With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and shops full to bursting with cards, flowers and gifts, we spoke to our Youth Service for tips on how we can all enjoy a happy and safe Valentine’s day.
So, I’ve been chatting to someone online and we’re going to meet up for the first time and go on a date, any advice?
Firstly, make sure you tell someone where you are going. This could be a friend or family member. As an extra precaution, leave the name of mobile number of the person you are meeting with someone you trust.
It’s important to have both credit and battery on your phone, that way you have means to call a taxi AND take a few selfies with your new beau.
Meet somewhere public and where you comfortable. A cosy candle-lit dinner at theirs might sound lovely, but save that one until you know each other better.
Beware of ‘silent signs’ if your body is telling you that you feel unsafe or unsure, listen to it! If you feel like you can’t say no, ask yourself ‘Am I in a safe situation?’
I’ve been out for a lovely meal and my date paid, does this mean I should sleep with them?
NO! Firstly always make sure you go to a date with plenty of money to pay your own way AND get yourself home.
Secondly, don’t feel like you owe someone ANYTHING for paying for a meal or drinks whilst out on a date, or in any other situation. There’s nothing wrong with insisting you split the bill before you meet for the date.
My friends and I are all single so we’re thinking of celebrating Valentine’s day by going out and getting VERY drunk.
Socialising with friends is great, but if the goal is to get wasted then this can make you unaware of unsafe situations and put you at risk. It’s important that you know your limits, make sure you eat something before you go out and consider alternating between alcoholic and soft drinks.
Make sure that you and your friends have put money aside for a taxi or know exactly how you’re getting home.
If one of your friends is a little worse for wear, don’t let them go home alone, go out as a group and go home as a group.
If you meet someone that you think you like, ask yourself ‘Is this the work the beer goggles?’ (or cider visor, boozenoculars, vodka vision…) swap numbers and meet up with them when you’re sober.
Drink a glass of water before bed, you’ll thank us in the morning.
I feel ready to do ‘the deed’ what precautions should I take?
First and foremost, CONSENT, the handy clip on the link below covers what you need to know:
Use protection! It’s so important that you use protection against unwanted pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections.
Be aware of the different types of contraceptive available to you.
Our Youth Service can provide free condoms, for more information call us on: 024 76 26 62 80 and ask to speak to a member of the Youth Service. You can also private message the team via their Facebook page: @ValleyHouseYouth, (please be aware the team has access to the private messages on this page, you might want to leave your number and ask for a call back).
Remember the minimum age of consent in the UK is 16.
For more information on contraception, pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections/diseases, check out the websites below.
Ooops, we’ve had a little accident!
It’s important not to panic but get yourself to a sexual health clinic (or your GP if you feel more comfortable) as soon as possible.
See link below for more information.
I’m not really sure if I’m in to girls or guys?
It’s okay to feel confused, and we promise you, you are not alone. Remember there is no right or wrong sexuality. If you don’t feel you can talk to friends or family about how you are feeling, there are organisations that can help. If you wanted to speak with a Youth Worker at Valley House, call us on: 024 76 26 62 80, and ask to speak to a member of the Youth Team.
Below is a link to another organisation you might find useful.
My date has got really drunk, should I take them to my place and put them in my bed?
This is really tricky! We don’t know how long or well you know your date. It might seem like the considerate thing to do, but imagine if you woke up in bed next to someone with little memory of the night before…
The best thing to do is to protect yourself and your date by getting them home. Whether that means calling their friends or family or getting a taxi with them.
If you would like more information on anything discussed in this article, or you’d like a confidential chat with a Youth Worker, contact us on: 024 76 26 62 80 and ask to speak to a member of the Youth Service.