We’re taught it at school more than we are trigonometry and the Tudors. If someone is constantly picking on you, taking the mick or harassing you, it means they fancy the pants off you. They really, REALLY like you. Like, LIKE-like you. Right?

No. Absolutely not.

This myth has been drilled into us since the dawn of time itself, and though it may seem harmless, believing that abusive behaviour is actually a sign that someone loves you can really damage your future relationships.

But what counts as being horrible?

When someone fancies you, they treat you well. They do not:

1. Physically hurt you. Ever.

Do they flick you when they sit next to you in class? Push you over on the school field? Pull your hair? Trip you up? All for a laugh? It does not mean they fancy you.

2. Call you names.

Did you embarrass yourself one time and earn a less-than-lovely nickname? Do they not let you forget it, and insist on banging on for a laugh for their mates? It does not mean they fancy you.

3. Repeatedly annoy you when you asked them to stop.

A light bit of banter is fine – you don’t take yourself seriously and can take a joke. But after a while it gets tiresome, so you ask them to stop. They don’t. In fact, they do it more. It does not mean they fancy you.

4. Touch you, or have you touch them, without your consent.

Wolf whistling is not a compliment and nor is touching your bum without asking. The latter is, in fact, sexual assault. They might try and dare you to kiss them or might put their arm around you affectionately when really they want to try and touch your boob. Any form of sexual contact without your consent is sexual assault. It does not mean they fancy you*.

5. Steal your stuff. 

Ever walked away from your bag or phone and come back to find it missing? Yep, great joke guys. You can give it back now. If they don’t – even if they run off with your stuff and throw it in a bin for you to find – it does not mean they fancy you.

Of course, it’s still possible they DO fancy you despite all this douchebaggery – but that’s kind of irrelevant because either way, you deserve someone who actually treats you well.

Ok. Got it. So how do I know if someone does fancy me?!

Easy. They’re nice to you! For example…

1. They compliment you without being unnecessarily sexual or gross.

2. They make an effort to spend time with you.

3. They’re super interested in what you do and what you say.

4. They want to talk to you for ages and never seem to need to be anywhere else.

5. They ask you out. Politely.

6. They laugh at your (even rubbish) jokes.

7. They blush when they see you – adorable.

8. They support you when you need it.

*any other nice stuff that makes you feel warm and gushy and comfortable and confident*

That seems fair…

Yup! There’s a big difference between some jokey, flirty banter and straight up horribleness. Don’t feel like you have to play along. If the behaviour carries on when you tell them to stop, please tell someone. You’re worth more than that, you beautiful, strong, lovely angelic human.

ps. What’s that * there for?

Ah, yes. Crushes are fun but sexual assault and abuse of your consent is super serious. If you think you’ve been assaulted or are worried about someone’s behaviour towards you then there are loads of people out there you can talk to. Don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. Talk to a teacher, your parents/guardians, your doctor, or any adult you trust. If you don’t want to talk to someone you know then you can always speak to Childline or The Mix.

@louisejonesetc

Do you know what lacrosse is? Do you still regard the male sex with an element of suspicion, and/or bafflement? Was your first kiss yesterday? Why then, you may be a surviving member of an all-girls’ school! Your struggle is real. Single sex schools can feel like the worst, so here’s everything you know if you went to one. (We feel you.)

Non-uniform days are no less stressful than if boys were there

Thought the lack of boys would make own clothes easier? Think again. You girls are your own (and everyone else’s) worse critics. You’ll spend weeks deciding on each element of your outfit and checking and double checking it with your fam. Wearing the same top as someone else will result in a wordless fight to death over who wore it best, to be judged on Insta later. Those who got away with wearing the most make up unnoticed will almost certainly win.

Make up is not allowed. Yes, Jade, mascara does count as make up

So does blusher. Jade, for pity’s sake, go to the bathroom and Wash. It. Off. Jade never quite got this rule – but she never stopped trying, bless her, and to this day I do not know if her eyes were really that large, or if she finally cracked and got permanent mascara.

