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fresh start An Alabama teen’s guide to breaking up and healthy relationships Should you cancel your relationship? Take the relationship quiz on pg 3 OK

CANCEL

Dear Gabb y weighs in on datin g abuse e k i l , n so r e p “In ” N A M a s

ay w y h t heal t of u o g to lo ship n o i t a rel your

Find out how dating abuse hit home for one guy Alabama teens and celebrities expose why they cancel relationships


When Dating Abuse Hits Home Adam Sapple Wall

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Basic Information Networks: Sex: Birthday: Relationship Status: Interested In: Looking For:

Brookwood High School ‘12 Male June 27, 1994 Single Women Friendship Networking A LOVING and HEALTHY Relationship

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About Me: I met Claire in Mr. Blake’s Chemistry class in the spring of last year. She sat two seats in front of

me, and I could never pay attention in class because she was so funny and always cracking jokes. About three weeks into the semester, I finally got up the courage to ask her if she wanted to study with me for our first chemistry test. We started hanging out on a regular basis and not long after she was my official girlfriend. The bad part about Claire was that just as much as she liked to crack jokes, she liked to punch. I never felt that she really wanted to hurt me, but sometimes her joking punches were really painful. Of course, I never said anything to her about it because I didn’t want her to think that I couldn’t handle it, so I usually just laughed it off. Despite her physical aggression, I believed that Claire and I were a great match. I thought that I could take our relationship to the next level and confide in her about some personal issues I was having at home with my family. To my surprise, Claire began to use my hardships against me. If I had a bad day or happened to get into a fight with my parents, she would tell me to suck it up or say that I should be more of a man. Eventually I started shying away from my friends because I was so afraid of bursting into tears when I was around them. I didn’t talk to my friends about it either because I thought they would make fun of me. Between fighting with my parents, losing all my friends and especially being scared of my own girlfriend, I felt that I literally had no one to turn to. Right before summer vacation started, my English teacher confronted me about how my grades had dropped throughout the semester. I broke down crying in her classroom and told her everything. She was completely supportive and was able to help Claire and me sit down with one of the school guidance counselors. It turns out that Claire was also going through some things at home and had been unintentionally taking it out on me. Needless to say that Claire and I broke up and don’t talk much anymore. I don’t hate her for hurting me like that, but being with her did help me become more aware about when a relationship can become abusive.

6 Red Flags of Abuse

1. Your boyfriend/girlfriend pushes for serious commitment early in the relationship. 2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend wants you to spend less and less time with your friends and family. 3. Your boyfriend/girlfriend makes suggestions about what you should change about yourself. 4. You begin to make fewer of your own decisions because your boyfriend/girlfriend has their own opinions about what your hobbies, clothes or routines should be. 5. Your boyfriend/girlfriend is always showing up places and checking in on you constantly. 6. Your boyfriend/girlfriend uses name calling, intimidation, humiliation, shoving, pushing or other forms of abuse to get you to do what they want.

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If you think you or a friend are being abuse, call The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474


Dear Gabby

on dating abuse

Dear Gabby, I think one of my friends might be abusing his girlfriend. He has always had issues with violence and aggression in the past. Since they started dating, his girlfriend went from being a very outgoing, energetic and happy person to someone who is quiet, reserved and she always seems sad. How should I address this situation with my friend without accusing him of being abusive? Thanks, Concerned Friend in Birmingham, Ala. Dear Concerned Friend, I can see how it seems suspicious that your friend’s girlfriend would have such a dramatic personality change. In this situation, I would try to confront your friend first about his girlfriend’s sudden change in personality, and what he thinks may have caused it. Also, if you have seen him be aggressive toward her, then you could address his issues with anger and see if he ever thinks that he has lost his temper around his girlfriend before. You can always talk to a trusted adult for help.

Nancy Lewis what’s the best way to breakup with my bf? Help me out ya’ll!!! J

about an hour ago - comment - like

4 people like this.

