How Can I Support My Girlfriend After Her Abortion?

How Can I Support My Girlfriend After Her Abortion?

Making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy isn’t easy. We understand that it took a great deal of soul-searching and fact gathering for your girlfriend and you to choose abortion from a list of options that may have seemed overwhelming.

We realize that the abortion process affects both of you individually, and applaud you for wanting to know what you can do to support your girlfriend or partner in this season. You have a remarkable opportunity to practice empathy as she goes through the post-abortion process, and it’s the perfect time to show how much you care for her by providing practical and emotional support.

In this article, we’ll discuss what your girlfriend might experience after having an abortion, and what you can do to support her.

Provide Practical Support

Whether your girlfriend had a medical abortion or a surgical abortion, it was and will continue to be a shock to her system as her body heals. Cramping, bleeding, and fatigue might cause her not to feel well physically. You can provide practical support in the following ways:

  • Check in with her often by asking how she’s feeling and if she needs anything.
    • Water
    • Food
    • Extra pillows
    • Heating pad
    • Pain medication
    • Offer to run errands
    • Stay with her if she wants the company
    • Offer to take her to follow-up appointments
  • Show her you care by doing something special for her.
    • Buy her favorite flowers
    • Cook her favorite dinner (or take her out if she’s feeling up to it)
    • Bring her favorite books or magazines
    • Watch her favorite movie with her
    • Give her a unique gift
    • Write her an encouraging letter
  • Consider these examples of supportive communication:
    • “Do you want some alone time, or would you like me to stay with you?”
    • “I’m here for you whenever you feel like talking.”
    • “I’m sorry you’re the one physically going through this. What can I do to help?”
    • “What are you feeling? You’ve been through a lot.”
    • “Do you want to talk?”

Provide Emotional Support

Even if your girlfriend or partner felt certain abortion was the right choice, having an abortion can cause a wide range of emotions from relief to regret or sadness. The degree of emotion can vary from day to day and can rise up immediately following an abortion or years later. Recovery will require your emotional support so she’s not left alone to cope.

A major cause for the varied emotional responses after an abortion is the sudden drop in hormones. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) pregnancy hormone levels are at their highest before 17 weeks of pregnancy. When your girlfriend had her abortion, those hCG levels dropped suddenly, which can also cause emotional responses.

Post-Abortion Syndrome

While there is much discussion around Post-Abortion Syndrome Symptoms (PASS), it is understood that abortion is typically associated with stressful circumstances and therefore can potentially have psychological repercussions, according to Psychology Today. In addition, any event that causes trauma can indeed result in PTSD, and abortion is no exception, the article goes on to say. 

Some women report experiencing negative memories (sometimes called “trauma triggers”) of their abortion experience. Trauma triggers can be any sights, sounds, smells, or thoughts that remind your girlfriend of her abortion. If triggers begin to interfere with her quality of life, you may want to suggest professional counseling or attend a support group together. Learn more about the free services Avail NYC offers for those who are healing from a past abortion experience.

Your girlfriend may feel confused about what is happening to her body if she begins to have an array of positive or negative feelings, particularly if she identifies herself as an emotionally strong person. Learn to validate her feelings. Validating them doesn’t mean you agree with them; it means that you are hearing her and acknowledging her experience. Let her know that it’s normal if she feels relieved and sad all at the same time. And if a part of you has any negative feelings, share that with her, too. Assure her that you’re in this together.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, common negative feelings following an abortion experience include:

Anger

Anger is a normal emotion your girlfriend might feel during recovery from her abortion. She can be angry at herself for having to make an abortion decision, the medical community, her religious community, and even you. Take responsibility for your part in the pregnancy. Express that you’re sorry she is the one who has had to physically experience the abortion.

Guilt

Experiencing guilt doesn’t mean you regret your decision, rather it’s a natural response one can feel after making a very difficult decision. Guilt can stem from your girlfriend feeling she bears the entire weight of the decision and its consequences or how she views others in her life might perceive her for making this decision. Regardless of why she is experiencing guilt, acknowledge how she feels and provide encouragement.

Anxiety

An abortion is a significant event, and sometimes women experience anxiety afterward. Your girlfriend may express fear about her future or getting pregnant again. She may encounter difficulty sleeping and concentrating. She may also experience “panic attacks” that include shortness of breath and heart racing. If your girlfriend is suffering from these symptoms, encourage her to contact a mental health care professional.

