YOUTH

When your crush finally notices you and things start looking like they might become “official,” there are usually lots of warm and fuzzy emotions floating around. You may find yourself wanting to text or talk to that person all the time. You might get butterflies when you see your boo. You might create an emoji sequence with special meaning that you use to end every text conversation. It can be really fun to be someone’s “special someone.” 

In the teen years, the hormones that make you go through puberty also play a big part in driving feelings of attraction. Your hormones (you’re making more than ever before) can also affect emotions, making them feel bigger and stronger. For some people, when attraction and big emotions come together, it can make them act needy and demanding - and that can turn “fun and flirty” into annoying and and even harassment.

Have you ever had requests like these?

  • Text me as soon as you get home.
  • Comment on my post!
  • Facetime me before you go to bed
  • Send me a snapchat to show me how much you love me
  • Write me a paragraph telling me how much you love me
  • I don’t want you to talk to _________
  • Tell your parents you’re doing homework, then let’s get online
  • Send a picture in your underwear...or nude...

Sometimes these requests can make you feel special because someone is paying attention to you and really wants to hear from you or be with you. But sometimes these requests can feel more like a burden than something that makes you feel good. How do you know if the requests are fun and flattering or annoying and even harassing? One is healthy and the other is not. 

It can be confusing, but the most important way to know if the request is great or not so great is to pay attention to the feeling you have the second you receive it. Are you excited and can’t wait to answer, or are you annoyed, hesitating, or thinking "NO WAY"?

When someone you like always wants to know where you are/who you’re with, or demands too much of your attention and time, asks you to lie, or wants you to do things that don't feel right to you, it’s not a healthy relationship anymore. It doesn’t mean that person is bad, or even that the relationship is doomed; it may just mean he or she needs to learn better ways to act toward someone they like.

If you really like this person, the nicest thing you can do is to speak up about what’s not feeling good and why. You can say something like, “Please don't ask me to _____ because it makes me feel ________.”

  • Maybe their request feels like homework. 
  • Maybe it feels like your boo wants you to ignore your friends or your family. 
  • Maybe it feels like your crush doesn’t trust you.
  • Maybe it feels like you don’t have any time to put your phone down and do other things.
  • Maybe it just feels wrong to you. 

If you don’t explain your feelings, those requests will probably continue. And more than that, your special someone won’t get to know the real you. Practice speaking your mind - even if you have to do it by text. Then, if the requests continue, you’re dealing with harassment because you’ve asked that person to STOP, but they don’t. 

If you’re being harassed or annoyed by a repeated texts or in-person comments and demands, it’s time to break up or get a parent or trusted adult involved. Sometimes these situations can be sticky, and a parent, teacher, coach or other trusted adult can help you figure out a plan to stop the harassment or to end the relationship. 

Learning to communicate how you really feel is hard and takes practice, but it will help you in every relationship you have throughout life. If you start speaking up for your feelings now, you’ll be a pro as you get older. And if you’re on the annoying side of this issue - meaning you’ve been asked to STOP, learning to listen and change your behavior is another important life lesson that will lead to better relationships. Honest communication and learning to listen are two of the most important things for two people in “like” or in love.

An important note: If there's EVER a request for nude or partially nude photos, it's illegal to send or receive nude photos of anyone (including yourself) under the age of 18. There are many states where young people can be charged with distributing or possessing child pornography, which is a very serious crime. Do not think that sending photos of yourself nude or partially  nude is safe, no matter how much the person tells you to trust them. And do not think it's ok or funny to ask for photos like that. If you get a request like that, you should definitely get a trusted adult involved because the person making the request is doing something that is potentially very illegal and wrong (and maybe they need to learn that!).

 

Tags: 
healthy relationships, dating, harassment

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