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Thinking about dating? It can be a fun way to explore your feelings and get to know someone. But there are some important things to know before starting a relationship.


Only you know if you’re ready to date

Everyone is different and when you decide to start dating is up to you.

A good place to start is when:

  • You know yourself well - what you like and what you don’t like.

  • You feel comfortable in yourself and you’re happy with who you are.

  • You know what you’re looking for in a boy/girlfriend.

  • You know what a healthy relationship looks like and can spot the signs of an unhealthy one.

  • You want to date because you like someone, not because you like the idea of having someone.

  • You know why you want to date and it’s not because everyone else is.

  • You’re aware of your boundaries - what you’re ready for and what you’re NOT ready for when it comes to the physical stuff.

  • You know the laws around sex and at what age you’re legally able to consent.

  • Your parents are ok with you dating – it can make things a lot easier, because if they’re not, it can cause problems along the way.

"All my friends are getting girlfriends and boyfriends and I'm feeling really left out."

What makes for a healthy relationship?

Some of things you might expect to see in a healthy relationship are:

Trust – you feel safe with the other person and know that they’re looking out for you.
Respect – liking the other person for who they are and not trying to change them or make them do things they don’t want to do.
Support – you encourage and help each other out. The relationship is about building each other up, not putting each other down.
Equality – you make decisions together. You give and take equally. You’re able to meet in the middle when you disagree on something.
Honesty – you are both honest with each other.
Boundaries – you’re able to give each other privacy and space. You respect each other’s choice to be apart and spend time with friends.
Intimacy – You can talk to each other about intimacy and sex - what’s ok and what isn’t. You’re both of legal age and both consent to safe sexual activity.
Talking openly – being able to express your feelings without yelling or disrespecting each other. You listen to each other, hear each other out and respect each other’s opinions.

What are some signs of an unhealthy relationship?

Sometimes it’s not easy to spot the warning signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship. Here are some red flags:

  • Abusive behaviours like jealousy, insults, yelling, controlling and physical violence – abuse is never ok.

  • They embarrass you in public or constantly put you down.

  • They check in on you all the time and you feel like you’re constantly being watched.

  • They pressure you for sex, nudes or try to get you to do risky things, even after you’ve said no.

  • They lie to you – it can be both what they say and what they don’t say.

  • They scare or frighten you.

  • They check your phone, social media or emails – no-one has the right to invade your privacy.

  • There’s a lack of fairness and things always seem to go their way.

  • They pressure you to change who you are, who you hang out with or activities you do.

"If you’re worried about a person you’re dating, don’t ignore how you’re feeling. Talk to someone who can help you understand what might be happening"

Relationships can be tricky

It may take some time to find the right person for you.

  • Relationships are supposed to be positive and fun.

  • While it’s okay to disagree about things, if you feel put down, scared or uncomfortable you might be in an unhealthy relationship.

  • If you want more information on what's healthy and what's not, give us a call, start a WebChat or email us today.

This content was last reviewed 14/02/2018

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