Regret

It might surprise you if your girlfriend expresses regret after her abortion because you thought you both agreed you were making the best decision for your situation, but regret is also a common emotion for your girlfriend to experience. Your compassion won’t make her regret go away, but it can ease the pain.

Suicidal Thoughts

If your girlfriend makes any comments suggesting she is contemplating suicide, contact a physician or mental health professional immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.

It’s also important to understand that you and your girlfriend might not feel any negative emotions at all. You don’t have to regret your decision in order to desire professional support or a place to talk with others who have been in a similar situation. Support is still available to you.

If your girlfriend or you want to talk through any unresolved thoughts or emotions related to a past abortion experience, Avail NYC is here for you. We provide no-cost, one-on-one advocacy and post-abortion support groups led by compassionate and skilled advocates. Make a free, confidential appointment today.

Avail exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How Can I Tell if My Girlfriend is Pregnant?

How Can I Tell if My Girlfriend is Pregnant?

Do you think your girlfriend might be pregnant? Perhaps you asked her and she dismissed the question or quickly said no, but you still are uncertain.

Maybe you already suggested she take a pregnancy test, but she doesn’t want to take one because she’s afraid to face the test result. Or she might already know she’s pregnant but isn’t ready to talk about it—all of which are common responses.

Of course, the best way to know the answer is a pregnancy test, but you can also look for common signs to guage the early stages of pregnancy.

Common Signs of Early Pregnancy

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a pregnancy hormone that doubles in amount every few days until it peaks at about 11 weeks of pregnancy. hCG can cause symptoms in a pregnant woman, particularly in early pregnancy.

Missed Period

This sign might not be as obvious as it sounds. Sometimes women experience implantation bleeding in early pregnancy, which they mistakenly count as a period. Implantation bleeding is usually lighter and shorter than a normal period.

It could be helpful to track your girlfriend’s periods along with her. If interested, she can invite you to her period tracking apps like Flo or Clue.

Aversion to Foods or Smells

If your girlfriend suddenly feels disgusted by foods she once enjoyed, it could be a sign of pregnancy. You might also notice she has a new aversion to strong smells.

Nausea or Vomiting

Have you noticed your girlfriend eating less or eating starchier foods like crackers? Or is she complaining of feeling sick to her stomach, but she doesn’t have an illness? These could be signs of pregnancy. People often refer to nausea or vomiting in pregnancy as “morning sickness,” but it can affect a pregnant woman any time of day or night.

Fatigue

Is your girlfriend exhausted, not simply tired, but super drained? Pregnancy causes a woman’s body to begin enormous changes: blood pressure and blood sugar lower, which triggers fatigue; progesterone hormone levels rise, which adds to her exhaustion; and her body makes more blood to bring nutrients to sustain the pregnancy.   

Sore or Swollen Breasts

Sore or swollen breasts can be a sign your girlfriend’s pregnant, or they can be signs she is about to get her period. However, these signs are often amplified in pregnancy since hormones cause her body to retain more fluid leading to more swelling and tenderness.

What to Do If You Think Your Girlfriend Is Pregnant

If you think your girlfriend is pregnant, the first step it to talk with her about it. Keep in mind that fear is the most common reason your girlfriend might resist taking a pregnancy test, so it’s important she feels confident that you will respond to the result in a healthy manner. Reassure her that you can work through any scenario together—she needs to sense your support through your actions and not just words.

Answers Are Available

Avail NYC provides self-administered pregnancy tests (hCG urine test kits) at no cost to give you the answer you and your girlfriend need to move forward. Make an appointment with our experienced advocates who can answer your questions and give you unbiased information so you can make an informed decision about a possible unexpected pregnancy.

Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How Can I Support My Partner When She’s Pregnant?

How Can I Support My Partner When She’s Pregnant?

Whether your partner’s pregnancy was expected or unexpected, it’s normal to feel a mix of excitement and anxiety as you think about the future. It’s normal to wonder how things will change for you, your partner, and your relationship. It may also feel like you’re sitting on the sidelines while your partner is experiencing the pregnancy firsthand and receiving all the attention, but your role is so much more than sideline supportive. It’s active and crucial.

It’s Vital for Your Pregnant Partner to Feel Your Support

Research is clear; mothers and infants are healthier when pregnant mothers feel supported by their partners. Your appropriate support means your partner is less likely to experience depression or anxiety. Studies also reveal that having a supportive partner impacts infants positively in addition to their mothers; they appear to display lower stress levels too.

