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Characteristics of a Healthy Sexual Relationship for Teenagers

Healthy teens should know their own selves and have a good relationship with their parents, family members, friends and the community.


It is important to cherish and treasure your body:

  • Understand the normal changes of your  body (please see the topic Changes in puberty)

  • Practice good self hygiene

  • Avoid high risk behaviours:

    • Smoking

    • Taking alcohol and drugs

    • Premarital sex

  • Accept your body for what it is. Avoid putting your hopes too high (for example, expecting to have a body like a model). Please see the topic Body Mass Index.

    • Know your own values

    • Choose to do what is right

    • Beware of the effects and consequences of your actions

    • Understand that what you do might hurt you or other people

    • Be wary of the potential bad influence that exists around you (for example: peers, internet, the movies and magazines)

    • Be wary of doing something due to peer pressure  which  is against your own values and beliefs

    • Get help from trusted sources

Increase your own knowledge about sexuality

Your parents and your family

  • Communicate effectively with your parents and your family

  • Know your role and responsibilities

  • Act wisely

  • Discuss with your parents regarding the rules and limits of socialization

  • Respect the values and rights of other people

  • Your parents might have different view from you:

    • Accept and cherish them for who they are

    • Listen to their views

    • Try to share your feelings with your parents and family

    • Discuss openly with your parents, and try your best to compromise with your parents

Your friends

  • Communicate effectively

  • Appreciate their opinions and their life values

  • Know your limits when you are interacting with your friends. Please refer to the Circle of Relationship

  • Avoid receiving negative peer pressure from friends,

  • Avoid being deceived

  • Learn how to react to peer pressure and manage it positively (Please refer to the topic Assertive)

Your community

  • Apart from you, your family and your friends, you are also part of a larger community, which includes:

    • Teachers

    • Leaders

    • Friends and acquaintances

    • Relatives

    • Religious leaders

  • Please realise that whatever you do will have an impact on the other members of your community

  • Communicate effectively

  • Value the culture and the opinion of other people

  • Avoid letting other people take advantage of you

  • Learn how to be firm

The colours and meaning of ‘The Circle of Relationships’

‘Circle of relationships’

Diagram : Circles of Relationship

The picture shows the relationship between the colours of the circles with the different types of relationships

  • Personal circle – Purple

    • You are the most important person in your life

    • No one has the right to touch you except with your permission

    • You do not touch another person except with that person’s permission

  • Warm, close hugs circle – Blue

    • Only a few special people can give you a warm, close hug and vice versa, for example your parents

  • Hugs circle – Green

    • There are a few people whom you can give a normal, non intimate hug to like your close friends on yours/their special day

  • Handshake circle – Yellow

    • You can shake hands with your acquaintances or when you are introduced to someone (but in some cultures hand shakes between opposite sex is not allowed)

  • Wave circle – Orange

    • You can give a wave or a nod of your head to someone whom you know (acquaintance)

  • Stranger circle – Red

    • You do not touch someone whom you do not know

    • Someone who does not know you should not touch you

    • A touch can happen when you are dealing with the members in your community for example: you might hold the elbow of a blind old lady whom you are helping to cross the road

You are the one that determines who can touch you. If you become or feel uncomfortable, say “Stop” and straight away leave the person and the situation.

Last Reviewed : 26 November 2014
Writer : Dr. Nik Rubiah bte. Nik Abdul Rashid
Translator : Dr. Nazrila Hairin bte. Nasir
Accreditor : Dr. Hargeet Kaur A/P Basant Singh