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I AM in Control.org Iowa Adolescents Making Choices to Control Their Future Teen:Health, Relationship, Body and Sexuality

Tag: love

Nov 4

Putting Friends First

Posted By iamincontrol | November 4, 2014

teenage friends
The results are in! 

Last month we asked you guys:

Do you ever spend too much time with your boyfriend/girlfriend and forget to spend time with your friends?

You guys said:

  • Yeah. I want to spend as much time with my boyfriend/girlfriend as possible. (50%)
  • Sometimes that happens, but I try to make it up to my friends later. (33%)
  • Never!  My friends always come first. (16%)

It’s easy to get caught up in a relationship.  It’s exciting, and you might want to spend every waking hour with this person.  But remember that your friends and family are the ones who will be there for you if anything ever goes wrong.  Read how Hannah learned that below.

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Oct 30

Who to Talk to?

Posted By iamincontrol | October 30, 2014

teen with question mark
By Kayleen

Growing up is tough.  There are so many experiences and changes you face throughout middle and high school.  Some big changes that arise have to do with your sexual health.  (If you aren’t quite sure what we mean by “sexual health,” the Act Together For Youth page on What is Sexual Health? may be able to help.)

When you have a question about sexual health, where do you go?  The first thing you may do is pick up your phone or use your computer to look up the answer on the Internet.  The Internet does have a few reliable and helpful websites, but it is not always the same as talking to someone about your question.

Who is the person in your life that you can ask questions about sexual health?  Friends/peers may be the first people that you go to, but they may not be very knowledgeable on the subject. They may be wondering the same thing as you.  One of the best people you can talk to, besides a family physician or nurse, would be a parent or trusted adult in your life.  Some teens are already close to a parent or trusted adult and have established a relationship where open conversation is easy. That is a great relationship to have.  Other teens do not that have relationship with a parent or trusted adult at all, but it’s never too late to establish one.

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Oct 28

Hard Lesson to Learn

Posted By iamincontrol | October 28, 2014

teenage girl
By Kayla

In 8th grade, I started the longest relationship of my life. I was 14.  It lasted until my freshman year of college!  I jumped into it thinking he was the one and never thought it would ever be bad.  About a year into the relationship, we started to argue a lot.  I could never go out with my friends without him assuming I was with other guys.  He was very insecure.  I always wanted to prove to him that I wasn’t hurting him and that I loved him.

Two years after that, we started breaking up, off and on.  When my freshman year of college started, I had enough of the way he was treating me.  I stopped caring about what he had to say.  I just thought about what my life would be like if I stayed and if he was ever going to change.  If he wasn’t, was I going to let him keep treating me this way? Was I going to be a boring, stay at home girlfriend who never went out unless it was with him?  I ended up spending more time with my mom and dad at home and ignoring his texts and his feelings.  I know my mom was very happy when we finally broke up.  She had seen me cry countless times and waste years of high school on him instead of having fun with school and friends.

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Sep 25

Reproductive Coercion

Posted By iamincontrol | September 25, 2014

birth control pills
REPRODUCTIVE COERCION: What is it?

Sexual coercion is a term used to describe when someone pressures, forces, or uses manipulation to get someone else to engage in a sexual act that they don’t want to do or are uncertain about doing.  How about reproductive coercion?  Maybe you’ve heard about it, but probably not.  This term is being used to describe behaviors that interfere with a person’s decision about use of contraception or getting pregnant.  It is typically a form of pressure or control that an intimate partner may use related to sexual activities.  For example, a young man may put lots of pressure to have sex without using condoms because it affects his perception of pleasure – regardless of the risk to his partner for an STD or pregnancy.  Another example would be a young woman who tells her boyfriend that she is using birth control but really isn’t because she wants to get pregnant (even if her boyfriend doesn’t).  On the flip side, a guy who wants his girlfriend to get pregnant (even if she doesn’t) may mess with her birth control pills so she is not protected. There are usually two types of reproductive coercion: birth control sabotage (attempts to interfere with use of effective birth control) and pregnancy pressure/coercion (attempts to influence decisions about pregnancy).

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Sep 9

You Are Worth It

Posted By iamincontrol | September 9, 2014

you are worth it
By E

My name is E, and I am a college sophomore. I decided to write a blog post after I was given the opportunity to if I felt encouraged. I thought about it for a while, convinced I wouldn’t have time or would forget, and then decided to share my story. I am not sure if my story will relate to those reading it, but if it does, I hope you feel encouraged or in some way reassured that you are not alone, there are others going through life with you, and there is always a light waiting for you at the end of whatever tunnel you are going through. I am unsure, as I begin to write, whether I am writing for solely the audience of these blogs or partly for myself. I think writing your feelings and expressing the hurts allows you to finally close chapters. So as I write this, I write for myself and I write for you: I hope in some way this can help you, a friend, or maybe myself.

I have always loved people. Pleasing people, making them smile, laugh, or just making them happy. I always had many friends. I was the “goofy friend”; I liked to eat, I liked to laugh. I was never the most popular, most pretty, or most athletic- but I loved the positive attention I got from being funny and happy. Growing up I was heavier. Never to the point where I needed to be on a diet, but “healthy,” as my mom would call my extra weight I had over the other girls and boys in my class. I was overweight until seventh grade when all of a sudden I wasn’t happy with my body. The media became more of something I paid attention to. I noticed I didn’t look like the other girls in my class, and I definitely didn’t look like any of the females glamorized on TV or magazine covers. Within about four months I lost 35 pounds. I gained more friends. I gained more attention. I gained more attention from boys- and I loved it. The only thing I wasn’t continually gaining was weight. My friends and their parents would often comment how thin I looked, asking if I was eating. Some parents even contacted my mom to make sure I was alright. Truthfully, I was much thinner, but I finally felt healthier and I was. When I started to starve myself, limiting meals and calories and busting hundreds of calories in the weight room, that is when I became obsessed with “thinness”.

