Being in a relationship can be really exciting, but sometimes it can be confusing too. Read our advice on what to do if you’re not sure about a relationship.

Starting your first relationship

There’s no right or wrong time to start a relationship. And deciding whether you want to get together with someone should always be your choice. It’s important to think about what makes you happy, especially if you’re feeling pressured by other people.

Remember that relationships don’t all look the same, so what you want might be different to what someone else wants. If you’re ever worried or unsure, you can talk to us.

Deciding whether to ask someone out? We’ve got lots of advice to help:

5 things to remember about relationships:

  • Whether you want to be in a relationship is always your choice
  • There are lots of different types of relationship, and every relationship is different
  • It can help to learn about healthy and unhealthy relationships
  • You can get relationship advice from the message boards any time
  • If you’re worried, Childline’s here to support you

Breaking up with someone

Break-ups can be hard for everyone involved, but sometimes they can also feel like a relief. Whether you want to break up or you’re being broken up with, there are ways to cope.

Relationships and sex

There are lots of things to think about if you’re considering being sexually active in a relationship. It’s important to consider what you’re both comfortable with, and whether you’re feeling pressured or unsure.

If you’re thinking about being sexually active, we’ve got advice to help:

LGBTQ+ Relationships

Every relation is different, and if you identify as LGBTQ+ you’ve still got the right to feel comfortable and respected when you’re in a relationship.

You might be worried about:

  • Homophobia, biphobia or transphobia around your relationship
  • How to ask someone out, or worrying about how they’ll react
  • Being in a relationship when you’re not out
  • Having for feelings for someone you weren’t expecting to, and what your sexuality is
  • Asking for support if you need it, especially if people don’t know you’re in a relationship

Whatever’s on your mind, you’re not alone and Childline is here to support you. You can get advice from other young people anonymously on the message boards, or you can talk to a Childline counsellor about anything.

Long distance relationships

Whether your relationship has always been long distance or you’re trying to stay together after moving away, it can be tough when you can’t see each other very often.

Just like any other relationship, it’s important to make sure you’re not feeling pressured or uncomfortable in your relationship.

  • Plan things to do together
    Schedule time that you can talk or facetime, or plan times that you can watch things together.
  • Keep talking to other people you care about
    Share how you’re feeling with people outside of the relationship, and make time to do things you usually enjoy.
  • Be careful who you’re talking to
    Not everyone is honest about who they are online. Avoid sharing too much personal information, and talk to someone you trust if you’re not sure.
  • Get support if you’re worried
    Even when it’s long distance, there can be signs that a relationship isn’t healthy. If someone says or does something that makes you worried, it’s important to talk about it.
  • Remember that it’s okay to miss someone
    It’s natural to miss someone when you’re so far apart. Keeping pictures and reminders of someone with you can help you keep feeling close.

Age gaps in relationships

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

An age gap can sometimes mean there’s a big difference in what you can do or how much money you have. It’s important to remember that feeling equal and being able to share what you want is an important part of any healthy relationship.