Spending time with other people is a major part of most of our lives. The word ‘relationship’ means ‘relate – to’ so it is not just about sexual relationships, but also about families, friends, work mates, the people we live with, hang around with, even the people that we try to avoid! Good relationships can make us feel great and get us through the bad times.

Relationships are rarely perfect – all relationships go through bad times. Not getting on with someone – whether you are ignoring each other or it’s out and out war – can really hurt. Talking things through with the other person is worth a try, but that isn’t always easy. Consider asking someone that you both trust to be there too, to help both of you listen to each other as well as each have the chance to talk about how you feel.

Communication is really important; it’s often poor communication that makes relationships go wrong in the first place.

If you feel you need someone to talk to, you can talk to a worker at YES, or ring Childline or Get Connected. You can also get information and advice from thesite, RUthinking, or youth information websites.

See here for more information about people you can contact for someone to talk to, or about being a good listener.

Relate-teen (part of Relate) offer a counselling service for young people 10-18 who are affected by the breakdown of their parents’ relationship, either now or in the past. (Young people under 16 need parental permission for counselling after the initial meeting).

Relate offer relationship counselling to couples 16+. This can be to one or both partners (heterosexual or same sex couples). There is a cost which depends on your ability to pay.

If things get so bad at home that you don’t feel you can live there any more, talk with someone first. Living on your own can be really hard at any age – but especially if you are under 18. Find out what your options are first, so you can decide what is best for you. Talk to someone in confidence at YES, or see here for more information.