Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dear Hope: Can I Have More Than One Friend?

Dear Hope,

I don’t know what to do about my best friend Lisa.  We have been friends for a long time and I want us to always be best friends.  Cuz were gonna go to college together and stuff.  See cuz we both want to be teachers and we can share a dorm and it will be just perfect.  Now I’m worried cuz she has been different lately, she always tells me what to do.  When we go to the movies she always picks it.  She told me she was my only best friend and I don’t need any more friends.  She is my only BFF, but I have other friends.  Not like I want to share a dorm room with them, but I like talking to them.  What can I do should I let her just make the decisions is that what friends do?  Can you only have one friend?

–       Only Friend?

Dear Only Friend,

That’s awesome that you and Lisa are best friends, but you are not the same person.  Even though you have a lot of the same interest, it does not mean everything has to be the same.  Be confident with who you are and let her know when you don’t agree.  A good friend will respect your opinions and thoughts.  Take turns picking the movies or the pizza toppings.

Also, you can definitely have more than one friend. Having another friend does not mean you won’t be her best friend anymore.  Maybe she feels like you won’t hang out with her anymore.  Just let her know that she will always be your friend, but that you have other friends too.  Your other friends don’t make her any less important.

7 Signs of a Healthy Relationship

What does a healthy relationship look like?

Healthy Relationship

Last week we talked about what an unhealthy  relationship looks like in: Are You in an Unhealthy Relationship. We know what we don’t want; now let’s figure out what we do want.

7 signs of a healthy relationship.

Healthy Relationship

1. You don’t need to be with each other every minute of every day.

Spending a lot of time together is great, but you should also enjoy doing other things. Hanging out with your family, catching a movie with a BFF or just spending time alone. It’s not all about the two of you. Spending some time apart is important for your own self growth; it will make your relationship stronger.

Healthy Relationship

2. You can communicate with each other.

You want to hear what each other has to say and you really listen when the other person talks. You don’t feel uncomfortable sharing your feelings. You are able to talk openly. You can discuss where the relationship is going and how fast you want things to progress.

Healthy Relationship

3. You’re honest with each other.

You don’t feel the need to lie to each other. For example if you don’t feel like hanging out, you don’t have to make up a story about why. The other person will understand. There is no reason to feel like you need to hide things, no reason to lie.

Healthy Relationship

4. You support each other.

You value each other for who you are. You support the things each other is interested in. You don’t put the other person down. You encourage each other to be your best.

Healthy Relationship

 5. You are able to have disagreements without someone having to win.

Everyone disagrees at some point and it can turn into an argument. It’s how you handle the fight that is important. In healthy relationships couples figure out a compromise and find ways to understand each other’s point of view. You don’t need to be right all the time and you are able to admit when you’re wrong.

Healthy Relationship

6. You trust each other.

One example of trust is feeling safe in the relationship. Knowing that if your boyfriend or girlfriend sees you talking to someone cute, they understand it’s just talking and they don’t lose their cool. It’s natural to be jealous, how you handle it is what matters. Trust also means knowing you can confide in them and they won’t share that information with anyone unless it is for their health or safety.

Healthy Relationship

7. You’re still you.

There are two people in a relationship, not just one. You both bring your own opinions and ideas to the relationship. In a healthy relationship you never feel the need to change for someone. Your thoughts matter as much as theirs.

A Healthy relationship allow you to be who you are.

They make you feel safe and comfortable.
When we fall in love, or think we are in love, we can sometimes put on blinders. We don’t see anything negative, because we like the feelings we are having. It’s totally normal to feel that way, especially in the beginning of a relationship. But if there are things you don’t like or if you feel uncomfortable take a step back. Make sure it’s a healthy relationship and that it’s right for you.

Dear Hope: He’s Not My Dad

Dear Hope,
I have a situation I don’t know how to handle. My mom is dating this guy and he acts like he thinks he is my dad. He’s ok I guess, but he’s not my dad. I feel bad for my mom because she really likes him and I don’t want to be rude and hurt her feelings. My dad died four years ago and no one can replace him.
– Mandy

Dear Mandy,
Of course no one can replace your dad. Your dad is irreplaceable to you. It’s possible he is just trying to be nice and get to know you because he is dating your mom. But he needs to be careful to not overstep your boundaries.

