•You have a right to be in a relationship – whether with the father of your child, or someone else. Everybody wants to feel loved, and that’s okay.
•You have the responsibility to make sure that it’s a safe, healthy relationship for you and your child
•Many teen moms are stuck in relationships that are bad for them – and bad for their children
•Sometimes they don’t even realise that the relationship is not good for them
•What do YOU think a healthy relationship looks like?
In a good relationship:
•Both partners feel loved, respected and safe
•Both partners are able to be honest about their feelings without being judged
•Both partners treat each other with kindness, even when they fight
•Both partners have space and time to enjoy their own time alone
•Both partners are encouraged to achieve their own goals & have their own interest
•Both partners contribute equally: emotionally, financially, physically, mentally
•You KNOW that your partner will always have your best interests at heart
•You feel you can be yourself completely – you don’t have to put on any act for your partner to love you
An unhealthy / unsafe / unworthy relationship:
•There is any kind of abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, verbal, financial, emotional
•Your relationship has to be kept a secret for any reason
You are scared to be honest about your feelings, because of your partner’s reaction
•Your partner gets angry if you want time alone to do your own thing, or does not respect your own goals, responsibilities or interests
•Your partner needs to know where you are at all times: they want to control you in any way
•You’re not able to argue or disagree without saying cruel or hurtful things
•You feel you can’t truly be yourself with your partner: you have to act a certain way for them to like you
•You feel that you are not equal to your partner: your opinion does not matter
How is dating different for a teen mom?
Questions to ask your potential partner
•Do you understand and accept that my child comes first? I will not always be available for you when I have other responsibilities to see to
•Do you understand that I still need time to myself?•Will you be willing to build a relationship with my child, slowly and carefully?
•Will you enjoy spending time with my child?•Do you understand that you do not have to take their father’s place, but you will have to ACT like a father towards them?
•Will you be willing to protect my child from harm?•Can I trust you around my child?
Questions to ask yourself
•Do I feel happy in this relationship?
•Am I safe?
Do I feel like I can be myself: or does my partner require me to look or act a certain way?
•Do I feel like my partner is trying to control my behaviour?
•Does this relationship feel like more hard work than it’s worth?
•Can I voice my opinion in my relationship without fear?
•Am I giving and receiving respect?
•Are either of us using the other one: for sex, money, status?
•Is this relationship having a good or bad effect on my child?
If any of these are true for you – it’s time to get out