partner, as well as remind you of the things you enjoy most in the other person.
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