Types of Relationships

Platonic Relationships

There is nothing like a good friendship. A good friend will be there for you when you’re sad, happy, and everything in between. A good friend is the kind of person that you will look at across the room when something awkward or funny happens and only the two of you noticed it and you will both instinctively burst out into laughter. A good friend is the kind of person that gets you.

Qualities of a Good Friend

  • Someone that will make you feel comfortable with yourself
  • Someone that encourages you
  • A person with the same interests as you
  • A person that is supportive and accepts you as you are
  • A person that will tell you the truth (in a respectful and kind way)

It’s important to recognize that sometimes no one friend can have all of these qualities. Finding people with these qualities can be difficult. You probably have different friends that fulfill different needs.

How To Start Making Friends

  • Consider your passions
    • What makes you light up? Once you have figured it out, look for ways to do it, like through joining a club or volunteering. Chances are, by putting yourself out there and doing something you love, you will find like-minded individuals doing the same things. These people can easily become your next friends.
  • Be yourself
    • You are something to behold! You are fabulous, and you are enough – just the way you are! You might not see it, or feel it, but we do. When you let yourself be, your brilliance will attract the right kind of people into your life.
  • Practice being a good friend
    • If you want friends, be ready to be a good friend. Adopt the qualities that make a good friend and you will soon attract the right kind of people into your life. 
  • Reach out to people!
    • You do not have to be an extrovert to invite people to hang out, but you do have to muster up some courage to take the first step. The worst that can happen is rejection which you can think of as a redirection!

Romantic Relationships

As you get older, you might start to feel a bit more independent from your family and closer to your friends. Some of these friendships might turn into romantic relationships, and you might want to start dating. That’s really great; dating can be fun, but it can also be hard! No matter your sexuality or your identity, dating can sometimes also be downright awkward and painful. We totally get it. 

But first things first, you are the captain of your life. Only you can decide when and if you want to start dating. If your friends and peers are dating people, good for them but do not let that persuade you to start if you do not feel ready. Take your time, there’s no rush! Before your start dating, you should first ask yourself some questions including:

  • Am I happy being single?
    • If you are unhappy, the cause of your unhappiness might not be because you’re single. Before you commit to a relationship it’s important to first learn how to enjoy your own company.
  • Am I ready to be there for someone else?
    • Being in a romantic relationship takes a lot of hard work. You should first consider whether you have the emotional and mental capacity to support someone when they are having a good day and when they are having a bad day.
  • Did I recently leave another relationship?
    • It might be soon to start a new relationship if you just left one. It might take time to move on from a relationship and that’s ok. Take some time to heal, and enjoy your own company for a little while.
  • What are my reasons for dating?
    • Sit back and truly examine the reasons you want to date. Think about whether you’re truly excited to get to know the other person(s) you want to date, or if you are trying to impress someone else. If you are doing this because you feel pressured, or you don’t necessarily want or have the energy to get to know the other person, it might not quite be the time to start dating yet.

Below are some tips if you feel like you are ready to start dating.

How to Find People to Date

  • Find and make good friends
    • A lot of good romantic relationships start off as friendships.
    • Your friends can introduce you to friends or family members that they trust and think you would be interested in meeting.
  • Online dating
    • Sometimes you are able to make deep and meaningful relationships with those that you meet online. This might be through gaming sites, special interest groups, Instagram, Snapchat, and other social media platforms.
    • These partners can become a huge part of your life and support system. Remember that the same characteristics of healthy relationships can exist within these online relationships and it is important to be clear about your expectations and maintain open and effective communication.
  • Dating apps
    •  If you are over the age of 18, and you are comfortable with it, consider joining dating apps/websites. However, these can be tricky. Check out how to navigate them below.

A healthy romantic relationship can look like a good friendship. This means, you should not feel pressured to do anything you do not want to do, and you should feel heard, secure in yourself, and safe.

Dealing With Break-Ups

Sometimes relationships end, whether they are a friendship or a romantic partnership. They may end for many different reasons and going through a break-up can be tough and can really suck. It’s ok to feel upset when you go through a breakup.

