There are different kinds of relationships that people have, some long term, some short term, some with one person, some with more than one. This is cool so long as you’re safe, happy, honest and everyone involved feels the same way.
There are lots of ways to meet people and these are some of them:
• The Gay Scene – this is the name usually given to a group of pubs and clubs that cater for a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) group. They can be great fun and can allow you to meet people. However if your under 18 and you go to ‘the scene’ you run the risk of being arrested and maybe barred from the venue for life, this might not seem so bad right now…but imagine when your a little bit older and want to go on a date with someone to ‘the scene’, only to be reminded that your barred – how embarrassing!
If you’re under 18 it’s probably best to hold off from the scene for now.
• Youth groups – there are specific LGBT youth groups that meet in different areas, these are great places to meet other young people away from the gay scene. The groups offer tons of activities that are fun and you could also learn some things about gay life. Groups are usually free to go to as well!
• The internet – there are many ways online to meet other gay people, however there are lots of dangers and tips that you should follow when using the net. See the section of this website called “Internet & Meeting People” for more info.
• Everyday life – LGBT people are everywhere, you could meet Mr. or Mrs. Right on the bus, on holiday, in the library, at a concert even in the veg isle at the supermarket! You can usually tell by a person’s body language, eye contact and the way they act around you if they are interested. Remember to take care when asking someone out as they may not be gay, some people will be flattered and so they should be, you asked them out! But some may not be so happy about it so make sure your safe.
DON’T GIVE OUT PERSONAL INFORMATION TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW!
So now you have a partner, what to do if…:
Things are not going to plan:
Even if your relationship was made in the stars it may not go to plan all of the time, relationships are not only about fun and intimacy, they are about compromise and respecting that two or more different people with different experiences have come together!
If you find you’re not getting on so well anymore you could try the following:
• Talk to each other; the other person might not think there is a problem.
• Decide whether it’s worth arguing over.
• Are you in the right? Or is it just one of those differences of opinions?
• Shouting and screaming will only make the other person defensive…Talk!
• Find the right time to talk.
• Set time aside to talk, it’s probably not best to try to do it in the middle of Hollyoaks or Corrie or your favourite program.
• If you’re in the wrong say sorry! An apology will go a long way.
• Be realistic, if you feel it’s the end of the relationship and you cannot resolve anything then maybe it’s time to end it and move on.
If it’s the end of your relationship:
When a relationship ends it can be really upsetting and feel like the end of the world, even if it’s you that ended it!
You may feel up and down for a while afterwards so make sure you have support in place and someone to give you a hug if you need it.
If you’re the person on the receiving end of a relationship ending you can feel like you did something wrong, like it’s your fault, like you’re world has ended, your self esteem can be affected and you can generally feel horrid.
It’s important not to keep these feelings locked up inside, as the saying goes “a problem shared, is a problem halved”. Find someone you can trust, someone who will be sympathetic and someone who will help you to move on. This could be a friend, family member, teacher, or specific LGBT youth worker.
It can take a while to move on from a relationship so make sure you plan nice fun things to fill up your diary! Spend time with mates, watch your favourite films, visit places you love to go to and when you’re ready….and only when you’re ready, start the dating game again!
Rebound relationships don’t often work and can end up making you feel worse than before.
If your relationship is violent:
Violence in relationships is wrong!
You do not have to put up with anyone either emotionally or physically hurting you. This is known as domestic violence.
It can be really hard to leave someone and you may not feel able to do it alone, but there are people who are there to help you!
Speak to someone about what’s happening, you can ring someone or speak to someone face to face in confidence!
Violence can take many forms, here are some of them:
outing you when your not ready, financially controlling you, not letting you see you’re friends or family, name calling, hitting you, making you feel terrible and putting you down all the time, making you feel worthless, threatening you.
If you think you might be experiencing any form of domestic violence please speak to someone at your local LGBT project or contact one of the local domestic violence projects, you can find local LGBT youth project information HERE and local Domestic Violence projects HERE!