There will be some gratuitous displays of wealth…

…and there will be girls desperate to hide how hard their parents are working to send them there, whose trainers are unbranded and whose hair is un-Brazilian blow-dried. All of you have a right to be there, and to be treated with respect…

…but girl, oh girl, there will be bitches

Both amongst your enemies, and amongst your dearest friends. They will bitch about ANYTHING, from clothes to cleverness, the way someone walks to their weight. You will try to resist them. You will, I’m sorry to say, almost fall short – because it’s insidious, this whispering and gossiping, and it will defy any attempts to avoid it. Do try, obviously – but if you fall short, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’ll grow out of it eventually, and so will (most) of your (true) friends.

Mealtimes are a nightmare

The majority of eating disorders sufferers are female and in the 14 to 25 range. I don’t need to tell you to do the math – if your school is anything like mine, you will know this simply from looking round your dining room at lunchtime. If a friend is suffering, betty has some advice as to how you could help.

Half the class has PMT at the same time…

Oh, the magic of menstrual syncing.

Swimming lessons will only have a 20 per cent attendance rate

See above.

TMI is your default setting

In fact, it’s weirder for you not to be able to discuss what shade of tampon you’re wearing and whether you’ve succeeded in avoiding weeing on the string part.

You only signed up to [insert extra-curricular activity undertaken with the local boys school here] because you wanted to meet the boys school

School plays, Combined Cadet Force, Duke of Edinburgh, volunteering at the old people’s home, choir, charity bag packing: you name it, and if it involved boys, you’re there.

You put make up on for the journey home

Obviously. There will be boys on the number 29.

That feeling when one of the 29 boys catches your eye

And unless it’s your brother, you’ve literally nothing to say.

Subjects are genderless

Who says physics is more or less ‘girly’ than english? No sis in your school – and that’s the legit thing about it. The concept of not being able to do something just because you’re a girl is beyond your conception.

When school is bad, it’s v unbearable…

But when it’s good it’s one of the most woke places you could be.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Hailey Hamilton

What was life before Cameron Dallas? We’re sure it had less meaning, but thankfully this beautiful being graced the world with his presence on 8 September 1994, and now he’s celebrating his 23rd birthday. Happy birthday, Cam!

In celebration of this blessed event, let’s check out 11 times we wished we were Mr Dallas’ girlfriend – and yeah, it was pretty hard to narrow it down to just 11 times…

1. When he woke up like this

GOOD MORNING 😊🤘🏽

A post shared by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

Beyoncé isn’t the only one who’s #flawless.

2. When he cuddled up to the cutest doggo ever

Puppy Rottweiler 😍

A post shared by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

Two sets of puppy dog eyes right there.

3. When he rocked the cover of Rollacoaster

Justin killed this cover @rollacoastermagazine @justinrcampbell @tommyhilfiger @morgaanp @patriciamoraleshair

A post shared by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

Yes, he even makes the corner of the dirty kitchen look good.

4. When he bottle-fed a tiny baby monkey

SOMEONE CHECK BOTTLE FEED A MONKEY OFF MY BUCKET LIST

A post shared by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

BRB, ovaries just exploded.

5. When he worked out shirtless and shared it on Instagram

So thoughtful. So fit.

6. Every time we watch his Netflix series, Chasing Cameron

It’s like a window to his soul.

7. When he caught feels

Hiii

A post shared by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

So here for those.

8. When he posted selfies with his mum

Taking my mom to Milan 😊 @ginabina77

A post shared by Cameron Dallas (@camerondallas) on

Gina brought him up RIGHT.

9. When he got all philosophical about *~lUrVe~*

We’re right here, Cameron!

10. When this was his off-duty vibe

Look at that smize.

11. When he stole the show in Charli XCX’s Boys music video

We’ll be busy dreaming ’bout Cam.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

Image: Getty

The first time I ever fancied someone I was four years old.

