YP Insight Forum Discusses Relationships Part 2

In July, we discussed relationships and in August, it was time for Relationships Part 2, but with a focus on the men this time.

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On August 16th, we started by sharing what we think are the most important elements of a relationship.  There were a whole lot of responses, including:

  • Communication
  • Putting an equal amount into the relationship
  • Fun – “You need to be able to laugh”
  • Understanding
  • Loyalty and trust
  • Being friends
  • Loving yourself.

This then moved on to us discussing what we expect and want from our partner.  Responses varied from:

  • Someone whose good enough for me to bring home
  • Being in a relationship with God, so that when you come together you’re blessed
  • Working together to get money
  • Honesty
  • Ambition.

However, some believed that males and females expected and wanted different things from relationships and their partners.  Andrae, 25, thinks that females are in a relationship to see if they can marry the person, but guys are just in it for the moment.  Darnell, 26, also said that “[Girls] want what they want and they want it straight away.”

Although “relationships shouldn’t be a problem.  Relationships should be amazing” (Jason, 24), a lot of the time relationships are stressful and frustrating, leading to a multitude of problems and emotional strains.

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When I asked what some of the emotional strains to come from a relationship were, answers included fear, of the future, pride and self-esteem.  This brought up the further issue of people trying to get with someone to fill a void, but never being able to fill the void, as well as the link between cheating and self-esteem.

Following up, we discussed how these emotional strains effect our future relationships.  Kyle, 24, believes, “They only effect them if you let them”, as if you carry that blockage with you, it’s always going to effect your future relationships.  However, Jason says that you won’t know what a good relationship is without being in a bad one.

We then moved on to the focus of men and relationships in our discussion, which is where the whole forum kicked up a notch and developed into one of the most intriguing, dynamic discussions to date.

The first question I asked was why males think that discussing problems means drama, with the immediate response being that “it depends on the individual really”.  Other responses included:

  • A lack of ability to communicate (“in general, we’re not told how to have good relationships”)
  • A change in values
  • Where your head is at the time
  • Cultural differences
  • Wanting to avoid the issue.

Buba believes that guys should look forward to girls wanting to discuss their problems, because it means the girl trusts them – he also added that girls don’t stay if you keep messing them around too much.  Jason also said, “You shouldn’t be going to your friends before you go to your partner.”

This area of discussion also led to the question of why guys are afraid to tell girls they like them.  Answers were:

  • Ego
  • Fear of rejection
  • Shyness
  • Thinking about it too much.

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We then spoke about why some males refuse to take no for an answer when approaching a female.  Buba thinks that it’s a challenge for some guys, which 25-year-old Hakeem agreed with, saying, “They like the chase.  They want what they can’t have.”  Kyle thinks that upbringing has a part to play, as some of the guys don’t have morals, while Jason thinks that it’s a numbers game.

The next question was, why are so many young men afraid of commitment?  Hakeem said, “You feel like you’re not at that point in life… You want to get your career first”.”  Randy, 21, made an interesting film reference saying, “Too many guys want to live that Baby Boy lifestyle.”

Jason mentioned social conditioning, which was a point further elaborated on by Buba, who thinks that the fear of commitment has a lot to do with the people you’re surrounded by, as eventually that person starts to conform to the way their friends are living.  Jason also added, “It feels like we’re all being raised to be a certain way as guys.”

The final question discussed was how we can develop stronger and more committed relationships.  Responses were:

  • Foundation and setting your standards from the get-go – Kyle
  • Raising awareness as individuals and together – Jason
  • Communication and researching it – Rebecca, 24
  • Having a good relationship with God – Kimarie

Hopefully, we can take everything from the past two forums and use it to develop healthier, more effective relationships.  However, as Buba says, “Everything has its timing.”

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We’ll be having a break next month, so the next forum will take place on October 18th at Project B from 6.30-8.30pm when we’ll be talking about sex.  You won’t want to miss it, so don’t forget to tell a friend to tell a friend.

Follow @YPInsight on Twitter or like Young People Insight on Facebook for any updates.

Returning to The Complete Freedom of Truth

On August 1st 2016,

I returned to The Complete Freedom of Truth,

This time in UK’s Bournemouth,

Rather than Bosnia,

Reuniting with friends of old,

Ready to meet the new.

Last year was amazing,

In some ways,

This year was even better,

Pushing us further as artists,

Even further as youth leaders.

We engaged in workshops,

Animation, theatre, radio, parkour,

Which is just a small selection,

As there were a lot more;

We contributed to discussions,

Listened intently to presentations,

Talking about Europe and the EU,

Learning more about refugees, the media

And Black Lives Matter too.

Talent found around every corner,

Art created behind every door,

Collaborations were a constant,

Bringing beautiful work to the fore.

We were treated to regular showings,

I even hosted a poetry/spoken word event,

All leading up to the final showcase

That brought TCFT close to an end.

Over 100 young people gathered together,

United by a common cause,

Wanting to create a better future,

A better Europe for us all.

We may be from seven different countries,

We may come from the East and West,

We may be of different ages, races,

Have different sexual orientations,

Different beliefs,

Or what the world calls a disability.

None of that matters though,

Because we know that we are the same,

Individuals, human beings,

With red blood running through our veins.

TCFT is one big family,

Allowing me to show my vulnerability,

I feel comfortable in their presence,

Feeling able to just be me.

Those two weeks in August

Got my creative juices flowing,

Repaired my connection with writing again,

I can’t wait for the next phase in Italy,

I’ll just have to create change in Croydon until then.

Me, Nomes and Sandra

Info for August’s Young People Insight Forum

Relationships, a topic so broad that we’re going to be talking about it again this month, following on from July’s discussion.

Relationships can be tough, so after talking about healthy relationships and communication last month, this time round we’ll be touching more on our expectations and what we want from our partners.  We’ll also spend a little more time on the emotional strains that can spring up from relationships, and how they may affect our interactions with future partners.

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As promised, there will be a special focus on men this time, after focusing on women in July.  We’ll be asking why some males think discussing problems means drama, why they think it’s okay to discuss females in a disrespectful way and why some won’t take no for an answer when approaching a female.

We’ll also have a special presentation from a young person regarding some charity work they recently carried out, there’ll be a chance to win some L’S UP Official Clothing and I’ll be filling you in on my time spent with the European youth project, The Complete Freedom of Truth.

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If you’re 16-25, you won’t want to miss this forum on Tuesday 16th August from 6.30-8.30pm in Project B (1 Bell Hill, Croydon CR0 1FB).  Come down and speak your mind, munch on some snacks and meet new people.

Stay updated with Young People Insight by following @YPInsight on Twitter or liking Young People Insight on Facebook .