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Self Respect

Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Relationships 101


  • Get the most out of a relationship

  • Solve problems, don't add stress

  • Learn to fight fair!

Tell it like it Is --- The key to being heard when you're angry, uncomfortable or frustrated!

Step 1:

Know the difference between passive, aggressive and assertive statements.

Be Assertive

Step 2:

Use the following Guideline to make sure your communication is clear.

  • When (describe the behavior) ...

  • I Feel (describe what you are feeling) ...

  • I Need/Want (say what would make it better) ...

Step 3:  Practice!

  • Sound Real, Don't chicken out.

  • The only way anyone will ever know what you think or feel is if you tell them.

Healthy or Unhealthy


Healthy Relationships

Everybody knows what it takes to have a healthy body.  But having a "healthy" relationship?  Generally, most teens agree that a healthy relationship is one that includes love, trust, respect, and honesty.

  • The good news?  Most teens (68%) say that their friends are in "healthy" romantic relationships. 
  • The not so good news?  About one in five (19%) teens ages 15-17 say that most of their friends are in unhealthy relationships—those without love, trust, mutual respect, and honesty.

Trust and Honesty Rule. 

  • When it comes to relationships, teens say it's all about trust—40% of guys and 48% of girls say that trust is the most important part of a healthy relationship. 
  • Teens say that honesty is the second most important factor in a healthy relationship. 
  • Ten percent of teen guys say compatibility is the most important part of a healthy relationship; yet only 3% of teen girls agree
  • Less than 3% of teens say looks or popularity matter most.

"A serious relationship is one that matters to you: one that's not only attraction, but trust and dependability as well."
                                  - Web Survey Response

Teen Tip:  Have you ever shared something with someone who later bretrayed your trust?  It's a terrible feeling but it happens all too frequently.  When you get into a new relationship, try not to rush the trust factortake your time and get to know your new partner before confiding your deepest thoughts and feelings.  Keep in mind that trust is usually built through sharingyou have to give a little to get a lot.

Fast Fact:  Previous surveys have shown that almost all teens (85%) believe that sex should only happen in a long-term committed relationship.

Teen Tip:  Remember, just because you may think that "everyone is doing it", doesn't mean they are.  Some are, some aren't, and some are just lying.

Think You’re in A
“Serious” relationship?

Answer these questions and find out

  • Do you have common friends that you both enjoy going out with? (Or is going out with his/her friends more something you tolerate)
  • Do you feel like your opinion and what you have to say is important and valued?
  • Is he/she okay with you talking to or having guys/girls who are just friends? (or does the jealousy thing come up a lot)
  • Do you know and feel comfortable being around each others’ families?
  • Do you share common interests and what you like to do with free time? (or do you dislike doing what they really like to do). 

If you answered YES to ALL of these questions you have a good start. Tune in next month for the “next level” of questions.

If you answered NO to ANY of these questions this is probably a short-term relationship. Decide quickly how long you want to stay in it and be honest with yourself about WHY!



Think You’re in A “Serious” relationship? II

Answer these Next:

  • Are our goals for the future compatible? Where do we want to be in 2-5 years?
  • Do you show affection in the same way? Or does one person feel ‘obligated’ or tolerate things?
  • Do you value or deal with money the same? Saver vs. Spender.
  • Do you both want children? What would happen if a pregnancy occurred?
  • Are you comfortable being TOTALLY honest with each other?


If you answered YES to ALL of these questions you have come a long way!

At this Point Keeping COMMUNICATION open and honest is key. Use the Communication Thermometer  in this section to see where you are!



Relationship Skill of the Month

Relationship Skill of the Month

Check this area once a month for something new to practice if you want a ‘real’ and
healthy relationship



Actually listening to someone is a lot more than just hearing what is coming out of their mouth!Here are some tips to becoming a better listener:
    • Pay close attention to what is being said and remember key points (like someone’s name or event being talked about)
    • Make eye contact frequently
    • Ask questions or for more information to show interest and to make sure you understand what’s being said.
    • Hear not only what the person is saying, but how they feel about it from their tone of voice, facial expression, body language.
    • Summarize it in your own words-can be as easy as ‘so you had a great time on your trip’.

Don't be a "self-talker"!


Asking Questions
Don’t be a “self-talker” !

