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Does Your Relationship Need a Checkup?

Does your relationship need a basic checkup to be sure it's healthy and well? Here's a list for doing just that.

Hello, Sailor! How to Build, Board and Navigate a Healthy Relationship

You probably hear the term "healthy relationship" a lot. But what does that mean, and how do you create -- and keep building -- one of those?

I feel stuck! I'm 20, living at home with no job and no car.

iamlost asks:

Hello. I’m feeling very lost lately and need some help. I am 20 and got my bachelors degree in economics in the fall. I really want to be a make-up artist though and went to night school while at college and have a qualification and a small portfolio. I am now living back home in a real small town where I can’t even find a part-time job and I have no car to travel out of town to work. My dad won’t help me out and I spent hundreds of dollars on lessons but he won’t let me behind the wheel or even let me pay for insurance on his car. So I send my portfolio out but rarely get any work and if I do it’s unpaid! I stay in bed until noon and feel like such an embarrassment to my folks. I then get up to eat and pretty much go back to bed. All I want to do is snuggle up to my pillow where I feel warm and safe (almost loved as strange as it sounds) and cry.

I am a shy girl and find it hard to make friends, when I do I can’t keep them. I can’t understand why they’d find me interesting and won’t agree to go out partying in case I’d be a bore so my college friends all drifted away and I’m not in contact with anyone I went to high school with. I am alone with my folks in the house and never have anyone my own age to socialize with. Couple that with my shyness and I’m lonely. I’ve also never had a boyfriend for the same reasons, although no boy ever hit on me either so the opportunity never arose. I would love to have sex and find myself thinking about it all the time and masturbating twice a day, I’d also just love some affection/cuddles or to have someone to talk to.

My father isn't respecting my personal boundaries.

Halia asks:

My father and I don't have the best relationship but he continually forces me to give him hugs, kisses, etc. even after I say no. It really bothers me, even if it is just a kiss on the cheek. He also comes in my room a lot (without knocking) and lays down in my TWIN size bed with me and wont leave even after I tell him to get up. I don't know what to do anymore and I don't feel like I can trust him anymore because he never respects what I want to do. What should I do about this?

Do You Have Any Children? A Birthmother Speaks to the Personal & the Political

"Do you have any children…?" It’s such a typical question to ask someone, and for many it’s an easy yes or no answer. For me though, I consistently find myself hesitating to respond. Generally when speaking to strangers, casual acquaintances, and even new friends, I opt to answer “no.” On occasion, I brave the consequences and answer the truth: “Yes, I’m a birthmother.”


When I gave birth, options were discussed with me regarding what to do about the baby. For me, there seemed no choice but adoption. I was now 17. The thought of raising a child was an impossibility. I wanted to finish high school. I wanted to go to college. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to hang out with my friends. I just wanted to continue to be a teenager.

The holidays are here, and so are uncomfortably racist conversations with family!

The holidays are here and you know what that means! Well, if you're a person of color in an interracial relationship, it may mean having to sit through yet another uncomfortable, racially-charged conversation with your significant other's fam. I know I have, and December's barely here. When your significant other's (SO) parents tell you that they wished they had an African American relative in their ancestry, just to spice things up a bit, and then correct themselves to say that, really, any person of color would do--you've got a problem on your hands. Or when they joke about how they "thought you were Mexican" when you're Japanese (both are comments that I've encountered in the course of my dating history), playing on the 'they all look alike' myth, haha--Not. So while one of the best parts of being in a new relationship has been being made a part of my SO's family, the hardest part about being in a new (interracial) relationship is the culture shock of getting to know the peopl


Beyond the Birds and Bees

An online resource where readers can share stories of how information about sexuality was taught within the family of origin. Looks at the various methods folks have employed from the effective to the funny to the tragic.

Societal and Familial Disapproval of an Age-Disparate Relationship

ccangl asks:

I'm 21 years old and my boyfriend is 52. The age difference does not matter to me or to him but it bothers me that our families do not approve of the relationship. We love each other and even want to get married. Our sex life is great, we are on the same level spiritually and have lot in common. I just need some advice dealing with peoples' reactions to our relationship (family, friends and even strangers!). As far as family goes, his family does not tolerate me, they think I have some kind of conspiracy to hurt him. They think I'm going to use him and break his heart, they cannot believe that I truly love him. My family (especially my mom) is more understanding, he spends time at my house, etc. My biggest concern is that we will not be able to be happy (if we get married) because people disapprove of our relationship. I'm used to people looking at us and wondering if we're a couple or not but it bothers me when they try to make us feel bad by giving us the "look." How can we tell people to get off our backs about our relationship without being rude? Thanks for your help.

About That "Talk" with Your Parents...

Talking with your parents about sex can be really hard – even if your parents are really open and start the conversation themselves rather than you starting it – or even if your parents are totally supportive of your boyfriend or girlfriend and your sexual activities. Here are some tips and helps to make it easier on both of you.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.