Being in a relationship can be really exciting. Getting to know someone, hanging out and feeling happy just thinking about them. But it can also be confusing. Read our advice on what to do if you're worried about a relationship.

Starting a relationship

Sometimes it can feel like you're the only one who isn't in a relationship. Especially if your friends and people around you are coupling up.

But everyone's different, and there's no set time for you to begin your first relationship.

There's nothing wrong with you if you're not in a relationship. And some people have their first relationship when they're adults. Just remember, everyone gets nervous about things like relationships sometimes.

The most important thing is that you're happy to choose whether they're the right person for you. And it's okay to say no, too.

You could think about what makes you want to be with someone and what are the good things are about being single.

4 tips to ask someone out:

  • Spend more time with them to see if you both get along.
  • Find out more about them to see if you have similar interests.
  • Choose a time when you're both free to talk and are alone if you're embarrassed to talk to them with others around.
  • You don't have to ask them out, you could ask them to hang out or go to the park.

Check out our message boards for advice from other people in similar situations.

telling someone you like them

Having a crush or liking someone can be exciting. It can also be scary. You might want to tell the person how you feel, or ask them out, but don't know how to. Or you might feel scared that they won't feel the same way.

If the person feels the same way about you, it could be the start of a relationship. You can learn all about them, and begin to like them more and more.

But if they don't, it can be hard to pick yourself back up again. You might feel embarrassed, rejected or really sad. But there are things you can do to help.

When there’s an age gap

Being in a relationship where there’s an age gap isn’t always a big deal. But there are some things to think about.

Relationships where there’s a difference in your ages might work well, but can sometimes cause problems.

The things you have in common can sometimes make an age gap seem less important, but differences in your ages can be difficult, especially when one of you is over 16, an adult, or there is an age gap of more than a year or two.

Breaking up

Breakups can be really hard for both people involved. They can be really confusing too.

It's important to remember that whether you've broken up with someone or they've broken up with you, it will take time to get back to normal and you can't rush it.

5 ways to help you cope:

  • Talk about how you feel with someone you trust.
  • Talk to one of our counsellors for support.
  • Check out the relationships message board and get support from other young people who might be in a similar situation as you.
  • Focus on things that make you feel happy, like spending time with friends and doing hobbies.
  • Take time to think about what is important to you and how you want things to be in the future. Try to express your feelings and draw how you want things to be.

worried about a relationship?

If you're really worried about your relationship, you could talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend about how you feel. It often helps to prepare how you are going to say how you feel and to be clear about your thoughts.

If your girlfriend or boyfriend ever puts you down or makes you feel scared, this could be relationship abuse.

If you feel like you can't talk to them, you could try some of the things below:

Worried about a friend's relationship?

It can be difficult if you're worried about your friend. You might not know what to say or they might be secretive about what's been happening. We often hear from people who tell us:

  • 'my friend's boyfriend is treating her badly'
  • 'my friend's girlfriend is always teasing him and putting him down'
  • 'my friend is in a relationship with someone who is much older'
  • 'my friend is being forced to have sex'.

If you're worried about a friend, you don't have to cope on your own. Read our advice about helping a friend.

When does it become abuse?

LGBTQ+ relationships

Every relationship is different, and you might feel like your relationships are even more different when you identify as LGBTQ+. But no matter what your sexuality or gender identity is, we've got advice to help.

Not sure what to do?

It's natural to develop strong feelings for different people as you grow up. And there might be times when you're not sure if you should let those feelings develop. It's important to make sure the people you like are right for you.

Get answers to your questions below.