Let’s be honest, that’s premature. And a bit weird. So you can imagine my surprise – and disappointment – when, first secondary school disco in full swing, I found myself in the girl’s toilets, totally consumed with fear at the thought of the night ending in my being someone’s girlfriend.

It wasn’t like Scar from The Lion King was even there (plot twist: I no longer fancy cartoon lions, but still love a black hair/ green eye combo). Or that anyone was showing the slightest whiff of interest in the glitter hair mascara fringe I was debuting that evening.

But, despite the sassy four-year-old inside me who was so desperate to be wifeyed back in 1994, the mere thought of anyone trying to snog, dance or really do anything beyond offering me their seat so I could rest my inexperienced platform-heeled feet was enough to make me fake illness and call my Dad to come take me home. Ah, home. I could eat Indian takeaway and watch Friends there, I could have a bubble bath, I could listen to The Killers and imagine what it would be like to be in a relationship without the scary reality of actually having to go through with it.

Needless to say, after that first school disco, it was obvious: casual intimacy intimidated me. And I ended up spending my entire teenage years single.

It wasn’t because I’d suddenly stopped fancying anyone – quite the contrary. I fancied everyone. At least it felt that way; but as I quickly learnt, my feelings were fickle. The second anyone paid any interested in me I was onto the next one, before they had a chance to fish out the alleged eyelash from my heavily kohl-lined socket.

On several occasions I was accused of being a tease or a flirt, but I was pretty sure I wasn’t doing anything wrong. I was interested in being in the relationships I formed in my mind – it’s just the reality brought so much pressure, and I was yet to meet anyone with the maturity and patience to match my timid curiosity. I wanted fun from a relationship and, from the looks of things, the real-life kind involved heartbreak, school gossip and the risk of everyone knowing the private things I only wanted special people to know.

It took me longer than I wish it had to realise that I wasn’t a tease, and I wasn’t frigid. I just didn’t want to be in a relationship with anyone who didn’t love me. It was as simple as that.

Of course I felt embarrassed about being what from the outside probably looked like a ‘late bloomer’. When you aren’t in love it always feels like everyone else is – but, honestly, this is just imagination talking. I have friends who lost their virginity aged 14 and friends who had their first kiss aged 22, there is no finish line when it comes to intimacy. There just isn’t. Adult life doesn’t begin with your first kiss. If you’re interested in that stuff then life will be littered with it, and you’ll have times when it’s happening a lot and times when it isn’t happening at all.

I’m a bit older now, and I’ve had a serious relationship. We made it work for three years, which doesn’t sound like long but considering the fact that we were broke, lazy students who wore the same Dominoes-stained joggers every day (him) and believed that jarred pesto counted as one of your 5 a day (me), it was a triumph against bad odds. That relationship had everything I’d thought up in my Killers bubble baths. He was loving and hilarious with a gorgeous face, and the first time we kissed I remember being surprised because I wasn’t thinking about when it would be over like all the regretful snogs before him.

It’s important to say here that I think prolific ‘relationship people’ – the types that seem to have loved a hundred times before they’re even legally allowed to drink – are sensational. In my experience they tend to be super open, to both rejection and love, because they come as a pair. Emotional gamblers, pursuing subtle flirtation with the conviction of some sort of intimacy gladiator. But, unless that comes naturally to you, you can’t force it.  As with everything in life, but especially your emotions, you’ve got to consider what you’re comfortable with.

A few days ago a friend asked when I was going to get round to dating someone seriously again and I felt that familiar pang of embarrassment – like FOMO with a sprinkling of shame. The truth is, I just really like being single. Not because I’m frigid, or want a different person every night, or have low self-esteem, or think I’m too good for that bloke who asked me out. I simply love being single because there is so much to love about it.

