Ask an Advocate

Do you have relationship questions but don’t know who to ask? The Ask an Advocate series is here to help! At loveisrespect, our advocates talk to young people every day about various situations related to dating, healthy relationships, unhealthy and abusive behaviors. We know how difficult it can be to talk about these issues sometimes, but know that we are here to listen!

Chances are, if you have questions others may have questions too—and our loveisrespect advocates are ready to help you with whatever questions you may have! Remember, answers are not advice! We know there’s no one-size-fits-all-answer when it comes to dating and relationships, so we want to continue with our mission to empower young people affected by dating abuse while providing you with a guide to help you make the healthiest choices for you and those you care about.

How do you submit your questions to Ask an Advocate?

Submitting your questions to Ask an Advocate is super simple!

  • Send us a private message via Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and Instagram with your “ask.”
  • Our handle is @loveisrespect and @loveisrespectofficial on Instagram.
  • Our advocates will respond to your queries in the order they were received.
  • No real names, please! Use a code name to help keep you safe.

How do you read the responses to your questions in Ask an Advocate?

Please send a code name along with your “ask” so we can customize our response.

Are there any rules for posting your questions to Ask an Advocate?

Since it will be a one-time answer, we ask that the “asks” are scenarios that can be responded to in that manner. If our advocates feel that an “ask” would need further discussion and/or safety planning, we will recommend reaching out directly to loveisrespect via call, chat or text message for direct advocacy.

But wait, who’s actually answering these “asks?”

Finally! We were waiting for you to mention it! We have our panel of advocates below! They each have their own vibrant personalities and advocacy magic. We hope you enjoy and above all else, we hope this is a great resource for those with questions regarding relationships! Now give us your best shot!

Ask An Advocate Bios

Bryan

Hola! My name is Bryan. He/Him are my preferred pronouns. Whenever I have conversations with my friends, I can’t help but tie a lot of the things that we talk about back to healthy relationships! I am always looking for opportunities to share what I’ve learned over the past years with others who may have concerns, questions or just want to talk about how amazing a healthy relationship can be. I think loveisrespect is one of the greatest resources out there! Check it out for yourself and let us know if you have a question!

 

Kimmiko

I have been with The Hotline/LIR since December. I have advocated for people of all ages and demographics. The most fulfilling part of my work is to help people transform from victims to survivors. I’m also a fiction novelist and looking forward to answering some questions!

 

Enrique

Hola, I’m Enrique! I have been an advocate here for two years. I am very excited to respond to y’all around the questions and concerns y’all might have around relationships, I cannot wait to hear from y’all. Take it easy, despacito, and take good care of yourself!

 

Rebecca

Mornin’ y’all! My name is Rebecca and I have been with the Hotline for six and a half years. I have been a phone advocate, a 2 a.m. ukulele soloist, collector of Frida paraphernalia, and an EMPOWERING AND FABULOUS manager (haha!).  As an avid–and often embarrassed–reader of bad romance novels it’s really hit home that what is truly unhealthy, or even down right abusive, can be cast as the norm in relationship examples we see every day. I am diving into the Ask an Advocate project to get the chance to give folks the tools to understand what makes a healthy relationship, what are red flags and how to take care of yourself through out any relationship.


Question from donotbeembarrased

Hi! I work as a waitress at a dinner and I have a huge crush on one of the waiters. The problem is he’s 25 and I’m 18. He almost asked me out twice (I think). Should I just go ahead and do it myself? What do 25 year olds even like to do? People also tell me if a girl asks out a guy, then the guy would take advantage of her and I don’t know.

Advocate Response

Hello!

Romance can be a lot of fun! If you both get along well, go for it! Be sure that you are asking him out respectfully, though. Invite him to do something that you both like to do, or maybe try something new together!

It is true that with a bigger age gap between partners, there is a higher risk of abusive behaviors, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Regardless of age, if partners treat each other equally and respectfully, you can have a great, healthy relationship! Be sure to keep your eye out for red flags that could pop up in relationships with large age differences. Age is not an excuse for abusive behavior!

Be respectful, be yourself, and be sure to have fun! If you need someone to talk to, we are available 24/7 via phone, call, chat, and text and our services are anonymous and confidential.


Question from Anonymous

Hi. I’m in a relationship with an individual with physical/learning disabilities, and he can be really rude, controlling, selfish and manipulating. I’ve been with him for 7 years and I don’t know how should go about leaving this unhealthy relationship. I haven’t been happy for a while, but he can’t grasp it. I even told him to go on your website to learn about relationships and abuse. He still doesn’t get it. What should I do?

Advocate Response

It sounds like you have made a great effort to help him understand his abusive behaviors, and he still isn’t getting it. You don’t owe it to him to stick around until he understands what he is doing. Abusers can change, but only if they are willing, and it doesn’t sound like he is willing. You deserve a relationship that is healthy and respectful! If you are ready to leave the relationship, be sure to consider your safety as you plan. Give us a call or chat with us and we can help you figure out your options as you go through this difficult time!


Question from Anonymous

I’ve been with my boyfriend for almost 6 months now but I still get anxious when he adds other girls on Facebook because even though he says he isn’t going anywhere, I’m still afraid he will find someone better than me and it makes me really anxious. I just want to be normal and not think these things.

Advocate Response

I completely understand how you’re feeling. Jealousy is a normal feeling that people can get about certain situations. It sounds like your boyfriend has been reassuring you when you do start to feel anxious and that’s great. Healthy partners are able respect their partner’s friendships outside of the relationship. I think maintaining open communication when you start to feel this way is important, so you’re able to talk to your partner about what exactly is making you anxious. When you do start to feel anxious, another tip could be to go and do something for yourself that you enjoy outside of the relationship. Self-care is super important because it’s how we take care of our emotional well-being.


Question from Anonymous

My two friends have been in a relationship for years. I have witness several instances of psychological and verbal and emotional abuse. The abused reached out to me for help when she had a chance, because we pretty much only see each other when the abuser is there. What should I do about it? 

Advocate Response

Woah! I am glad your friend built the courage to reach out to you for support! And seeing that you too are reaching out to better support her validates how great of a friend you are. I can imagine witnessing your friend enduring abuse from her partner (who is also your friend) must have felt very disturbing, and disheartening. It’s so difficult to watch someone you care about being hurt by their own partner. It’s always tough when you are friends with both of them. It’s important to remember that what her partner is doing is not okay, since no one deserves abuse, especially from someone they’d expect to care and support them. Abuse is cruel, confusing and a choice her partner is deliberately making to diminish her sense of identity, self-worth and dignity. It can be a safe idea to only support her when her partner isn’t around since abusive partners tend to isolate their partners from support. When it’s safe, it would be helpful to remind and reassure her that every human being is always worthy of being treated with basic respect and dignity, including her!–and that you’re concerned for her emotional safety. Most importantly, honoring that she knows her situation best and respect every decision she makes. You can also offer what you’d like to, whether that’s a listening ear, a place to stay, self-care plans or safety plan with her. Or anything you can to help humanize her–and shift power back to her. Also, it can be safe to keep in mind that ending an abusive relationships tends to be the most dangerous times in the relationship, so you can encourage her not to tell her partner any contemplations or steps she might take to end the relationship. Last but not least, you can talk with us, and you can motivate your friend to do so too. We are here to support 24/7/365 via call, chat or text! I am so grateful that she has a support person like you in her circle.  

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