Two men holding hands with a river flowing behind them
We all have different kinds of relationships from very early in our lives.

Types of relationships

Often, we have relationships with our parents or guardians, our siblings, step-siblings or foster siblings, our cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbours and friends. These are family or friendship relationships. When people get a little older, they may want to have other kinds of relationships too. Teenagers may want to date a person they like and to have a romantic relationship with them as boyfriend or girlfriend, for example.


Having a romantic relationship with another person you like can be lots of fun. When you’re dating someone you might:


Get to know each other better by talking face-to-face, on the phone, by text, or online

Spend time

Spend extra time with that person

Do activities

Do activities together, like going to the cinema

You might also like to hug, hold hands or kiss. It all depends on what you both feel comfortable doing. It’s important that you only start dating when you feel you are ready to and you’re the only person who knows when that is!

Before you think about starting a romantic relationship with someone, make sure you:


The most important part of any relationship is respect.
Having a respectful relationship allows both people to feel accepted, liked and safe. Signs of respect in a romantic relationship are:
It’s important to remember:

Healthy and unhealthy relationships

Romantic relationships can be fun when you both like each other and get on well. It can be confusing, however, if you like someone but don’t like how they treat you or make you feel. 

It’s important to pay attention if things don’t feel right in a relationship. If you find that your feelings have changed and you want to end a relationship, support is available. It might help to talk to an adult you trust and make the right decision for you. 

Some things that happen in a healthy relationship are:

Time together

You enjoy spending time together

Your own interests

You can spend time apart and have your own hobbies and interests


You trust and respect each other


Each person feels comfortable expressing themselves

Some signs of an unhealthy relationship:

Support is available

If you would like support around your relationships, you have a right to get support. 

Is there a trusted adult you can talk to about how you feel? Childline is always here to listen to you and support you.

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