Stories

How can I be supportive?

By March 28, 2020No Comments

I’ve been in this relationship for about a month and a half. This is my first ever relationship so I am very inexperienced and am always questioning if I am doing everything “right”. It’s been very positive and my boyfriend is very respectful and is okay with my pace and boundaries.

Recently with this issue of the Covid-19 virus we can’t see each other and he has a rough home. His biological father left his mother and his stepfather lives separate from his mother and siblings. He struggles sometimes with his depression and I’ve only texted him during one of his harder days because it was at night and I couldn’t go see him.

Today was a difficult day for him and usually on those days I would talk to him and see him the day after and provide support. But now, all I can do is say reassuring words. I don’t always know what to say sometimes and I need help with knowing how I can be supportive at times like these.

HELP YOURSELF

  • These are uncertain and difficult times, where many can feel isolated, alone, and that they are not quite doing “enough.” Being able to recognize this struggle takes personal awareness. I applaud you for having this awareness, and also the strength to seek out help from the Teen Central community. You are not alone!
  • Worrying about the stressors in others’ lives, especially those who we care about, can have an impact on our own lives, specifically when it comes to self-care. Before you find that your stress related to worrying about your boyfriend is starting to take a toll, engage in some simple personal activities like meditation, yoga, or a walk outside on a nice day, so that you can make sure you are able to keep your stress, and your own needs in check.
  • If your (or your boyfriend’s) difficult feelings ever reach a point that you feel hopeless or unsafe, consider utilizing a helpline, such as the Crisis Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text HOME to 741741. There are people there 24/7 who are ready and willing to talk you through the difficult feelings you’re experiencing.

CONSIDER THIS

  • It seems you are very concerned with the correct way of being in a relationship. Constantly worrying about doing things “right” can negatively affect your own self-image, and self-confidence. Let’s re-frame this, and make a list of all of the positive things that you bring in to your relationship. Simply by writing this post it shows that you care deeply about his well-being, what else can you think of?
  • As you mentioned, your boyfriend is comfortable with your boundaries. Is it possible that he would be open to the conversation you have started here? If he respects you enough to take things at a pace which you set, then it’s likely that he will be receptive to you bringing up these concerns. This could happen in a few ways:
    • Write down your thoughts in a letter, read it out loud to yourself, and if you feel comfortable share it with him as a conversation starter.
    • Come right out and ask him if there is anything that he needs. It’s possible that he is so appreciative of what you are able to offer that he hasn’t even considered these concerns that you’ve mentioned.
  • Ask a trusted adult or respected friend for their input. Oftentimes we can work ourselves up over things based on our own insecurities. Is there someone in your life that you trust sharing this worry with?