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Biphobia is Real…and Really Hurtful: Part 1

By Heather, an advocate. This is the first of a two-part series. This post is for bi+ folks!

Hey bisexual readers, we see you! March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month, so we want to talk about the health of your relationships.

If you’re bisexual (or pan- or polysexual, hetero- or homoflexible, or Queer & non-monosexual) it’s possible that your sexuality has caused some concerns or confusion in your relationship. (Sadly, bisexual women are more likely than any other group to experience intimate partner violence.) We’re here to tell you that none of this is your fault! Healthy relationships are based on trust, honesty, respect and equality. Everyone, of every sexual orientation, deserves that. No matter which gender you or your partner are, your bisexuality is valid.

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dating after abuse: two young men sitting on a rock; one wears a hat and is smiling, the other has his arm around him and one hand on his shoulder

Dating After Abuse

Dating after being in an abusive relationship can be nerve-wracking and complicated. If you’ve experienced abuse, you might have more trouble connecting emotionally with potential partners, you might have a hard time trusting people or you might feel like your ideas about what is healthy/unhealthy in a relationship were warped by your abusive partner. These are all totally normal feelings to have, and it’s important to be gentle with yourself moving forward. Healing is a process. There’s no set timeline or “right” way to do it.

If you’d like to start dating again after experiencing abuse, here are some things to consider:

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“That’s So Disrespectful!”

By Anitra, loveisrespect youth organizer

“When you talk to other girls in front of me…”
“When you dress like you’re single…”
“You see me calling and don’t answer…”
“That’s so disrespectful!”
You’re so disrespectful!”

When speaking with people about their relationship experiences, one word I hear a lot is “disrespectful.” Disrespectful behavior can happen in any relationship, whether with someone we’re dating or a friend or family member. However, there are times when someone labels a behavior as disrespectful when it’s….not. Sometimes our ideas about what’s disrespectful are influenced by unrealistic expectations about our relationships, as well as feelings of jealousy, possessiveness or insecurity – which can all contribute to unhealthy or even abusive behavior. It’s okay to feel jealous or insecure at times (we all do!). But it’s never okay to use those feelings as excuses to control or isolate your partner.

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What is Respect in a Healthy Relationship?

People have a lot of different ideas about what the word “respect” means. Sometimes, it is used to mean admiration for someone important or inspirational to us. Other times, respect refers to deference towards a figure of authority, like a parent, relative, teacher, boss or even a police officer. In this context, it is presumed that respect should be given to those who have certain types of knowledge and power. And then other times, respect means upholding the basic right that every person has to make their own choices and feel safe in their own daily lives.

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Real Talk About Relationship Expectations

This post was contributed by Heather, a loveisrespect advocate

It’s a New Year, which means lots of people have been making resolutions and talking about their goals and expectations for 2017. We all know how it goes: we often have totally unrealistic expectations for the upcoming year, and then we get mad at ourselves when we can’t live up to them. That’s why it’s so important to understand what’s realistic…and what’s not.

It’s the same with relationships. At loveisrespect, we often chat with people who have unrealistic relationship expectations, and this can lead to a lot of struggle or even unhealthy behaviors. Today, we want to break down some unrealistic expectations about relationships that can make them unhealthy or even abusive from the start. A healthy relationship requires trust, honesty, mutual respect and equality, and those are exactly the things that are missing when people come into relationships with these unrealistic expectations. Let’s dive in!

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“My Relationship Ended. Does That Mean We Failed?”

This post was contributed by Laura, a loveisrespect advocate

So your relationship ended – now what? After a breakup, we often feel a rush of painful and confusing emotions. We might even begin to question everything about our relationship. How could it have gone wrong? I loved them so much, isn’t love enough? Did I do something wrong? Does this mean we failed?

That last question can be so tough. We’re often taught that relationships take a lot of work. If you just work hard enough, the relationship should last, right? Well, that isn’t always the case. Relationships can and do end for a lot of reasons. It can be so tempting to think of a relationship that ended in a breakup as a waste of our time and a failure on our part. While those painful feelings surrounding a breakup are certainly normal, no matter how long you were with your ex, your relationship ending is not a failure. Relationships that end can actually teach us a lot about ourselves.

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Moving In Together? Tips for Being Financially Safe

Maybe you’ve just graduated and you’ve decided to look for a place to live with your partner. Or maybe you’ve been dating for a while, and moving in together seems like a good next step. For many people, living with a partner is a way to learn more about each other, as well as a practical decision to help ease cost of living (splitting the rent, anyone?). But this situation can also be an opportunity for a partner to become more controlling and financially abusive.

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You Think Your Partner Is Toxic

by Melissa A. Fabello. Originally posted on Everyday Feminism.

I had an intervention once.

Kind of.

It wasn’t like the tearful ones that you see on TV, where a load of loved ones read notes from their pockets begging their person-who-might-have-a-problem to find themselves again.

No, it wasn’t like that at all.

But my mother did get me in a place where I couldn’t easily escape – her car – and, sweetly but sternly, expressed that she had something to say and that I wasn’t going to like it. She told me: “You can’t choose who you love. But you can choose who you’re with.”

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