Sex

Bringing sex into a relationship

If you think you might be in love, it’s possible you’re also thinking about having sex. If you’re making the decision to have sex with your partner it’s important to learn when you can say ‘no. If your family doesn’t like the person you are with there are things you can do that might help convince them that you know what you’re doing. Finally, balancing the priorities in your relationship can be a really important way of maintaining all aspects of your partnership.

This might help if:

  • You’re in a serious relationship
  • Your parents don’t like your partner
  • You’re thinking of having sex
Adam and Ivan sticker on a sign

Making the decision to have a sexual relationship

There’s a lot of pressure these days to take the next step in relationships, particularly if you think you’re in love. However, it’s important to spend time getting to know the person you are attracted to before having sex.

Having sex within a relationship is: 

  • A very personal way of communicating with someone else
  • A physical way of expressing love and affection
  • A personal choice and it is not uncommon to take time to make the decision

It may help to know that love doesn't equal sex. Relationships can be happy without being sexual. Talking about sex with the person who you are sexually attracted to may help you both work out if you want to begin a sexual relationship. Try to talk about your expectations from them and don't forget to talk about contraception. If you decide to have sex, remember:

  • Both of you must be ready and both of you must want to have sex
  • Do it safely, use contraception

Saying "No"

Being in a sexual relationship can be very enjoyable and rewarding when it is negotiated and agreed on by both people. Sometimes people think they can demand that someone be sexual with them against their will. Remember no-one has the right to force you into sexual contact with them; you have the right to say "No". Even if you were previously sexual with them, it doesn’t mean that you have to do it again if you don’t want. Don't let yourself be intimidated into having sex with anyone. If you feel pressured or unsafe and don’t know what to do about it, talk to someone you trust, or check out our Need help now page for people you can call.

What can you do if your family doesn’t like your partner?

If your parents aren’t happy with who you are in a relationship with you need to ask yourself what is their reason:

  • Is it because they worry about your safety, they think you may come to harm?
  • Do your friends also have a problem with your partner? If so, then maybe you need to take a closer look at your relationship. Is it really the best thing for you?

However, if you think your parents have a problem because they don’t understand your relationship and how you feel about it then maybe you need to sit down with them and talk about it. Some things you might want to think about when talking to your parents include:

  • Be clear and direct. Be as clear as you can about what you think, feel, and want. Give details that can help parents understand your situation. 
  • Be honest. If you're always honest, a parent will be likely to believe what you say. If you sometimes hide the truth, parents will have a harder time believing what you tell them.
  • Try to understand their point of view. Telling parents you understand their views and feelings helps them be willing to see yours, too.
  • Try not to argue or whine. Using a tone that's friendly and respectful makes it more likely parents will listen and take what you say seriously.

Your parents won't always see things your way and they won't always agree with decisions you are making. However, parents are more likely to think of their children as capable of making decisions when they see them acting maturely.

Balancing priorities with your relationship

When you’re in a sexual or romantic relationship, you might experience pressure to balance your relationship with other priorities in your life. Pressures can come from issues around money, health, study, work or friends. At times they can be stressful and cause a lot of tension. Here are some hints on how to handle relationships:

  • Talk with your boyfriend or girlfriend about what you're feeling and what your expectations are.
  • Spend time working on your relationship – relationships don’t just 'happen' they are something to put time and energy into maintaining.
  • Talk to those involved in your situation honestly and discuss their concerns about your relationship. Acknowledge their feelings and also discuss your own feelings and where you are coming from.
  • Remember to regularly make time outside the relationship for your friends and yourself.

What can I do now?

Last reviewed: 07 July, 2015
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