I don’t have to share anything; my money, my time, my bed, my pizza. I’ve got to know myself in incredible depth, because I’ve had to. I plan my weekends depending on what I want to do, I go to places I want to visit on holiday, I cook what I love for dinner every night. I know exactly what I’m lacking, and what a potential partner could give to make me a better person, but I also know that I’m enough. It’s a strong and sentimental statement, but it’s true. And I like to think this relationship with myself started during those relationship-less teenage years. I’m not scared of being single.

Ultimately relationships can be crazy, fun, sad, beautiful life experiences. But they’ve got to happen on your own terms. My advice would be: take the time to understand exactly what you feel comfortable with.

Because in the end, the only person you have to live with forever is yourself.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

 Image: Getty

I am a sucker for romance. I have watched pretty much every two-and-a-half star romantic comedy there is. I’ve pined along with Elizabeth for Mr Darcy, even though I still think he’s a grumpy arsehole. I’m the first person my friends call when they have a new crush because I know all the right moments to ‘ohhh’ and ‘ahhh’ at their story. 

So it wasn’t exactly surprising that in the early years of being a teenager I fancied my friends’ older brothers. Not just one of my friends’ – I fancied ALL of their older brothers.

I didn’t discriminate on anything so trivial as age or appearance or sexual orientation. If you were my friend between the ages of 10 and 15 and you had an older brother, I fancied him. There is literally no exception to this rule.

I went to an all girls’ school from 12 to 15, or what I refer to as ‘The Oestrogen Years’. While other girls in my school would go to dances on Friday nights and meet boys, I went to debating and ate chips in the park with my teammates. On the bus home from school, other girls would flirt with the boys at the back of the bus, while I would sing loudly along to 90s songs with one of my friends.

I was scared of boys I didn’t know. My tongue would go thick in my mouth and I would end up shouting at them by mistake.

But my friends’ brothers? They were boys I knew. I saw them on a semi-regular basis, but never had to spend time with them one-on-one, which as far as I was concerned was the ideal amount of interaction.

My friends would drop crumbs of information about them – they liked maths, they went to see the new Star Wars movie, they were allergic to yoghurt – that I would feverishly collect with the same enthusiasm most people reserve for actual hobbies. I would use these pieces of information to adapt my daydreams of our eventual relationship to ones that included Yoda or excluded Yeo Valley.

Naturally, I had elaborate fantasies about how our relationship would go.

I imagined watching a movie, something funny and probably featuring Owen Wilson, when his arm subtly started edging closer to mine. The completely wonderful and secret kissing, where our teeth would never, ever, knock together. The conversation with my friend who would give me her complete blessing because she knew I was excellent and her brother was excellent and she wanted us both to be excellent together. Obviously.

I imagined the declaration of love that would make me weak in the knees. The eventual Loss Of Virginity. The wedding, where of course my friend would be my maid of honour and make a hilarious, yet deeply moving speech about how we were meant for each other.

I’m almost certain these boys had no idea I existed. A fact that one of them confirmed when I did eventually kiss him, a few years after I emerged from my obsessive bubble.

“When did you start fancying me?” I asked, hoping he would reveal that he had been pining for me for years. That my obsession with him wasn’t one-sided, but rather completely requited.

“I dunno,” he replied. “When you got hot?”

Yep, he was a regular Casanova. This answer was also unhelpful in a myriad of ways.

Firstly, it implies I wasn’t always hot. Which is obviously false. Secondly, even if I wasn’t hot (which I was), my personality is rockin’. How dare he overlook my passion for US politics, my weakness for videos of unlikely animal friends and my admirable loyalty to both of these topics throughout all the years he’s known me? Thirdly, it gives me no clear time line. Lastly, it was wildly unromantic and not at all like the script I had prepared in my head.

Being in love with your friends’ brothers can be difficult. Especially when you’re in love with eight of them simultaneously. And in real life, it might not work out anything like in your head. But hey, a girl can still dream.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

You’ve been chatting online for a while, and now you’re ready to take things off-screen and into reality – eeek! Loads of people make IRL friends and relationships through the internet and social media so meeting in the flesh is nothing to be worried about, but it’s normal to have a few nerves (ok, a lot of nerves).

