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Guitar and Hammock

Hey, we know, you're young, you're hip, you just wanna have fun. We want you to have fun too. That's why we want to give you the tools to stay safe and be loved and respected. 

What is respect? What are boundaries? If you do not know what these things are in a relationship that's okay, we are here to give you some tips, but until you learn what these two very important things are you should probably hold off on dating. Would you fly a plane without going to flight school? 



 A boundary is a rule or limit to what you are comfortable with. These can include physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual, and financial boundaries.

Some examples:

  • Dictating your own feelings

  • Not wanting to hug someone

  • Saying "no"

  • Speaking down to you

  • Asking for space

  • Your right to privacy 

  • Not feeling pressured

  • Making you feel afraid

  • Trying to change you 


 Respect in a relationship is the ability to be you and having your partner love you for being you. It's about sharing your ideas, thoughts and boundaries with your partner and them rooting you on and valuing you for what you believe in. 

Here are some examples of a respectful relationship:

  • Doesn't try to change you

  • Encourages you 

  • Is supportive of you

  • Respect differences

  • Isn't controlling

  • Has trust in you

It's okay to say "Hey, that's not okay."

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Teen Dating 

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All relationships have different stages, types and limits. It's important that your partner understands where your limits are and what you are comfortable with. Each of you should share with each other what your goals in the relationship are, and what you expect from your partner. 

So how can you keep you safe? Start by knowing and setting boundaries.

Being honest and open about your boundaries in a relationship is a healthy place to start before getting into a relationship. While thinking about you and only you, make a list of boundaries. You don't have to share them with anyone unless you want to but knowing and seeing your own boundaries can be refreshing and make you feel more confident in yourself and a relationship. Some of your boundaries might change throughout your relationship and that is totally normal as long as YOU are the one that is changing them, not your partner, your friends or even social media. 

Being a good partner starts with respecting each others boundaries, being honest with each other, rooting for each other and making each other smile.

What if my boundaries are not being taken seriously? Or what if I don't like my partners boundaries

If your  boundaries are not being taken seriously and you have been honest and forward with your partner on what those boundaries are, that probably means your partner does not respect you, and you deserve respect. It might be that your partner needs a little help understanding how respect works, it might be that they are just crazy in love with you and they can't control themselves, because you are an amazing human. What ever the reason is: they are not giving you the respect you need and deserve. You should never feel uncomfortable with your partner and you should never have to bend or twist your boundaries to fit someone else's. Cooling off and taking a break from a relationship is a very healthy experience and should be considered if your partner is not respecting you.

You are worth it!

Relationships can be tricky, especially fresh ones. Just because your horoscopes align, your parents are friends with your partners parents, your afraid to loose friends or be the school gossip- remember you are worth of every drop of respect and you deserve to be loved. We're not telling you that your first love will not be your last love, or you can't be in a relationship with the same partner forever- we are just here to let you know you deserve to be loved and respected. If you don't feel respect from your partner, you can make that change- that's your power, that's your right. And remember- we are here for you.

Some statistics on teen dating violence: 

  • Violence does not see gender 

  • Anyone can be a victim of violence

  • 1 in 3 teens will be in an abusive or unhealthy relationship

  • About 1 in 12 teens have experienced physical violence with a partner

  • Teens who have suffered dating violence are subject to long term consequences like alcoholism, eating disorders, thoughts of suicide and violent behavior. 

  • Females between 16-24 are roughly 3 times more likely than the rest of the population to be abused by an intimate partner

  • Violent behavior often begins between 6th grade and 12th grade. 

  • 72% of 13 and 14 year olds are dating 

  • 50% of young people who experience rape or physical or sexual abuse will attempt to commit suicide

  • Only 1/3 of teens who were involved in an abusive relationship confided in someone about the violence 

Dating can be so much fun, but it can also be awkward, weird and uncomfortable at times. You should not have to bend your beliefs or boundaries for someone that loves you, they should love you for YOU! If you ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable while dating someone and you can't say something to that person. Tell your friend, your parents, your aunt, your neighbor, the lunch lady- just tell someone you trust. If you don't feel comfortable with telling someone you know- call us at 218-547-1636. 

Download our Teen Dating Violence Informational Rack Card here. 

For more information about teen dating violence please call us at 218-547-1636 or visit

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