Believe it or not, in most relationships, one person typically does more than 75% of the talking!   Use these tips to not only avoid being a self-talker, but to help you get to know who you’re going out with better.

  1. Avoid closed questions (requires only a yes or no response). Boring! And creates uncomfortable silence.
  2. Ask Open Ended questions: “Tell me about your game” (leaves a lot of room for response) vs. “How was your game?” (probably will get a much shorter answer, such as the score, or just “good”).
  3. Wait for an answer! Don’t be thinking of the next thing you want to say while they’re talking.
  4. Ask questions that are about more than just facts, such as opinions, values or ideas. These questions start with ‘What do you think about…..(could be anything from something that happened at school to the latest breakup) or “If you had a choice, would you…..(go to college or work, sky dive or go to the beach).
  5. Be direct if you have something serious to ask. DO NOT say something like “ I kinda want to know….”   Words like ‘kinda’, ‘sort of’, ‘maybe’ don’t reflect that you need a serious and honest answer.  




For the brave and the more mature, try playing the question game. It’s simple. Each person comes up with 5 questions they want to know about the other person. You take turns asking, and each person MUST answer, and answer honestly.  Questions should be all over the place, from favorite color to who would you want to be if you weren’t yourself!

Play once a week and see what happens!!


Did You Know?

Recognize Gender Differences in Conversation
  • That girls say I “sorta” think, or I “kinda” feel, but boys don’t? Take out the ‘kinda’s and say what you mean and guys will take you more seriously.
  • Boys interrupt girls when talking 5 times more than girls interrupt boys. Limit interrupting whenever you can.
  • Girls use conversation for social reasons. Guys more for solving a problem or to gather information. It’s why guys talk so much less than girls. It’s not rude, just the way it is.
  • Guys make eye contact way less than girls do. Girls assume it’s because they aren’t listening. Guys-work on more eye contact to stay out of trouble!


Relationship Influence

Teens—both guys and girls—say that parents most influence their desisions about dating and relationships.  There is, however, a gender divide ont the topic of parental influence:  teen girls (40%) are much more likely than teen guys (30%) to say that parents most influence their dating relationships.

Our survey of teens indicates that friends are the second biggest influence in terms of dating and relationships.  In focus groups, teens said they often look to their peers when they feel uncomfortable talking to adults or if they do not have close adult figures in their lives.

"Some teens don't trust adults, but they do trust other teens."
                                - Male San Antonio Focus Group

Who influences you most when it comes to your dating relationships?

Parents = 35%
Friends = 28%
The media = 4%

Religious leader/Faith community = 3%
Boyfriend or girlfriend = 2%
Other family member = 2%

Is Your Relationship “Real”?

Use this simple tool to examine where you’re at:


Here’s how it works:

Small Talk-Everyone starts at the bottom.  Think about it—first meeting, first date = small talk! “Weather talk”, “you look nice”, “where did you get that shirt” kind of talk

Facts: After a few dates/weeks/months, imagine all the information you know about them-from how many brothers they have to their locker combination.  TIP: Don’t’ confuse information with intimacy. In other words, just because you know ‘about them’ doesn’t mean you really ‘know’ them.

Ideas-Opinions- Here’s where it gets a little more difficult. Not everyone knows what you really think about some things—your opinions, your favorite kind of movies to your future goals, or your values—like do you value money or happiness more?  Ask yourself: Are you comfortable sharing these things? Do you feel accepted when you do?  Do you hold back because you feel like they might judge you, or just not like you?  

Feelings and Secrets- Reserved for the rare few!! Are you afraid of spiders”, Insecure about your looks?  Did you ever do something you are really ashamed of?   Do you tell them if they hurt your feelings?  Do you know any of these things about them?  TIP: If you answered ‘kind of’ or sometimes, or a few things….you have not achieved what it takes to move on.

Ultimate Trust- This is the top!  Best friends, closest family members, and yes, relationships can get here too---but it takes a long time, a lot of risk, and real straight communication.

Think you’re relationship is here?
Answer these questions:

      • Are you ever jealous?
      • Ever not say something because you fear being judged, laughed at, or making them angry?
      • Would you ever believe a rumor about them?
      • Ever uncomfortable with touch (from PDA to sexual touch) and not say anything?
If you answered yes to any of these you are not there yet, but don’t worry, there’s time. No one starts here, or gets here quickly or easily!  You gotta decide if who you are with is worth the time it takes.

