Ever wondered what young men really think about relationships? We interviewed men aged 16 – 19 across the U.K. and got them talking about love, sex and relationships. Here’s what they had to say.
What’s important to you in relationships?
“I think there needs to be common interest but I always think there should be differences between them so there can be lively debate.”
“Honesty is key obviously because if you don’t trust each other, and you don’t trust them to know about you then how is it going to last?”
“Trust, honesty really. Loyalty as well. And love!”
“You have to be open with each other and comfortable around each other. It’s important to be honest about your strengths and weaknesses and embrace these in each other.”
“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 strong relationship.”
“If you’ve got problems and you don’t communicate it doesn’t work. If you love someone you’re going to be honest with them, communicate and tell the truth.”
How does media and porn impact your relationships?
“I think the media plays a 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. Even if you are in love, the media, or your friends might be like ‘Ugh, why are you with this person?’ That’s damaging.”
“Watching porn is almost like cheating because you’re having those thoughts about having sex with someone else and not the person you’re with. I think it’s wrong.”
“You shouldn’t watch porn in a relationship. You’ll get all these false images in your head and you’ll get disappointed.
Whose relationships do you admire?
“My mum and dad have been together for like ages, I just like how long they’ve been together.”
I admire my grandparents’ relationship because they’ve been together for 50 years. They’ve never strayed from each other. With my mother and my father, things were OK until last year when things got really bad, and I don’t really see either of them anymore.”
“In the past, you say you’re married to one person, you stay with them. So older generations have always had better relationships.”