Meeting a new person and beginning an intimate relationship is often thrilling and joyful. People have a new found sense of hope, happiness, and excitement that is intoxicating. Often times these new relationships pick up speed and one or both of the people involved get wrapped up in the moment. In the beginning everything can move so fast that sometimes it is easy to forget yourself, and to instead mold yourself into acting the way that you think your partner would most like. However, long term this behavior can lead to a lack of open communication with your partner as well as feelings of resentment.
Through all of the excitement and adventure it is important to take some time for yourself and remember what your rights are in any relationship. A document called the Dating Bill Of Rights outlines some of the crucial aspects of a relationship that are easy to forget when swept away with the feeling of new love. Let’s take a look:
I have the right to:
1. Ask for a date or refuse a date.
2. Have friends and space apart from my partner.
3. Change my mind – at any time.
4. Always be treated with respect.
5. Say NO.
6. My own body, thoughts, feelings, opinions, and property.
7. Not be abused.
I have the responsibility to:
1. Not threaten to harm myself or another.
2. Communicate, not manipulate.
3. Take care of myself.
4. Determine my limits and my values.
5. Express my own feelings, wants, and needs with honesty.
6. Resolve conflicts with out violence.
7. To encourage my girlfriend or boyfriend to pursue his or her dreams.
It is always important to remember that in order to make your partner feel happy, safe, and loved, you must feel the same way. Understanding that you have the right to set boundaries and have them respected, and have the right to your feelings along with the responsibility to express them can lead to a very healthy and lasting relationship.
If you want more information about what your rights are in a relationship, or feel like your rights are being violated please call our hotline at 919-929-7122.