Relationships

We all have different kinds of relationships in our lives. When most 
people hear the word 'relationship' they immediately link it to romance
and finding a boyfriend. In life we have relationships all the time - 
relationships with our family, friends, colleagues and loved ones.

Often when thinking about the relationships you have you may forget 
about the most important one – that is the relationship you have with
yourself. Do you take time out to do things that you want to do? Making
sure that you have time to relax and look after yourself is vital.

Having good friends around is never a bad thing, or you may not have
any other gay friends. Try getting in touch with your local gay youth
group. These places are great for meeting people, having fun and finding
out more about what is out there for young gay men. 

You may be thinking that all you want to do right now is get a boyfriend.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you have good mates around you who
can support you through the good and bad times. 

There is no ideal book out there that can tell you how to handle a good
relationship. It’s more a case of trial and error, you will have to find out
what works best for you. Relationships take a bit of work and you may
have to compromise some of the things you want and negotiate others.
Remember it’s a two way process and will take time.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get into a relationship straight
away. It may take time for you to find out what you really want from a
relationship. Once you have expectations clear in your head, it will be
a lot easier to negotiate what you want.

There are different kinds of relationships. You may choose to be in a
monogamous relationship. This means that you and your partner are
committed to each other, and don’t sleep with other people. You may
decide you are not ready for commitment and want an open relationship,
where you can see other people. Both types of relationship need to be
negotiated to ensure that both partners are clear and
happy with the arrangement.

If you are in a relationship and have concerns about sex and sexual
health, take a look at the information on the HIV and sexual health
pages. There is a lot of helpful information about being sexually healthy.
You could also go along to your local GUM (sexual health) clinic. 
There will be health advisors there who will be able to give you support
and information. All services will be confidential and free.

Ending a relationship can sometimes be a painful experience, but there
is help available. If you go to a local youth group you could talk things
through with the worker or maybe with the other guys who attend the
group. They might have had similar experiences. You don’t have to
handle things on your own.

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