So here are a few pointers to make sure your first meeting goes as smoothly as possible.

1. Do a bit of online sleuthing

Ok, chances are you’ve already stalked their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (but of course you’d never admit it ‘cos you’re cooler than that, right?), so you’re definitely up to speed with their life online. But before you agree to meet, do a little research to make sure they are who they say they are. Do you have any mutual who could vouch for them? Do they have pictures with friends, or are they just solo selfies? We’ve all seen Catfish – never underestimate the power of a reverse image search!

2. Get your friends’ opinions

Your mates know you better than anyone, so they’re in a pretty good position to judge whether or not your crush seems like a decent match for you. Admittedly they’ve only got the same online intel as you, but fancying the pants off someone can make you blind to red flags, so it doesn’t hurt to get another opinion. Plus, your mates being clued up about who you’re meeting is always a sensible safety precaution.

3. Meet in public

This is pretty obvious, but worth repeating! Even if you’re desperate to check out their games collection or they offer to whip up a storm for you in the kitchen, make sure the first time you meet is in a busy public place, preferably with a friend nearby. If everything goes well they can cook for you next time, right? If they’re a decent person they’ll totally understand, so be wary if they’re weird or pushy about meeting somewhere private.

4. Keep it casual

Don’t make a nervy time worse by adding a stressful or potentially embarrassing activity (abseiling! Karaoke!) into the mix. Going for a walk in the park, grabbing a coffee or catching a movie are all pretty failsafe ideas. If you really want to take the pressure off, you could suggest a big group meet-up involving your friends and their friends, too.

5. Dress like yourself

If you feel uncomfortable in what you’re wearing, it’ll show – and you want to feel as relaxed as possible, right? Wear layers so you’re prepared for whatever the weather might throw at you, and think about leaving the killer heels at home. You don’t want to spend a (potentially) romantic walk in the park cursing your newly-forming blisters.

6. Have an escape plan

Make sure you’ve got a friend on standby, ready to send the ol’ OH-NO-THERE’S-AN-EMERGENCY text, in case you want to bail early. Or, if you can’t quite bring yourself to do that, tell your date that you can only hang out with them until a certain time because you’ve got to babysit or do family stuff afterwards. That way you’ve got a ready-made escape plan, but if you’re having a good time and want to extend things, you can just pretend you’re not needed at home after all.

7. Take cash with you

It just makes everything more convenient. You won’t have to waste time looking for a cashpoint should you need one, and it saves the hassle of splitting a bill across two cards. Plus, if you want to leave in a hurry you can just chuck your share of the lunch money on the table and scarper.

8. Manage your expectations

It’s really easy to build up an imaginary picture of your crush based on what they’re like online, but they might be totally different in real life. Go into your date with an open mind – that way you won’t be too disappointed if they’re not exactly how you’d hoped they would be.

9. Don’t rush into anything

It takes time to get to know someone properly, so even if you’ve been chatting online for months there’s still a lot to discover about your crush – and a lot for them to discover about you. They’ve never seen you when you’re hangry, you’ve never seen them when they’re feeling blue. Even if your first meeting has gone really well, you don’t need to jump into a relationship just because you’ve known each other for a while online. Take your time. If they’re the one for you they’ll respect that.

10. Be yourself

The beauty of the internet is that you can curate your online persona however you like. We’re all guilty of taking a thousand selfies in order to get the very best angle, or carefully ‘gramming a cup of tea next to the bath to make it look like we’re having a lovely night in when we’re actually bored out of our minds with nothing else to do. A little bit of artistic license is a given. But when it comes to real life, let your crush see who you really are, not who you think they want you to be. You’ve got to be yourself, because in the end, it’s exhausting being anything else.

