It's important to understand who you are and what your personal boundaries are when you get into a romantic relationship. In honor of Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, a month dedicated to educating young people about dating violence and preventing dating abuse, we have put together a list of questions people of any age should reflect on before and during a romantic relationship.
Visit loveisrespect.org if you have questions/concerns about your romantic relationship or text LOVEIS to 22522 to chat.
Check out WISE' gender-based violence prevention resources here.
1.What are my personal values and goals?
Know who you are as an individual. What values do you live by that make up your thoughts and behaviors? It’s normal for your values to change or be influenced by your partner once you become a part of a relationship, but you should still have a strong idea of who you are independent of someone else. This can help you set boundaries on what you feel comfortable/uncomfortable doing in a relationship.
2. What are my hobbies and interests?
When you are in a relationship, you might have to set aside some of your time for your partner and the things that they like to do. Go ahead and try some of their hobbies and share some of your own as well. Above all, always make time to do what you love and what’s important to you.
3. What is my love language?
Everyone expresses their love and care in different ways. Maybe your love language is giving gifts or spending time with your partner; or you are more direct and you prefer to speak out your feelings. Take the Love Language Quiz to find out.
4. What is my communications style?
Communication is essential to any type of relationship. Your communication style can be verbal or nonverbal through gestures or facial expressions; or you may prefer texting over talking. It’s important to be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your communication style so that you and your partner can talk openly with each other and carefully listen to each other and ask questions to make sure you are understanding them. This will help avoid misunderstandings.
5. How much money can I spend in a relationship?
Sometimes relationships can be uneven when it comes to spending money. It could lead to spending too much on dates or gifts. Know your budget and spending habits and decide what is a comfortable amount you can spend and talk to your partner to see what they are comfortable spending.
6. Am I emotionally ready to be in a relationship?
We sometimes carry emotional baggage that makes it difficult to focus on a relationship. Make sure you are receiving the help you need to fulfill yourself and love yourself before jumping into a relationship. Find ways to manage your stress and trauma healthily and take time to heal. If you are already in a committed relationship, communicate your healing process to your partner in a way you feel comfortable. It is better to involve them than to isolate them and yourself.