When your support leads to your partner being emotionally healthier, her body will better cope with the physical demands of pregnancy, delivery, and recovery after giving birth.

Here’s a real-life example: Your partner feels sick, and you genuinely believe she needs privacy, so your first thought is to leave her alone. But the good news is that you’ve already had conversations with her about this, so you know if you leave her alone now, she will experience your well-intended efforts as abandonment.

You realize your support efforts to give your partner space would have the opposite effect you intend, so instead of leaving her alone, you offer ginger ale, crackers, and your presence. And your partner feels loved and supported.

The key isn’t whether you think you’re providing the support she needs, but if your partner perceives your actions as supportive.

You need to start somewhere, so here are practical suggestions on ways to support your partner when she’s pregnant.

Connect on an Emotional Level

When you and your partner discover she’s pregnant, emotions follow. You both need to talk about feelings of uncertainty, inadequacy, anxiousness, and excitement. Emotionally connecting while she’s pregnant sets a solid foundation for your relationship and the decisions you make about the pregnancy.

Invest time to learn about how to listen well, empathize, and validate her feelings. Validate doesn’t mean you agree; it means you empathize enough to want to understand her inner world. The goal is not to respond but to listen to understand her perspective. We all desire to be heard and understood, and when your partner perceives your attempts to understand her, she will feel incredibly supported.  

Connect on a Practical Level

When you support your pregnant partner with actions, it communicates, “I care,” far more than words ever could. Here are ways to connect on a practical level:

  • Prioritize your relationship — discuss needs, desires, and dreams
  • Take notice when she needs help and help out without being asked
  • Go with her to her doctor visits and childbirth classes if you choose to carry to term— ask questions
  • Encourage her to take a nap
  • Take walks or cook a balanced meal together

Avail supports women and men by offering a safe place to talk through your experiences and questions, especially when facing an unexpected pregnancy or abortion. If you have further questions or think your girlfriend might be pregnant, make a confidential appointment with a Male Client Advocate today. All services are free.

Avail exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

Your Girlfriend’s Cycle: How Likely Is She to Get Pregnant?

Your Girlfriend’s Cycle: How Likely Is She to Get Pregnant?

Gone are the days when contraception was solely the woman’s responsibility. If your girlfriend becomes unexpectedly pregnant, it affects both of you. So, it makes sense that men like you are asking more questions, looking for answers, and want to be informed about their girlfriend’s cycles and when they are most likely to get pregnant.

Let’s get started.

1. What is a “cycle?”

Each month a woman’s body prepares for a possible pregnancy, and that hormonal process is her “menstrual cycle” or just her “cycle.”

The length of a woman’s cycle is measured from the first day of her period to the first day of her next period. Cycle length varies from woman to woman and can range from 21 to 35 days with the average being 28 days.

There are four phases to her cycle: menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation, and the luteal phase. Let’s look at what that means in regards to getting pregnant.

2. Which phase in my girlfriend’s cycle is she more likely to get pregnant?

Your girlfriend is more likely to get pregnant in the ovulating phase of her cycle, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen at other points in the cycle, and here’s why!

The ovulation phase is when a woman’s ovary releases an egg. If you think you might be “safe” and have unprotected sex during the follicular phase of your cycle, remember this: your sperm can live up to five days right into her ovulation cycle. That creates a situation where her egg and your sperm are in the same place at the same time, and she could potentially get pregnant.

A woman’s egg lives about 12-24 hours, and a man’s sperm lives up to five days. That means there is about a six-day window each month around ovulation that your girlfriend is more likely to get pregnant if you have unprotected sex.

3. When in her cycle is my girlfriend ovulating?

Ovulation occurs about two weeks before her expected period.

4. How can I tell when it’s two weeks before my girlfriend’s period?

Excellent question. If your girlfriend is one of more than 100 million women who use a period tracking app, ask her if she will share it will you. The popular period tracking apps have the capability for cycle sharing and push notifications.

If your girlfriend isn’t comfortable sharing her app with you, ask if it would be okay to download your own app and track her period yourself. This isn’t weird or abnormal. It’s taking responsibility and empowering yourself with knowledge!

Common Myths About Getting Pregnant

  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if she has her period.
  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if you withdraw before ejaculating.
  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if she is taking the pill.
  • Myth: She can’t get pregnant if she is breastfeeding.