If you do happen to go through a break-up:

  • Lean on the supportive people in your life
    • Talking to a trusted friend or family member can help provide emotional healing.
  • Take good care of yourself
    • Do things you love and enjoy. Try to stay busy, but also take some downtime. Treat yourself, and indulge in some good food or watch that TV show you’ve been putting off.
  • Allow yourself to feel upset
    • Your feelings after a break-up are completely valid. Not everyone emotionally processes hardships the same way, but allow yourself to be upset. If you need to cry, cry.
  • Take time to be on your own
    • It might take time to emotionally heal from a break-up. There is no need to jump into a new relationship if you’re still struggling. Take time to be with yourself, and savor your own company!

Navigating Dating Apps & Online Dating

With society’s increased reliance on social media and the internet, it is sometimes easier to find someone to date through dating apps than through other means. Online dating can be a wonderful way to meet like-minded people, and it can be an easy way to connect with people you would otherwise never get to meet in real life.

However, there can be unkind people in the world of online dating and so before you make your profile, or before you meet up with people you met online, you should first seriously consider your safety. 

In order to create a relationship with another person, it can be tempting and also important to share personal information and details about your life. Be aware that at the beginning, you don’t know much about the person you are online dating yet! You want to be sure that you maintain your safety by sharing things that do not put you in harm’s way. Talking about your favorite music, movies, and what kind of job you have is different than what your address is, what store you work at, which school you attend or where you are going to hang out that day. Make sure you pay attention to your gut feelings!

Here are some tips!

Guard your identity – personally identifying information can be used by scammers and also can put you at risk for other personal harm. Identifying information includes your personal phone numbers, real name, date of birth, place of work, home address, or email address.

Fraud awareness – sometimes it seems like the person you are talking to is experiencing some major emergency or is in need of assistance. Don’t share your banking information or send anyone money. If you are really worried, you could offer to involve your parents or another adult to help problem-solve with the person.

Archive or remove abusive users – this could include people who are pressuring you for money, asking for donations, sending offensive or harassing emails, who make you uncomfortable with their communication, people with fake profiles or those that are trying to sell something.

Remain anonymous until you are comfortable – if someone is worth getting to know, they will probably be willing to communicate with you for a bit before you tell them a lot of personal information. Be honest and stay safe.

Guard your online information – use a strong password and lock your sessions so that others can’t get into your profile and cause problems.

Photos – use specific photos for your online dating account and only that account. Be sure that you remove identifying information (like your high school in the background or your sport team jersey). Searching photos can lead people directly to your personal information.

Do not spend too much time online dating – make sure you balance online dating with other parts of your life to maintain your health and wellness.

Only meet in person when you feel you are ready – don’t rush it! take the time you need to feel comfortable and confident in meeting someone in person.

Safety Tips

Hooray! You’ve matched, someone has sent you a message and you’ve been chatting for long enough that you feel confident in wanting to explore this relationship further. Now it’s time to meet. Before you do, first consider:

  • Tell a friend where/when you will be meeting the person. You might consider sending them a google map location once you arrive.
  • Ask a friend to check in with you periodically during the date and at the end of the date.
  • Perhaps take a screenshot of the person’s profile and send it to a close friend.
  • Lay some ground rules with the other person around boundaries and what exactly you are willing and not willing to do.
  • Choose to meet in a public or busy space before you agree to go to a more intimate space.
  • Trust your instinct/gut. If you are chatting with a person and you feel that something is slightly off, feel free to bow out of the conversation. If you meet someone and your gut tells you that something is amiss, leave. Your safety is more important than how you might be perceived!

Dating as a Young 2SLGBTQ+ Person

Dating as a 2SLGBTQ+ young person comes with its own set of challenges. If you identify within the 2SLGBTQ+ spectrum and you are yet to find a person to date, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Due to a variety of reasons, many 2SLGBTQ+ people often start dating at a later stage in their life compared to their heterosexual cisgender counterparts. However, this does not mean that 2SLGBTQ+ folks cannot find love. This is far from the truth. You can find love (if that is what you want), and you are worthy of being loved! If you are interested in starting to date, try:

  • Take your time and explore – you don’t have to 100% know what your sexual and/or romantic orientation is.
  • Try to find and make some 2SLGBTQ+ friends; they can prove to be your greatest cheerleaders and mentors. You might find some good friends by joining the GSA at your school, or if you’re comfortable, by joining Pride events held by your school or the community at large.
  • Be safe and vigilant, especially if you haven’t come out yet, as there are people that might try to take advantage of this to pressure you into doing something you might not want to do.