You need to let your mom know how you feel because she will start to notice if there is tension. I know you are worried about hurting her feelings and being rude, but it’s still important to talk to her. Just calmly explain how you feel. Tell her that you don’t want to hurt her feelings, but you are worried about him wanting to take your dad’s place. Let her know that you don’t dislike him and that you’re glad she is happy. Give her examples of when you think he is trying too hard and figure out how to handle it.

If you are comfortable you can even have a convo with him. Just let him know that you like him, but you are afraid he is taking on too big of a role in your life right now. Let him and your mom know that you need some time to adjust to this situation.

Are You in an Unhealthy Relationship?

Unhealthy Relationship

Does your boyfriend/girlfriend support you, listen to you, and respect you?

I hope so. Those are three important signs that you are in a healthy relationship. There are plenty of ways to know you have a good relationship, but those are some of the big ones. If your situation is lacking those, you may be in an unhealthy relationship.

Are you in an unhealthy relationship?

What does an unhealthy relationship look like?

Can you answer yes to any of these questions?

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend make you feel guilty? Guilty for anything like the choices you make or hanging out with your friends or family?

Do you feel controlled? Who you hang out with? What you do? What you say? What you think? How you act? What you wear? How to spend your money? (Controlling does not mean they just make a suggestion, like “you would look cute in the color blue.” It’s when they are demanding and it makes you feel bad or uncomfortable.

Do they follow you around all the time, checking up on you or constantly watching you?

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend put you down or make fun of you?

Do they yell at you? In private or in front of your friends?

Do you find yourself making excuses for him/her? Explaining to your friends and family why he or she is not that bad? Telling them they just don’t understand?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you could be in an unhealthy relationship.

It would be helpful to talk to a friend, parent, school counselor or another adult you trust. They know you and they can also give you an outsider’s perspective. Try to be honest with yourself about what is really going on. Make sure you feel comfortable, safe and respected in this relationship.

Do they bully you or have they threatened you? Even once?

Have they ever gotten physical? Shoving, pushing, slapping, hitting – Even just a small push counts as getting physical.

Use the words “if you don’t do this, you don’t love me?” “If you don’t do these drugs…” If you don’t have sex with me…” If…

Have they ever forced you to have sex even when you say no, you don’t want to? Have they said you have to because you are in a relationship?

Have you tried breaking up with them, but they tell you that you can’t, that they won’t let you go?

If you have answered yes to any of these, with or without the top questions, you ARE in an unhealthy relationship.

It is not a relationship you should be in. Breaking up with someone like this can be hard. But it is important. It is important for you to stand up for yourself and say NO! I will not take this anymore! You have a right to be in relationship that makes you feel comfortable and safe.

No one should control you. He or she may say they love you, but they truly do not understand what that means. It is not healthy for either one of you.

It’s not uncommon for people to create or to be in unhealthy relationships if their parents were, or are, also. If you have seen your parents fight aggressively (not normal arguing or loud discussion), be disrespectful towards each other, or even be abusive, you might think its ok. It’s not ok and no one, not even your parents, should deal with it.

If you are in a situation like this and feel you have nowhere to turn here is a hotline you can call:

The National Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474

You deserve respect.

Unhealthy Relationships

– NBL V –

Summer Couch Sitting


Its summer, schools out and all you want to do is sleep in, play video games and maybe go out to the movies or Taco Bell once in a while. Sounds fun! But you still need money to buy you a taco and movie tickets aint cheap. So unless you’ve got an endless supply from mommy and daddy ,you need money. I’m not talking loads of money. Just enough to get by. Yes, there will be plenty of kids working there tushies off all summer saving for a car or for college, but maybe that’s not you.
So what can you do to make some coin?

Here are five ways teens can be lazy this summer and still buy a taco:

1. Dig through your couches and find loose change.

Find change anywhere and take it to a change machine at your local grocery store and cash it in. Change adds up – I see a burrito with your name on it.

2. Talk to a neighbor about mowing their lawn.

They may want it mowed every week or every two weeks or even once a month. How long does it take to mow a yard and it doesn’t have to be done every day. It’s a great way to make some money, but only have to work a few hours a month. You can set up to do several lawns, the more you do the more dollars you make.