Avail supports women and men by offering a safe place to talk through your experiences, especially when facing an unexpected pregnancy or abortion. If you have further questions or think your girlfriend might be pregnant, make a confidential appointment with a Male Client Advocate today. All services are free.

Avail exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

Expressing Tough Decisions to Disapproving Loved Ones

Expressing Tough Decisions to Disapproving Loved Ones

Even the most independent thinker is likely to hate the thought of disappointing friends or family members, so communicating a choice that you’re sure the listener will disagree with can be stressful. It can be tough to openly express your desire to take a different path than others might choose, especially when this path can lead to potential consequences.

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and aren’t sure how others might react to your ultimate decision, it’s crucial to prepare yourself for some tough conversations. Read on for some tips and tricks to help ease this process and ensure you’re able to fully express your feelings to your family members or other loved ones.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice can improve just about any speech, especially in emotionally-charged situations. By practicing what you’re planning to say and anticipating the responses you might get, you’ll be far better prepared for the actual process. You may even want to bring along an index card or a notebook when preparing to reveal your decision to your family members. This can help you if your mind goes blank or if you feel especially anxious before you begin.

Anticipate (and Answer) the Most Common Questions

After learning of your unexpected pregnancy, your loved ones may have dozens of questions, from “where will you live?” to “what about school?” By anticipating and having responses already prepared for some of these questions, you’ll be more confident when the time comes to reveal this news to your friends and family. And even if you’d like to keep your reasons for your choices private, thinking through them on your own can be helpful to the overall decision-making process.

Don’t Feel the Need to Justify Your Decisions

Often, these conversations can quickly put the person making a choice on the defensive. You might feel compelled to provide multiple reasons for why you’re making certain decisions. While providing these reasons can help the listener realize that you’ve put a lot of thought into this decision, it can just as often devolve into an argument.

Regardless of whether your family or loved ones are supportive of your decision about an unplanned pregnancy, Avail NYC is here to help. We’re a resource-focused organization that gives women and families the support and referrals they need to make a confident decision. If you’re pregnant and not sure what to do next, give us a call today.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider. 

Balancing an Unplanned Pregnancy in a New Relationship

Balancing an Unplanned Pregnancy in a New Relationship

An unplanned pregnancy by itself is hard to deal with. Getting pregnant in the beginning of a new relationship adds another complicated dimension. You may not know each other that well yet and you aren’t able to predict your partner’s reaction to the news. Will he stick around and be supportive or will he walk away?

Maybe you’re crazy in love. Maybe you’re just “in like.” If he’s willing to stick around, do you want him to? What if he wants to get married? Uncertainty can be hard to handle and we are here to support you at Avail NYC.

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, you might not feel happy and excited, at least not in the beginning. Scared and confused might be more your speed right now. Or maybe you adjust quickly and are digging in, figuring things out, and are ready to make some decisions.

There is no “right” way to feel about an unplanned pregnancy, just as there is no “wrong” way, either. Whichever way you feel, that’s the right one for you.

What We Know

You’re not alone. In 2011, nearly half (45% or 2.8 million) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States each year were unintended, according to the Guttmacher Institute. That’s 2.8 million women just like you, every year.

Your life isn’t over. With 2.8 million women each year finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant, it’s reasonable to expect that people are more used to single women getting pregnant than in the past, and there is no reason to feel ashamed. The only opinion that matters is yours. There are a lot of young single women who not only parent, but have successful careers, maintain strong relationships, and enjoy fulfilling, rewarding lives.

You Have Options

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t the end of the world because you have options. You can choose abortion, adoption, or parenting. At Avail NYC, we are committed to providing accurate, unbiased information so you can make the best possible decision for YOU. We will answer all of your questions and support you throughout the decision-making process and beyond.

Come in and See Us

Come in and see us at Avail NYC. We can give you a free, self-administered pregnancy test and if it confirms you are pregnant, we can offer you a referral for a free ultrasound to determine if the pregnancy is viable, if it is an ectopic pregnancy (which needs medical treatment right away), and the gestational age. The ultrasound is performed on site by a third-party women’s medical clinic.

Once this is completed, we will give you a decision-making tool that helps you take into account your situation, values, and goals as you decide which path is the best one for you to follow. Our caring advocates will be there for you every step of the way to listen and help you process.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How to Tell My Mom I’m Pregnant

How to Tell My Mom I’m Pregnant

Caitlin sits in her room, crying so hard her whole body shakes. So many thoughts run through her head. Mostly just no, repeated over and over. Until her mom knocks on the door and asks, “What’s wrong? Caitlin?”