Final Tip:   Adult or teen---ANY sexual relationship that starts before you get to the top level is at much greater risk for stress, misunderstandings, and eventual failure.

Not sure what to say when something is bothering you, or how to feel really heard or understood?

Try this simple tool-----


Tip 1:   Talk like yourself, but include all the components. No need to use them in order

Tip 2:  Understand that mad is not a feeling—it is a reaction to a strong emotion (jealousy, hurt, disrespect)—NAME IT!

Tip 3:  Be specific with “when” so they know exactly what they did

Tip 4:   Always know what you need to make it better or solve the problem.

    • an apology
    • to know someone really cares
    • for someone to stop…….whatever

Tip 5:   Practice, practice, practice, no matter how weird it feels at first. It will work for you.

Tip 6:   Only use this with people who really care (or should care) about you.

True Story!

In 9th grade I had an older guy pressuring me to send him a naked pic. First I avoided it, then I thought I would give this a try after a TPP class. I thought this is so simple it sounds stupid…..but I said “ I feel uncomfortable with the idea of sending pics like that to each other. I need us to do what we agreed and just be friends”. He responded “ha ha, I figured , but had to try”.

Problem solved! Casey

Practice Makes Perfect

  • When: (describe what you're feeling) ...
  • I Feel: (describe what you're feeling) ...
  • Because: (state the facts) ...
  • I Need/Want: (say what would make it better) ...

Got a tough decision to make?

Try this simple tool----
But make sure you’re honest with yourself!


Here’s how it works

  • Everyone has things they care about or value most-like the things on the background of the sheet.

  • Think about your decision, and list what you would risk losing (not definitely lose), using the words on the sheet, if you chose to …….whatever you’re thinking about doing.
    Add any values that you think are missing.

  • Next, list what you would ‘gain’ (using the words on the sheet).

  • Now ASSESS IT.     

    1. Count the number of items on each side
    2. Look at the value to you of the items on each side
    3. Picture yourself not just today, but in the future.
    4. Then circle your 2 most highly valued items and see where they fall!

By now the answer is usually obvious!

I Know ...

  • My decisions will have lifelong consequences.  What I gain, What I lose.
  • My values mean nothing if I do not act on them.


Quote of the Day: A good decision will always leave you more choices in the future, not less.

Questions to Ask Along the Way

Do you think sexual decisions are easy at any age?
Only for people who don’t actually think about them—but that usually spells disaster.


Everyone has to decide. We offer no answers, just questions to ask yourself, and some things to consider along the road.

Let’s start at the bottom---

What do I risk if I have sex with everyone I date (like on TV!)? Guys—this means you too!  What will you tell who, someday, you might want to marry? What are the chances of getting an STD? Will I really know why the next person wants to date me?

Do I owe someone, or do they owe me if there is a lot of money spent on dates or gifts?

Can someone be cute, or look ‘clean’ and still have an STD? How would I know?

What are the most important things to me in a serious relationship? Are they the same for my partner? (and yes, this is important!).

Do I know anyone that has been in love? Did it last?

Is adult love different than teen love?

How many times have I been in love? What if I had sex with all of them, how would I feel? What would my reputation be?

Did I ever date someone that now I can’t believe I ever liked? (Happens every year until you are in your 20’s!).

Is there a risk of getting an STD if you wait until you are engaged?

Do all engagements end in marriage? Ask around!

Does anyone wait until marriage anymore? (see the facts page).

Won’t people think I’m a prude?

What would I really gain by waiting until marriage?

What would advice would I give my own kids?

Need some answers….ask someone whose been there, look around the site, check out the facts.

Tip: Decide BEFORE you get into a serious relationship. It takes the pressure off.


Myths about living together  before Marriage

MYTH: We’ll know each other better and be less likely to be divorced when we do get married.

FACT: Married couples who lived together first have a 50% HIGHER chance of divorce than those who do not. 40% of live-ins never get married.

MYTH: Moving in together shows commitment

FACT: Couples who live together are twice as likely to cheat on their partner as married couples.

MYTH: We’ll be happier if we don’t feel tied down

FACT: Live-ins have more disagreements, fights, and show more violence to one another than married couples. Live-ins have the highest rate of domestic violence than any other couple (married, BF/GF, divorced).

MYTH: We will get married eventually.

FACT: The longer people live together the less likely they are to get married.