Relationship lessons from young people
We’ve looked at the results of a recent survey to see what can be learned from young people’s experiences of being in relationships. Looking back on the roller coaster ride of your own early relationships might fill you with a mix of fondness, amusement, and utter cringing horror. That shouldn’t mean you can’t learn from those experience but, if you can only bear to look through the narrow gaps between your fingers, then these insights from other people’s early experiences might help. Why relationship quality matters Love is complicated and it can take many forms – the love you feel for a sibling, is different from the love you feel for a friend, and the love you feel for your parents is different to the love you feel for a freshly baked marinara pizza. Mmmm, freshly baked marinara pizza. Anyway. When it comes to romantic partners, love gets even more complicated. When two people are in love, they depend on each other for support, but they also have to make each other feel special. Your lover may be your closest confidant, your source of safety and belonging, and the heart of your passion [1]. This isn’t an easy balance to get right. Relationship quality plays a huge part of our health, happiness and wellbeing. We all have ups and downs in life, and it’s the people we share them with that help shape the way we celebrate the good times and cope with the bad. As we enter adolescence, our closest relationships tend to be those we have with our romantic partners [2]. This doesn’t mean you should go rushing into a relationship with the next person who pays you the remotest bit of attention! Remember – it’s the quality of your relationships that makes the difference [1]. Learning from early relationships If you’re young and in a relationship, you might feel like you’ve found the one (and maybe you have – if so, congrats!) or you might be testing the water to find out what you want from relationships in the future. Either way, you can always work on the skills that will help you be a better and happier partner in the future. In a recent study, young people were asked what they’d learned from being in relationships. The most significant lessons these young people had learned from their early relationships included: Sensitivity. It’s important to keep an eye on your partner’s needs, without losing sight of your own. Realistic expectations. In the early days, we present our best sides. As we get more comfortable with each other, our quirks and foibles start to spill out. While this can lead to some relationships breaking down, it can also be a time when couples strengthen their bond as they start to see each other more completely. Honesty. Being honest and trusting your partner are essential components of any successful relationship. Compromise. A relationship is an ongoing process. You will both have to keep checking in on each other’s needs and making compromises, no matter how long you’ve been together. Balance. Many young people highlighted the importance of keeping intense emotions under control. Not just the negative ones like jealousy and anger, but also the overflowing excitement of falling in love in the first place. Freedom. While your romantic partner might also be your best friend and the most important person in your life, you both also need the freedom to be apart from each other. Stay connected to other friends and family members and remind yourself that you still have a life outside of your relationship. Communication. If you’re a regular on Click, you’ll know how much value we place on good communication. This is reflected in young people’s early relationship experiences too [3]. Whether you’re looking back at everything you’ve had to learn the hard way, or looking ahead to your next romantic adventure, take heed of these words of wisdom, and learn from the brave pioneers who went before you. References [1] Viejo, C., Ortega-Ruiz, R., & Sánchez, V. (2015). Adolescent love and well-being: the role of dating relationships for psychological adjustment. Journal of Youth Studies, 18(9), 1219–1236. https://doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2015.1039967 [2] La Greca, A. M., & Harrison, H. M. (2005). Adolescent peer relations, friendships, and romantic relationships: do they predict social anxiety and depression? Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology: The Official Journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53, 34(1), 49–61. https://doi.org/10.1207/s15374424jccp3401_5 [3] Norona, J. C., Roberson, P. N. E., & Welsh, D. P. (2017). ‘I Learned Things That Make Me Happy, Things That Bring Me Down’: Lessons From Romantic Relationships in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Research, 32(2), 155–182. https://doi.org/10.1177/0743558415605166
Article | dating, new partner
1 4 min read
Balancing work and childcare as a Dad
When you become a dad, you and your partner will need to make some decisions about how to divide up your work and childcare responsibilities. This may prove to be a more complex decision that it initially appears. Even in modern families, many parents still tend to drift towards traditional gender roles with men returning quickly to work and women staying home to take on primary childcare duties. As a dad, this can leave you feeling like the backup parent, on hand when needed but never at the forefront of parenting decisions (Gao 2018). Take some time to discuss your hopes and expectations with your partner so you can each get a true sense of what the other wants. You’ll still need to make compromises, but it will benefit you to make the decision as a couple, and take on the roles that suit your family, rather than the roles you think you’re supposed to have (Jansen 2006). Getting this balance right early on can help you establish a childcare routine that works, and this can give your relationship quality a positive boost.   Balancing your work and family lives It isn’t always easy to strike a successful balance between your work life and your family life. If you have to go back to work soon after your child is born, it can be a mixed experience. On the one hand, it may feel like a daily grind that takes you away from family life; on the other hand, the change of scene might sometimes feel like a relief from the stresses of home and family life (Brown 2017).  