Susan Blake: Well I wouldn’t recommend sending a breakup text message. It’s just rude to end a relationship so impersonally…. It’s best just to bite the bullet and tell him yourself in person Shelley Reid: I would just call him and let him down easy! Be NICE! Jennifer Jordan: Be nice, but don’t tell him you still want to be friends. I told my ex-bf that and he kept calling me and following me at school. Leigh Hutchinson: Just cancel the relationship on Facebook… duh! Carrie Taylor: Nancy, do not listen to Leigh… she is wrong. Talk to him after school tomorrow.

“As I get older, I don’t settle. I’d rather tell somebody ‘This is what I want --- take it or leave it.” -Amanda Bynes “Dating would be fun to incorporate. It’s a lot of commitment so I don’t want a serious relationship.” — Rihanna

Alabama teens’ reasons to breakup - “If they cheat, lie or abuse you.” -”Cheating or they turn out to be a jerk” - “If we simply aren’t compatable or have moral issues. If I was mistreated in any way or if it just didn’t feel right.” - “If the relationship becomes uncomfortable or lacks trust” - “When you stop getting along with them, when the relationship changes in a way you don’t like.”

“Breaking up is a natural evolution Katie Smith: Don’t think that you can just ignore when you try to figure out what you him and he’ll get the message. You can’t end a want in life. If you’re with an relationship without actually telling him that the individual who isn’t moving in the same relationship is over! direction and at the same rate that you are, it ain’t going to work.” Samantha Williams: I tried to get my best friend —Usher to tell her boyfriend to tell my boyfriend that I “I don’t want to be in a relationship right wanted to break up. It didn’t work, so we’re still now. You have no time for anything else.” dating... uggh -Shailene Woodley 2


QUIZ

Is your relationship healthy?

Everyone deserves to be in a safe and healthy relationship. Take this quick and easy quiz to find out if you’re in a good place in your relationship or if it’s time to end it. 1. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT WHEN THE TWO OF YOU SPEND TIME TOGETHER? A. You feel like you’re missing out on having fun with your friends. B. You feel comfortable and content. C. How much you love being with him or her, you wish you could be with him or her all the time

4. YOUR ANNIVERSARY IS COMING UP, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO BE DOING? A. You doubt you’ll do much of anything, maybe a card. B. You two have planned to go to dinner and maybe small gifts. You just want to spend time together. C. You’re thinking of doing something really creative and romantic, the more over-the-top the better!

2. WHAT DO YOU TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU’RE ON THE PHONE WITH YOUR GUY OR GIRL? A. Get in a stupid argument about nothing and hang up. B. Tell each other about your day, share some funny stories, and then hang up because you are both super busy! C. How much you miss each other even if it’s only been a few hours since you were last together.

5). WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR GUY/GIRL YOU: A. Are bothered about something that he/she did and mad that he/she hasn’t apologized yet. B. Smile. C. Get a warm and fuzzy feeling all over and your heart skips a beat.

3. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME THE TWO OF YOU WENT ON AN ACTUAL DATE? A. You can’t really remember B. You’ve been planning on going out to dinner, but you have both been too busy C. A couple of days ago

MOSTLY A’s

The fire is dying out. You are in a relationship rut, but that doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. Try to communicate more if you really want the relationship to work, if not it’s time to end it. You two just aren’t meant to be, but don’t worry there’s plenty of great matches for you out there!

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6. YOU SEE ONE OF HIS/HER BEST FRIENDS AT THE STORE, HOW DO YOU REACT? A. You pretend you don’t seem them. B. You smile and wave but don’t stop to talk, you’re in a hurry! C. You go up and talk to them; you are really close with his/her friends, maybe even closer than you are with your own.

MOSTLY B’s

You are comfortable and happy. The honeymoon phase might be over, but this new stage feels even better. You feel completely relaxed when you’re with him/her. You like that even though you are both busy with your own separate lives and might not have as much time for each other; you two are still crazy about each other. This sounds like a healthy relationship.

MOSTLY C’s

CRAZY in love You are obviously head over heels. This is exciting and fun, but this phase won’t last forever so make sure you realize that now. If your relationship continues, which it sounds like it will, it should only get better. Just make sure you’re leaving time for your friends and, even more importantly, yourself. Too much time together can get to be unhealthy.

For more information, visit www.realteenrelationships.com, www.loveisrespect.org or www.chooserespect.org If you think you or a friend are being abuse, call The National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474


Fresh Start