Dating can feel difficult – there are many things to learn including setting boundaries, getting to know your own body, communicating around consent, and how to stay safe and avoid STIs or unintended pregnancies. Everyone’s needs are different and are likely to change over time, so being aware of how you feel is really important. Being able to talk about emotions when dating can help you become more comfortable being close to your partner. Some key elements of healthy dating relationships are communication, respect, honesty, trust, and mutual encouragement and support.
The following information can be helpful in determining your own values and boundaries:
When you decide to become sexually active, it is important to establish how you will protect yourself, such as using a condom and being aware of your own health history. If you’re concerned that you might already have an STI, there are various options for support, resources, and treatment. Minors in Washington state have rights around confidentiality, so if you are worried about talking to your parents, it’s still worth seeking additional information.
Getting pregnant can be a wonderful and exciting thing, but when it happens at the wrong time, it can be overwhelming and requires making complicated choices. There are many methods of birth control and talking to your partner is the best way to figure out the right choice. If you think you might be pregnant and you’re not sure what to do, there are resources to help you find out and provide additional support. You don’t have to go through this alone.
Sexual assault can happen to anyone. After a sexual assault occurs, it can feel scary and hopeless, but it is never your fault. There are various actions you can take including contacting police, going to an emergency room, getting tested for STIs, or even talking with someone you trust. You can take each of these steps when you’re ready. Making a report does not mean you have to press charges. Getting more information can help you map next steps to take.
Domestic violence can happen unexpectedly, so it is important to be aware of the warning signs. An unhealthy relationship can be tiring and bad for both your mental and physical health. In addition to physical harm, domestic violence can include verbal or emotional abuse, sexual pressure, or digital harassment.
A relationship might be toxic or abusive is if your partner:
If you are experiencing any challenges with your relationship, or if you’re concerned you may be experiencing abuse, you are always welcome to give us a call or chat with us to talk it out.
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