10 things you didn’t know about how young men see relationships

Over the last few months, Status has interviewed eighteen young men, aged 16-19, across the UK about their experiences of relationships. We interviewed them for our report ‘Love, Lust and Loneliness’, which you can read here.

Here are some of the quotes which we thought revealed just a little bit about how young men think about relationships…

  1. “I think in a healthy relationship, there should be genuine love. You shouldn’t be with someone just to be with someone. You should have common interests, but there should also be differences between you so there can be some lively debate. And genuine care and compassion for each other.”

  1. “One thing that is really important is a good sense of humour – not just finding the same things funny, but someone has to be able to laugh at themselves, and have someone mock them.”

  1. “A relationship is never going to be more important than being happy and healthy, or feeling like you have a purpose. The key question is whether a relationships aids those things or you can’t get those things without being in a relationship.”


  1. “I think in our culture, that is the most heavily pushed thing – getting in a relationship. I think people prioritise it so much. It’s probably not going to live up to that expectation – that it’s going to make your life completely happy. So I don’t think it’s essential, I think there are more important things that you need to get straight first.”


  1. “You have to be open with each other and you’ve got to be comfortable around each other and make each other happy. You have to be able to be honest with each other and say ‘these are my strengths and these are my weaknesses’. You have to be able to embrace that and just enjoy each other’s company really well.”


  1. “Forgiveness is really key. As humans, we’re going to mess up. So if you’re with a partner who is willing to take you back after you’ve messed up, then that’s a good sign of a strong relationship.”


  1. “I think the media plays the biggest role in relationships. It seems to say that you’re not good enough if you don’t have one. If your girlfriend or boyfriend isn’t good-looking, then people might look down on you for that. It might question why you’re in a relationship. Even if you are in love, the media, or your friends might be like ‘Ugh, why are you with this person?’ That’s damaging.”


  1. “If you’ve got problems and you don’t communicate with them then it doesn’t really work out. And if you don’t love each other then there’s sort of no point. And honesty sort of ties in with communication and love anyway, because if you love them you’re going to be honest with them and communicate and tell the truth.”


  1. “Watching porn is like cheating almost, because you’re having those thoughts about having sex with someone else and not the person you’re with. I think it’s wrong.”


  1. “In the past, you say you’re married to one person, you stay with them. So back in that time, older generations have always had a better relationship. So anyone from the 50s, 60s, 70s always have a better relationships.”

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