3. See if anyone wants their dog walked.

Walking a dog for 30-60 minutes a day. Yes it is daily, but only for an hour. Still less than a part time job and still gives you plenty of gaming time.

4. Find out if any neighborhood parents need a date night.

You could babysit once a week so they can have a night out. Or you can be a mother’s helper, offer to play with the kids once a week for an hour for a small fee so mom can have some me time.

5. Look for neighbors that could use some help with things like carrying in their groceries or getting their mail.

I had a lady that lived by me and she could not walk to far, so she was not able to get her own mail. She paid me to get her mail and bring it to her. It took five to ten minutes out of my day. You can take a bathroom break longer than that.
So for all those who are choosing a lazy summer have fun and enjoy your tacos.

– NBL V –

Dear Hope: Raccoon Eyes

Makeup with Glasses

Dear Hope,

I wear glasses and I never know what to do with my eyes.  I don’t want to look like a raccoon behind them.   Any makeup tips?

–       4 eyes

Dear 4 Eyes,

If you wear colored glasses don’t match the eye shadow to you glasses.  Browns, neutrals and light pinks are best, also try a shimmery shadow.

Liquid or gel liners work best and don’t be afraid to pile on the mascara.  It will make your eyes pop behind the glasses.

If the area under your eyes tends to be dark glasses will accentuate that so wear a concealer and do not put shadow under eye.

If you want to wear bright, bold colors, then wear a bright lip.  Keep the bold colors for your lips and the neutrals for your eyes.

Those are just some tips.  You truly can wear whatever you love and whatever makes you comfortable.  Experiment and see what works best for you.  Have fun with it.


Dear Hope: My Life Is A Mess.

Dear Hope,

I’m a 14 year old girl. My older brother (10 years older) had a massive problem with drugs and tore apart our family while abusing me. Luckily my younger sister was not affected. This year I gave up on trying to be happy and threw my life out the window and stopped caring about what happened to me. I did a few drugs, got involved with untrustworthy people, sent horrible pictures to older guys, broke my parents trust more than once. I’ve decided that I want to and need to change my life. I don’t exactly know how to change my life though. please help me! I need to gain my parents trust back, and I need to fix my life because it is a mess!!

–       Messy Life

Dear Messy Life,

You are very brave and strong, you should be proud of yourself.  It takes a lot of strength to go through what you have been through.  It’s great that you want to work towards having a better life, and I know you can do it.  You actually have already started. Your first step was making the choice to do it.   You also know what you don’t want in your life and probably have a good idea of how to avoid those things.

You have been through a lot and it takes time to heal so please have patience during this time.

Take some time to talk to your parents. (6 tips on talking to parents) You need to let them know how you have been feeling and why you have been acting the way you have.  If you are not comfortable you do not need to tell them all the details right now, but you should tell them your feelings. (But, if they don’t already what happened with your brother they need to know that.  That is something that needs to be dealt with. ) Let them know you have made some wrong choices and you understand why they don’t trust you right now. Sincerely tell them that you are going to do what it takes to earn their trust back.  They may not believe it now, but as time goes by, through you showing it, they will realize you mean it.  Ask them what they expect from you and how you can earn their trust back. Ask them to help you come up with a plan.  Let them know that handling this on your own has not been working and you need their help.

Don’t beat yourself up about the past.  What happened with your brother was not your choice or your fault.  Let the bad choices you made in the past stay in the past.  They do not define who you are. (Do you mistakes define you) If you start to feel guilty or bad about the past, put your thoughts to the life you are aiming to have. Focus on that.

Hang out with people that have a positive attitude and have similar interests to you. Try not to hang with friends that you know are doing the things you are trying to avoid, it only makes it harder on you.

Distract yourself with positive things when you are having a bad day.  Have fun, go to the movies, go have a spa day, just let go for a while and have a good time.

Spend time being comfortable with yourself.  Listen to music you love, journal, do art, do something you like.  Love on yourself a little.  It’s ok.  You matter and you are worth it.

 Talk to a counselor.  It might be a good idea to get some counseling.  You have been through a lot and it’s hard to deal with.  A counselor can help you work through things.

I’m so sorry you have been through this.  You are strong and you deserve a wonderful life, keep going after it.

YOU MATTER!  I believe in you.