@Rachel_England

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

There’s nothing worse than a bad date. You go to the cinema so you don’t have to talk, the film your date finds hilarious you think is boring, later in Pizza Express he sends his food back because there’s “not enough cheese” – all the while you’re thinking of how Rihanna doesn’t have to deal with this crap.

But if you thought this only happened to normals, you’re wrong. As these quotes prove, celebs also struggle with the topsy-turvy world of dating…

“In fifth grade, I went to meet a boy after school for an ice-cream cone, and I don’t think he spoke one word to me. I think he was a little nervous. I was a foot taller than him.”

The trials and tribulations of being a supermodel, Karlie Kloss.

“Relationships are hard, at any age… You’re on a date with someone you really like. It should be that simple, right?”

If Harry Styles struggles, there’s hope for all of us yet.

“I can’t tell if a girl is hitting on me or she just wants to be friends. And I don’t want to flirt with a girl if she thinks I’m just being her friend.”

Bella Thorne knows the neverending “will-she, won’t-she” all too well

“No one ever asks me out. I am lonely every Saturday night.”

We’re not sure if we believe you, Jennifer Lawrence.

“[It’s] just to stay on the couch and watch TV.”

Rihanna’s ideal date sounds very similar to ours tbh.

“I was dating this guy and we would spend all day text messaging each other. He thought he could tell that he liked me more because he actually spelled the word ‘you’ and I just put the letter ‘u’.”

Kelly Osbourne, like all of us, has so much to thank predictive text for.

“I’m not great at dating, but I need to do it to relax.”

That isn’t exactly the word we’d use, Lena Dunham

“Dating has become a sport and not about finding the person you love.”

Rashida Jones seems fed up of the dating world. Imagine if it made the Olympics, though.

“If you kiss on the first date and it’s not right, then there will be no second date. Sometimes it’s better to hold out and not kiss for a long time.”

Thanks for the tip, J-Lo.

“There’s more to life than dating the boy on the football team.”

If we only ever learnt one thing from Taylor Swift, it would be this.

@emilyrbakes

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

There’s something super romantic-sounding about love at first sight, isn’t there? Your eyes meeting across a crowded room, knowing immediately that they’re the one for you. Or, if you don’t fall in love in that VERY instant, at least embarking on a whirlwind romance that sees you smitten within days, if not hours. It sometimes seems like only love of the fast, breathless, thunderbolt variety is deemed really, properly proper.

Well sorry, but we’re calling bulls**t.

There’s another way to fall. And it isn’t glamorous. But it can be totally awesome. The cosy pyjamas of the relationship world, if you will. We’re talking about when your buddy becomes your bae.

There are tons of benefits to being friends first, but let’s start with this lightning bolt: you probably actually like each other. We know: duh, right? But don’t try and tell us you’ve never considered going out with someone just because it’d look good. (“They’re in the year above and in a band for chrissake. I can totally put up with narcissism and a terrible sense of humour!”) But friends first = you’re probs dating a genuinely good human.

And even better, your attraction’s probably based on more than looks (although wanting to smooch them constantly is great, too). Maybe you’ve got tonnes in common, they make you laugh, or you admire their gaming skills. Whatever it is, things will probs be funner for longer because your feelings are more than just butterflies in your pants. Ruth, a magazine designer, has been with her boyf for four years, but they were friends for a year and a half first. “We had a mutual love of design and I found I could bounce ideas off him and really admired his way of thinking. His creative side was a big part of why I fell for him, and it feels nice to have some substance beneath the fancying. After all, looks fade eventually!”

And who’da thunk it, that whole admiration thing works both ways. So yep, if you’re dating your friend, they probably actually like you, too. The real you.