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Aug 28

Don’t Be a Bystander

Posted By iamincontrol | August 28, 2014

teenage girl
By Kathryn

Within my group of friends, there was this one friend who seemed to have it all together. She excelled in the classroom as well as in sports. She was involved in various clubs and organizations. She was very outgoing and responsible; our classmates and teachers liked her as well. At one time I would have considered her one of my best friends.

During the fall of my senior year of high school, my friend began to date a guy the grade below us. He seemed like a nice guy, a farm boy who caused some trouble, but nothing terrible. My friend seemed happy about her new relationship, and she quickly began to fall in love.

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Jul 22

Toxic Relationships

Posted By iamincontrol | July 22, 2014

Upset teen male
By Brittany

Although this story is not a personal one, it affected my fiancé, Hunter, who is obviously extremely close to my heart. He told me about his dating history shortly after our relationship began and I think his story is something we can all relate to in one aspect or another.

He was 16 when he met Ashley on a band trip with their high school. He had just moved to this school from a couple hours away and was excited to meet new people. Their relationship started slowly at first, and before he knew it he was completely enamored with this mysterious, older girl. Soon they started spending more and more time together, and Hunter could tell he was really starting to fall for her. His parents saw red-flags right away though. They noticed he was acting differently, dressing differently, and was almost never home to spend time with them or his younger siblings. They became concerned and expressed these concerns to him, but he blew them off. He thought he was old enough to make his own decisions, and ‘What did they know about his relationship?’ Hunter told me that he knew he was in a full blown ‘puppy-love’ state of mind with Ashley. He wanted to spend every waking moment next to her. He began to abandon other important things in his life to be with her. He stopped participating in after-school activities because she would want to hang out. He even stopped being friends with a couple of his closest friends because she did not like them. His relationship was getting to a toxic point, yet he didn’t realize it.

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Jul 3

Conflicting Values: Marijuana

Posted By iamincontrol | July 3, 2014

marijuana
By Jamie

When I was in my junior and senior year of high school, I dated a guy who smoked a lot of pot. I hated this because I was against drug use. I didn’t like it because it was illegal and it is bad for you. Why would you intentionally get high on a regular basis if you didn’t need to for medical purposes? It directly affected me because I was worried about him. I knew he had random drug tests at work, and I didn’t want him to get in trouble with the law. I also didn’t like being around him when he was high.

Even though I wasn’t the one smoking marijuana, I was still affected by it. He knew it bothered me when he smoked, so he started hiding it from me. That led to trust issues because I knew he was lying to me when he would say he “quit” or hadn’t smoked in days. I knew when he was lying, and that led to other issues. Even though he was trying to keep me happy and just keep me out of the loop from his drug use, I didn’t appreciate all the sneaking around. Because of this, I learned that there is only so much you can do as a friend and a loved one.

If there is something that is really affecting someone you love, you may need to get help from other people. I learned that addiction is hard. Just because he didn’t quit for me doesn’t mean he didn’t care about me. Luckily, he doesn’t smoke on a regular basis anymore. We are no longer dating, but I like to keep in touch and remain good friends.

I would recommend visiting the following website about how to help a friend with their substance use. You may also be interested in how to help a friend quit smoking.  It’s about tobacco, but some of the recommendations apply to quitting other things too.

Jun 26

Controlling Relationship

Posted By iamincontrol | June 26, 2014

controlling relationship
By Taylor

I was in an abusive relationship my freshman year in high school.  When someone thinks of an abusive relationship, they think of someone who has bruises and has physical evidence of abuse.  This was not my case at all.  He had an older brother who was a senior and had a lot of control in the school.  I was pressured into dating this guy and pressured to stay in the relationship.  He sexually abused me after a couple of months of dating.  I knew I should tell someone, but felt like if I did no one at school would believe me.  He made all of the decisions in our relationship and isolated me from everyone; he was extremely possessive and jealous too.

One day I was so fed up with everything that I just texted him and broke it off.  The next day at school he got in my face and demanded a reason.  I simply said I could not take it anymore and to leave me alone.  He acted depressed, and he and his brother tried to make me that way too.  Instead, when people said anything to me about the situation, I told them what really happened.  It felt great, and people did believe me because of how he reacted when I ended it.  Do not be afraid to end it; more people will believe you and realize what was going on than you think!

Some of you may have heard of this website from school or television, but I suggest you take their quiz even if you believe you are in a perfect relationship.

If you are experiencing abuse, there is help.  You can chat with someone at loveisrespect.org, call 866.331.9474, or text “loveis” to 22522.  Everyone deserves a safe, healthy relationship.

Jun 10

Love and Respect Yourself

Posted By iamincontrol | June 10, 2014

Teenage girl
By Julie

The first day of my 8th grade year, my homeroom teacher had two people write two phrases on the board: “Self Love” and “Self Respect.”  He went on to address a common problem junior high students have, summing it up by saying, “In order to love others, you have to love and respect yourself.”  He wasn’t talking about being selfish or stuck on ourselves.  He was talking about self-esteem.  He wouldn’t tolerate any negative talk about others or ourselves in his classroom.  It was an important lesson I would take with me and remind myself of off and on throughout the years.

I was never part of the “in” crowd. I was a little overweight, lower income, and I lived farther away from school than anyone else in my class.  Academics were always easy for me, and I thought of myself as a good friend. I never had a “best friend,” but got along with everyone.  Others were always classified as pretty, thin, had the right clothes or hairstyles, or good at sports, music, or whatever. But not me.  I thought I had nothing special to offer.

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