On the other side of town, Shaunda sits in class. Her eyes are red, but no one really notices. She keeps her head down and tries to focus on her exam, but her mind is awhirl. When her shoulders start to shake, her professor comes over, puts a hand on hers, and quietly asks, “Is something wrong? Can I help you?”

A third girl, Phoebe, looks at her best friend as they walk through the park. She asks the big question, the one that is running through each girl’s mind: “How do I tell my mom I’m pregnant?”

Look at Your Options

We know an unexpected pregnancy can be really tough news to get. The shock and fear can be paralyzing, and you may not know where to turn, or who you can talk to at first. Despite what you may be thinking, you are not alone.

Our compassionate, unbiased client advocates are here for you and can help you plan what to say when talking with your mom. They will guide you through a decision-making tool to help you decide which option is right for you.

At Avail NYC, we want to make sure you are informed on each of these choices so you are able to make the best possible decision for you. They can also help you plan how to talk to your mom.

Put Together a Plan

Timing can be important, especially when you have difficult news to share. Plan to tell your mom at a time when she’s not busy with important things, and when there will be plenty of time to talk. If she’s on deadline for a work project or about to rush out the door, that might not be the opportune time. Also, have a backup time, just in case something comes up.

When you do sit down to talk, being direct is usually the best choice. Talking all around a subject when one person doesn’t know what’s at the heart of it can be frustrating, and that won’t help you. Just as you were surprised, expect your mom will be, too. Give her some time to move past that and calm herself. Then, continue the conversation.

She will probably ask what you plan to do, or she may give you her opinion on what she wants you to do. Think about how you want to respond to both of those situations, so you will be prepared. You can probably guess some of the other questions she will ask, too. They likely won’t make for a fun conversation, but spending some time thinking about what she might ask, and what your answer will be, will help you feel more prepared.

Make an appointment to visit Avail. We are here to help you in a non-judgmental environment that is focused on providing the support and information you need. All services are free of charge to our clients.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.

How to Tell My Boyfriend I’m Pregnant

How to Tell My Boyfriend I’m Pregnant

With the popularity of sharing pregnancy announcements on social media, it’s easy to stumble across one of the thousands of videos, photos, or written testimonials from women whose partners were ecstatic to find out they were expecting. However, not all pregnancy announcements are planned. If you are worried about the future or don’t think your partner will be supportive, you may feel that you have no options. Learn more about how to approach your partner with confidence.

Have a Plan

Blurting out “I’m pregnant” may not always be an ideal way to break this news, especially if you are not sure how the person you are speaking to will react. Spend some time thinking of the best opportunity to bring this news up.

This conversation should occur at a time when both you and your partner are relaxed and don’t have any immediate demands on your time or attention. Bringing it up as one or both of you are about to head out the door in the morning, while your partner is working on a project, or just before you fall asleep at night usually isn’t conducive to a calm, rational discussion.

Once you have made a plan for announcing the news, it can be a good idea to have a backup plan just in case the first falls through. Although you have some time to think through your unplanned pregnancy options, you don’t want to wait too long to have this conversation with your partner.

Investigate Your Options

If your partner is open and supportive of your news, this can be a tremendous source of emotional support for you. But if you are not sure how your partner will react, it can be helpful to arm yourself with information before you broach the topic.

For example, you may want to have a laboratory-quality hCG pregnancy test and an ultrasound to confirm your pregnancy and its viability. And if you are not sure you want to raise a child, talking with someone about all of your options could give you more security and confidence when speaking with your partner.

Facing an unexpected pregnancy can be stressful and scary, especially if you don’t have a strong support network of friends, family members, and other loved ones. At Avail NYC, we are here for YOU. Talk to a client advocate to learn more about your options and learn how to make a confident decision for your future. We offer free self-administered pregnancy test kits and free ultrasound referrals through a third-party medical facility, while connecting you with a wide range of services to assist with all aspects of pregnancy and parenthood. Contact us today.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider

What Are Healthy Relationships Based On?

What Are Healthy Relationships Based On?

Whether you’re single, exploring the dating field, or in a long-term, committed partnership, the relationships you maintain in your life are very important. A strong, healthy relationship can foster personal growth and development, helping you to become the best version of yourself through a focus on equality and respect.