“We all have a ‘false me’ and a ‘real me’,” says Emma Gleadhill, a speaker and coach who helps young people manage their relationships. “In some social situations we choose to keep the ‘real me’ more hidden. But you shouldn’t have to do that with your partner. It takes so much emotional energy to keep being ‘the girlfriend’ instead of just being yourself. You should be able to tell your partner that you’d rather stay in and be ‘boring’ tonight, or you should feel comfortable even when you’re not looking your best. There should be an inner confidence that they accept the real you.”

There’s also the big T. And no we’re not talking about the fact you both love tacos. Or T-Swift. (Although surely they’ve got to be two of the best Ts, right?). “I guess the biggest thing was the trust between us,” says Ruth. “At the time, we were both involved with other people and so we really were just friends. But it was nice to have somebody to confide in who was outside of things. We’d meet for coffees, and over time we came to really trust each other. That meant that when we were single and got together, things seemed natural because we already had that foundation.”

As well as being a generally awesome ingredient in a relationship, trust is also super handy when it comes to funtimes of the sexy persuasion. “It’s easy to get swept along with things you’re not comfortable with because you want to keep the other person happy,” says Emma. “But it’s so important not to do that – to remember that you have power and control over your own body. Hopefully, if you’ve built up trust as friends, it’ll be easy to be honest with each other about what you do and don’t want.”

And when real life makes you want to kill each other / cry on each other / run away… fear not! Turns out there are skills you’ve already practised as friends that help you boss it as a couple, too. “Things like negotiation, discussion, collaboration and being supportive,” says Emma. “If you get those things right, you should end up with a relationship where you understand and complement each other, rather than where one person always leads and the other follows.”

We also reckon you’re more likely to try fun new things with friends-turned-heart-flutterers. No one wants to royally SUCK at rock climbing with some hottie they’ve only just met and haven’t sussed out yet. But the person who’s already seen you fall on your face ice skating, or forget your lines in the school play? That feels weirdly fine. Especially since they lay on the ice with you while you both died laughing.

But best of all, they can help you push yourself to new heights of awesomeness. “When we were friends,” says Ruth, “my other half would show me his design work and I’d say, ‘why don’t you try this instead?’ He’d do the same for me. It wasn’t about impressing each other. It was about challenging each other to think differently, and pushing each other’s limits. If I’d just started dating someone I think I’d have felt put out to be questioned like that. But with a friend, it was ok. We made each other want to be the best we could be. And we still do.”

#Relationshipgoals, right? So, if you’ve been having ‘Feelings with a capital F’ for a mate, but think you should be wait for some fateful earthquake with a gorgeous stranger, stop waiting. That cosy pyjama love could be one of the best of your life.

@LucindaEverett

Emma Gleadhill runs workshops in schools helping young people to handle their relationships.

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Oh life, you fickle creature. One minute, you’re feeling on top of the world, the next you’ve fallen arse over tit at the Oscars while the whole world is watching on TV – or at least later on YouTube (sorry to bring that up again J. Law, it’s just such a great example). 

In the interests of unpicking perfection, we asked everyone at betty to give share their biggest life fails… and oh boy, they didn’t disappoint. So anytime you feel like you’ve screwed up at life, remember: we’ve probably done worse.

In fact, we definitely have.

I was doing a big race in the summer, running downhill and fell over a big rock. I went flying and landed with a thud and multiple injuries, one of which was a massive cut on my bum. I then had to wait for the medics, who made me lie on the floor while the guy stuck my bum back together, shouting to passers-by, ‘don’t worry, she’s just broken her bum’, while my friend took pictures.

“Having desperately wanted to play the Angel Gabriel in the my whole childhood (I went to a progressive primary school where all the boys had to be angels and the girls had to be shepherds, which I now appreciate was pretty cool but at the time I was mainly, shamefully, concerned with the amount of glitter on my costume), my dream eventually came true when I got to be Gabriel in a nativity play at high school. Aged 16. I wore a rather slinky cream satin bridesmaid’s dress with feathered wings, a majestic halo and a tonne of pearly highlighter. I felt amazing. But when the time came to make my entrance and tell Mary her big news, I managed to step on the trailing hem of my dress as I mounted the podium. I plunged headfirst through the curtain, managing to simultaneously yank down the top of my dress and reveal an eyeful of my celestial bodies to the assembled audience. The silence was only broken by the headteacher calling out “oh look, a fallen angel!” – to my knowledge the only joke she’d ever made. Really glad I handed her that special moment.”

