Flat Out Love: Your instant boyfriend

Flat Out Love: Your instant boyfriend


Paper BoyfriendIn support of National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, Stay Teen launched the “My Paper Boyfriend” game as a great way to test-drive a future relationship and learn how to avoid an unhealthy one.

You don’t always get to choose your boyfriend’s hair style or clothing in real life, but you can choose how you deal with trust and communication issues. The more questions you answer in the game the more you learn about healthy relationships. In the game and real life, relationships become more complicated at they progress. One day you may be fighting over the remote and six months later you could find yourself in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship.
Stay Teen says 1 in 4 girls say they are concerned about being physically hurt by a partner.  There are even more scary numbers: 1 in 4 teens report being pressured to only spend time with their partner, half of teen girls who have experienced sexual pressure report they were afraid the relationship would end unless they gave in and nearly 1 in 4 girls who have been in a relationship reported going further than they wanted to sexually because of a pressuring partner.
To combat those staggering numbers, Stay Teen offers five great guidelines useful to any relationship.
1. Keep Talking   

Communication is the key to any healthy relationship.  If something is bothering you, fess up! Your partner will never know what’s going through your mind unless you’re open and honest. “Use ‘I’ statements: ‘I feel this, I think that,” said Michelle Hainer who wrote the guidelines. “Doing so makes it seem less like you’re accusing them, and they’ll be more apt to really listen to your concerns.”
2. Respect each other
Sometimes it’s hard to see the bad in someone when you want to like them so much. Ask yourself these questions: Do they like you for who you are, or for who you pretend to be? Are you afraid they won’t like the real you? Your partner should never make you feel like you’re not good enough, you are more than enough!

3. Give each other space
It’s important to keep your friendships and hobbies, when you’re in a relationship. When your boyfriend is at a football game with his buds, catch a chick flick with your girlfriends. You can’t miss your boyfriend until you spend time apart.

4. Trust each other
This may not be easy especially if you’ve been burned before, but trust issues can tear a relationship apart. If you find it hard to trust your boyfriend you should re-evaluate your feelings for him. If you can’t trust him then why date him?

5. Be honest

Being open and honest is very important. Any relationship you have should be rid of lies. You’ll notice trust isn’t an issue when you’re in an honest relationship. It’s not easy to be honest all of the time, but it’s worth it. “What you have to say might be hard for them to hear, but it’s important to always be honest,” Hainer wrote.

Paper or plastic, imaginary or real, boyfriends can be worth the risk. The best relationships start with a great friendship.  Once you have a solid foundation, you’re bound to have a long-lasting relationship. If you hit any roadblocks you can always refer back to your Paper Boyfriend, he only leaves paper cuts, not broken hearts.
-Jennie McKeon