If you’re the one staying at home while your partner goes back to work, you may face a different kind of pressure as you remain on constant parenting duty without a change of pace. Whether you’re working, or on full-time childcare duty, you’ll probably have good and bad days. Try to remember that your partner is probably having a similarly tough time, even if you are tackling very different roles – you’re both going to need each other’s support. If both want to keep working, it can be a struggle to balance things. Good quality childcare is often hard to find and isn’t always affordable. This may affect the options available to you around the decision to return to work. One or both of you may have to work extra hours to cover childcare costs, or you may find that it makes better financial sense for one of you to stop working and cover childcare yourself.  It can make things easier if you’re able to arrange to work more flexibly. Under UK employment law, you are entitled to request flexible working arrangements, but your employer is not obliged to grant it (HSBC 2012) – it’s best if you can present the request in a way that benefits your employer as well as your family. Paternal leave  Dads are still more likely to go back to work sooner than mums, which can leave them feeling less confident in their parenting roles. If you’re not around the baby as much as your partner, you’ll have fewer opportunities to practise your parenting skills and you may worry about getting things wrong. If it’s available, an extended period of shared parental leave can give you both a chance to develop your parenting skills together. This early sharing of hands-on experience can set a precedent for a more equal involvement in long-term childcare, increasing your confidence and giving you a better understanding of what your partner is going through at home, if and when you return to work. All of this can help set up a more effective co-parenting relationship and, as a result, a happier couple relationship (Gao 2018) (Kolak 2007) (Rehel 2014).  If you can’t get the time off work, be prepared to learn things at a slower rate than your partner and try not to be put off by the fear of getting things wrong. Ask your partner to be patient with you. Explain that, even though you may not get things right first time, you do really want to help. By demonstrating that you’re willing to learn, you’ll be able to offer your partner more support in the long term.    References Jansen, M. and Liefbroer, A.C. (2006). Couples’ attitudes, childbirth and division of labour. Journal of Family Issues, 27 (1), 1487-1511. Gao, M., Du, H., Davies, P. and Cummings, M. (2018). Marital Conflict Behaviors and Parenting: Dyadic Links over Time. Family Relations DOI:10.1111/fare.12322. Kolak, A.M. and Volling, B.L. (2007), Parental Expressiveness as a Moderator of Coparenting and Marital Relationship Quality. Family Relationships, 56(5), 467-478.  Rehel, E. (2014). When Dad Stays Home Too: paternity leave, gender, and parenting. Gender and Society, 28 (1), 110-132. Forsberg, L. (2009). Managing Time and Childcare in Dual-Earner Families: Unforeseen Consequences of Household Strategies. Acta Sociologica, 52(2), 162-175. Brown, T.J. & Clark, C. (2017). Employed parents of children with disabilities and work family life balance: a literature review. Child Youth Care Forum. 46: 857. https://doi-org.uos.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s10566-017-9407-0 HSBC (2012). HSBC lends a hand to back‐to‐work parents: Employees guaranteed part‐time work after maternity or paternity leave. Human Resource Management International Digest, 20 (16-17) https://doi.org/10.1108/09670731211249341
Article | dad
0 6 min read
“Boyfriend watching transgender porn”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Me and my partner have been together and lived together for almost 3 years! 6 months into our relationship I come home from work as he left for work and he accidentally left transgender porn on his computer. I confronted him. He denied it and said it must have been a random video that was next lined up. I believed him and left it. Happened again another 4 times over the next year. He denied every one and had an excuse for each.i then found myself anxious and suspicious. I went through his computer and phone one night and found more than enough evidence of his interests. I screenshotted everything. That morning I confronted him. He denied it for a second then admitted to everything. We broke up then 2 weeks later we got back together. As long as he kept his promise to stay away from this kind of porn. As to me it is not natural.? i told him if I see it again we will break up again. I’ve just found more on his laptop and computer. And I’m so scared he might be gay or one day loose interest. I’m disgusted. I have confronted him again. He admitted to it. Although I mentioned why would he do it again if it meant loosing the relationship but he had no answer for me. Please help me.
Ask the community | pornography, rejection
“How do I leave him?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I've been in a relationship with a borderline alcoholic with a narcissistic personality for about 3 and a half years. We live together but spent the last month apart. I went to stay with my mum with my two cats and left him the flat. His drinking has become a huge problem and a year ago I received a serious health diagnosis which I've been trying to come to terms with. The main problem is that he is more interested in going to the pub with his mates than helping me cope with all this. It got to a point where he was coming back late at night completed drunk, waking me up or making me wait up before I could cook dinner for us because he hadn't phoned to let me know he was going to be home late, tripping over the cats and being a general nuisance. My health condition was brought on by extreme stress and he is only adding to that. If I am suddenly ill and have to go to hospital, I can't rely on him to be able to care for me or even be sober enough to call for an ambulance. I'm back temporarily but I asked him to still give me my space. That includes sleeping in separate rooms. So far I've been packing my things down into boxes because I don't want to/can't afford to live in our flat anymore. I want to move back to my home town, which he has known about for a long time because I told him before our break. What I'm finding now is that he's not actually respecting my boundaries and is now actively looking for flats in my home town for both of us to live in. What he's not understood is the fact I don't want to be with him at all and I want to move on my own. I'm trying really hard to not disrupt the peace in our flat at the moment as it just creates a volatile environment for not only me but the cats too. I've considered just taking a day off work when I know he won't be at home and just moving all my stuff out. After that I'd tell him it was over when he can't do anything to stop me. Has anyone got any advice?
Ask the community | breakups, big changes