No matter your orientation or identity, you are free to choose what your dating life will look like. It does not have to look or follow a heteronormative pattern – you are free to choose whom and how you love and that is something worth celebrating!

Self Love

“If your battery is completely drained you won’t have the juice to do what you need to support the people in your life.” –  a wise person once told me.

The most important relationship you have is the relationship you have with yourself. If you haven’t heard it today, let us be the first ones to tell you: you are enough! You are worthy of love, affection, and respect. In fact, your worth and value are not tied to your productivity or your outputs. Before you give people your time, energy, and resources you should first invest in yourself and carve out some time, energy, and resources for you.

Self Care

A lot of us often think that by taking care of ourselves we are being selfish. However, there is a difference between being selfish and being “self-full”. If you do not take care of yourself by making sure that your cup is full, you will not be able to be of assistance to others. As flight crews often tell passengers: first put on your own oxygen mask and then help those around you put on theirs.

Below are some self-care tips to get you started!

Self-Care for Your Physical Health

  • Body movement
    • Stand up, move your body, dance, perhaps take a walk. Not only will this improve your body’s functions, but it can also help improve your mental health by decreasing anxiety and depression!
  • Sleep
    • Not getting enough sleep is not good for your physical, mental, and emotional health. You should aim for at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night to be able to do what you need to do the next day. Practice having a regular sleep schedule!
  • Nutrition
    • Eating well is important for your brain health! Aim to incorporate a balanced diet into your everyday life. But sometimes this is not possible – check out this page for tips on how you can eat a balanced diet on a budget. 

Self-Care for Your Mental Health

  • Meditate
    • Mindfulness meditation is a fantastic way to centre yourself! It is a valuable tool you can use when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. Set aside a few minutes in your day to practice mindfulness.
  • Consider therapy
    • Therapy is not just for people with mental illness, it’s for everyone! Therapy can provide a safe space in which you can share your thoughts, get perspective and learn ways to manage your emotions and thought processes.
  • Turn off your electronic devices
    • Consider setting aside some time in your day to put your phone on “do not disturb”. This can also be helpful when setting boundaries.
  • Consider who you are following on social media
    • Social media is fun, but it also has the potential to drain your mental health and contribute to feelings of low-self esteem and depression. Take some time to go through your social media list and unfollow accounts that don’t make you feel good about your appearance, your stuff, or your thoughts. Replace it with accounts that make you feel good and share thoughtful information! Check this page for more tips on how to care for your mental health while using social media.

Self-care for Your Emotional Health

  • Connect with others
    • Sometimes all we need is a friend who is willing to just spend some time with us. Take time to connect with people, whether you just play games, do an art project together, start a book club, or jam to some music!
    • Make sure the time you do spend with friends is not always spent trying to solve each other’s problems. Simply take some time to hang out.
  • Take time to do something you enjoy
    • Try setting an alarm, and carve out 15-20 minutes of your day to do something you enjoy. Perhaps do something creative – journal, write poetry, paint, pick up an instrument, and play music. You do not have to be good at any of the things listed, but immersing yourself in these activities can be beneficial. 

Self-Care for Your Spiritual Health

  • Connect with nature
    • Nature can be healing. If you are feeling burnt out, take some time to enjoy nature by taking a walk, going to a nearby park, or if possible – leave the city for a few hours and go hiking. 
  • Attend a church service, go to the mosque, or go to the temple
    • Attending a religious service not only has the potential to enrich your soul by motivating you to participate in prayer, but it can also provide a community that can greatly improve your emotional health.

Read our webpage on self-care to learn more about how to build a good self-care routine! Check out our Groups and Workshops for more real life & relationship help! We also have private, free virtual appointments available with our Mental Health Therapists, Peer Support Worker, and Employment Support Worker





Online Dating: The Virtues and Downsides | Pew Research Center

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