Dating & Relationships

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Dating & Relationships

Dating and relationships can be fun and exciting, but they can also be really confusing. Here are some tips for starting and maintaining a healthy relationship, and recovering once a relationship has ended.

Starting a relationship

It's not unusual to want to develop romantic relationships with guys, girls, or both. You still might be working that out. Spend time getting to know the person you're attracted to. A good way to open up a conversation and get to know someone better is by asking them open-ended questions that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. If the person you are interested in doesn’t feel the same way, don’t be discouraged. Remember the good things you like about yourself, the things you are proud of, and the positive things in your life.

Maintaining a Happy Relationship

The best way to keep a relationship strong, healthy and growing is for you to be aware of your own needs and expectations and communicate those with the person you're dating. Here are some tips:

  • Be honest and trusting. If you can't trust the person you're dating, maybe they're not the one for you.
  • Keep communicating and talking.
  • Accept your differences.
  • Voice your opinions and frustrations, but do it respectfully.
  • Respect each other's time and space.
  • Spend time with yourself and make sure that you work at making your other relationships strong.

Ending a relationship

Over time, you can grow apart from or have less in common with the person you’re dating, and it might be time for you to think about ending the relationship.

It's especially important to end your relationship if you're in a situation where you're being hurt or abused by someone. If you're not sure how to leave your partner, talk to someone you trust, like a friend, family member, counselor or social worker.

Ending a relationship is a loss, and can be very difficult for both people. It’s not uncommon to feel sadness, anger, disbelief, guilt or relief. Talking with someone is helpful, and you may also try staying active, doing things you enjoy, trying something new, eating a healthy diet, and reminding yourself you’re OK.

Acknowledgement: This fact sheet was originally developed by youth and staff at, a website that helps teens get through tough times.

Many articles in this section were adapted from, a website for Native Youth by Native Youth