Helping you get through tough times

Managing relationship pressures

When you are in a sexual or romantic relationship, you might experience different kinds of pressure. This can come from within the relationship, or from outside people or outside factors.

pressure gaugePressures can come from issues around money, health, study, work, or friends.

At times they can be stressful and cause a lot of tension, especially when they challenge your cultural, religious or personal ideas and beliefs.

Types of relationship pressures

  • Religious – having different religious beliefs or customs
  • Cultural or racial – feeling pressure to follow cultural or racial beliefs and traditions
  • Age/maturity – a big age difference between you might raise differences in beliefs or expectations
  • Family – might put pressure on the relationship for a range of different reasons, such as cultural, religious, age or racial differences, or feeling you are not old enough or mature enough to have a healthy relationship
  • Money/finance – working out who pays the bills can be difficult, particularly when you’ve just moved in together or when one of you is earning more than the other
  • Jealousy – to or from your boyfriend or girlfriend about relationships with other people
  • Mental or physical disability or illness – there are many extra issues and pressures when you, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or a family member suffers a mental or physical illness or disability
  • Friends – sometimes your friends might be annoyed that you have less time for them
  • Sex – pressure to have sex, undertaking sexual acts or share sexual images, from your boyfriend or girlfriend or friends when you’re not ready
  • Moving in together – this causes another range of pressures. Read more about moving in together.

Some hints on how to handle relationship pressures

Pressures on a relationship can be overwhelming and really stressful.


Talk with your boyfriend or girlfriend about what you’re feeling and what your expectations are. Read more about communication in relationships.

Spend time working on your relationship

Relationships don’t just happen. They are something to put time and energy into maintaining. This might include doing fun things together like going to the movies

Talk to someone

Talk to those involved in your situation honestly and discuss their concerns about your relationship. Acknowledge their feelings and also discuss your own feelings and where you are coming from.

Talk to someone outside the situation, such as a counsellor or friend.

Inform yourself

Find out more information about your boyfriend or girlfriend’s illness if they have one; religion; or things you don’t feel you understand well enough. This can help you respect differences, expectations, and needs.

Or collect information about your own illness or religion and give it to your boyfriend or girlfriend. They may not know where to look for information about you.

Respect your differences

Differences are often the things that make a relationship great.

Remember to regularly make time outside the relationship for your friends and yourself.

This article was last reviewed on 03 May 2017

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