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However, not all relationships are positive. Some interactions are driven by control and possession rather than love and trust, compromising your own well-being in favor of another’s self-interest. These kinds of relationships can be damaging and dangerous, especially when major life events, like an unexpected pregnancy, arise.

These tenets are key parts of maintaining strong, stable relationships – platonic, romantic, and otherwise.

Mutual Respect

Without respect, any relationship will falter. A partner who respects you will value you for who you are, including your interests, ideas, beliefs, and morals. Your partner should never ask you to change your identity, compromise on your ethics, or put you down for your personal qualities.

Trust and Honesty

A relationship without trust isn’t a relationship at all. You and your partner should be able to talk openly and honestly about any topic with an assumption of truthfulness. There is no room for paranoia, distrust, lying, or suspicion in a healthy partnership.

Support

A good partner supports you in all that you do, from seeking a new job to pursuing higher education. While some events may require compromise and discussion, you should never be put down or insulted when working through issues with your partner.

Fairness and Equality

In a healthy relationship, no one person is better or more worthy than another. You and your partner should share tasks, chores, and benefits equally to ensure a just and balanced experience in both good times and bad. A relationship where one person handles all of the emotional, physical, and financial labor isn’t fair at all.

Separate Identities

A relationship is a union between two people – two unique, independent people. Part of succeeding in a relationship means maintaining the qualities that define you, from friend groups to hobbies. Attempting to control another’s passions and pastimes is not healthy.

Good Communication

Communication is a true necessity in a successful relationship. Partners should be able to speak openly about any topic and receive positive, helpful responses that do not attack, abuse, or tear down. Effective communication can take many forms, from face-to-face chats to text messages, but channels should remain open and judgment-free at all times.

A Sense of Playfulness

Different relationships have different vibes, from serious to silly, but a sense of playfulness and adventure can keep the love alive. You should be able to have fun with your partner, from taking trips to enjoying favorite shows and movies. Playfulness might look different for each couple, but it is a worthwhile pursuit.

A strong relationship is a big part of successfully coping with an unplanned pregnancy. If you are seeking a caring, compassionate resource during an unexpected time, Avail NYC is here to make a difference. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider. 

Healthy Relationship Boundaries

Healthy Relationship Boundaries

It can be tough to set boundaries with those you love, especially if you were raised in an environment where your parents, teachers, or other trusted adults didn’t always exercise good judgment in setting their own boundaries.

Setting and enforcing your limits can be the key to generating healthy relationships, and in many cases can even prevent you from becoming entangled in an emotionally abusive relationship. Read on to learn more about how setting social, emotional, and physical boundaries can improve the quality of your personal relationships.

Social Boundaries

In today’s tech-heavy world, “social boundaries” has, in many ways, come to mean “social media boundaries.” While social media can allow you to connect and chat with friends and loved ones across the globe, it can have a destructive side as well.

You may want to devote some introspection to how much of your life (and emotions) you would like to publish online. Making your life an open book can provide you with regular support and feedback from your followers, but can also put your choices up for public scrutiny and comment. If you find yourself unable to make even a simple decision (like what to have for dinner) without consulting your followers, it may be time to step back from social media for a while and renew your confidence in your own decision-making abilities.

It’s also a good idea to periodically review your social media privacy settings and your list of friends or followers to ensure that any updates you do post are going to a group who will support you, not tear you down or gossip behind your back.

Emotional Boundaries

Alone time is important — even for extroverts who gain emotional energy from being in the company of others. You shouldn’t feel pressured into spending all your time with someone, whether they are a romantic partner, friend, or specific family member.

Setting emotional boundaries might also mean committing yourself to some uncomfortable conversations. Confronting someone who has hurt you can be awkward, and it may be tempting to just let an unpleasant incident slide to avoid the prospect of further drama. But allowing these violations to go unchecked can make it easier for them to recur.

Physical Boundaries

Physical boundaries can be among the toughest boundaries to set. Social pressures and childhood conditioning have led many adults to doubt their own wishes and desires.

Reclaiming these boundaries as an adult can be one of the best things you can do for your mental health. You do not have to engage in any undesired physical affection or contact if you don’t want to, inside or outside of a relationship. By that same token, it’s important to respect others’ physical boundaries by maintaining open communication.

If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy, contact Avail NYC today to receive a free self-administered pregnancy test, or to talk to one of our volunteer client advocates today in a supportive and confidential environment.

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Avail NYC exists to be a safe haven for women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy or seeking support after an abortion. We are not a medical provider.