The first time I dyed my hair red I was about 12 and had not factored in how thick my hair was when we bought only one box of dye. By the time she’d done my roots there was barely anything left for the rest of my hair. We hoped for the best, but I ended up with bright red roots, two inches of red, and pale brown hair until the ends. And I had to go to school for a day until we could re-dye it the next night. Everyone called me ‘period head’, because it looked like someone had had their period on my head (we had a bad grasp of biology back then).

“One summer Saturday when I was about 13, my friend and I decided that the only way to deal with the heat was to go to the local pool – and it turned out that my crush and his friend had the same idea. I was desperate to impress him, so I decided to jump off the highest diving platform to get his attention, even though I’m horrendously scared of heights. After crying and hyperventilating my way up the ladder, I summoned the courage to jump and immediately regretted it. The force of the passing air pushed my bikini top up around my chin, and as soon as I hit the water my bikini bottoms made a dash for my ankles. I ended up frantically trying to reclaim my wayward bikini while still underwater, and by the time I surfaced with everything back where it should be, I’d been under for so long that the lifeguard was about to jump in and rescue me. I hoped that my crush had missed the whole thing, but wasn’t that lucky – he spent the next umpteen years calling me “Jumping Boobs”. We never got together.”

I went to a fancypants dance school growing up and we used to compete in festivals a lot. I was quite self-conscious about how I looked compared to the others (I was tall and not as ‘delicate’, puberty hit me early) so never pushed myself for fear of looking silly, but decided to ‘screw it’ and really ‘go for it’ with a lift at the end of one dance. ‘Going for it’ ended up meaning ‘going flying for it’ as I slipped and crashed down on some others, bashing my knee black and blue in the process. I was so embarrassed, cried, and was glared at, but we still came first, so. No one saw anything, right?

“At my high school prom I wore a white dress with a lacy top and a pencil skirt sort of bottom. I looked nicceeeeee. I got talking to a gentleman who turned out to be a semi-professional ballroom dancer – and obviously, when he suggested he showed me some of his moves, I happily agreed. He wanted to do a flip, which basically required me to run at this relative stranger and dive headfirst towards the floor, trusting he would catch and flip me. Because I’m an idiot, I took off my heels and gamely ran at him, launching myself into the air, my arms above my head in dive position. He caught me (thank God) and we pulled the flip off with amazing precision. However, I hadn’t taken into account that my dress was actually quite tight and mid flip I heard a ”RIIIIIIIIIIIIP” (is a rip onomatopoeia? We’ll pretend it is). I  ripped my dress from the bottom all the way up to my bra strap. Somebody sourced some safety pins to pin it back together and I walked around for the rest of the night with half my bum hanging out.”

When I was in secondary school there was this bizarre trend for getting tiny little diamantes stuck on to your front teeth. (Yeah, don’t ask.) Anyway, me and my friends thought it was a great idea for doing it ourselves, rather than going to the so-called beauty experts who were doing it for a fiver in nail salons. So we bought the gems and some nail glue, carefully sticking them in place. Turns out we must have used too much glue or the wrong glue, because we were left with sparkly incisors for long after the look went out of fashion again. Safe to say neither our mums or our dentists were very happy with the new look.

Back when I was 18, I went on a snorkelling trip in Thailand despite being terrified of deep water. We spent a day island-hopping with 30 strangers – it was all going swimmingly (sorry, couldn’t resist) until I looked out at this great expanse of hazy, blue water and had a mini freakout. My imagination went into overdrive, horror scenes from Jaws flashed through my head and I panicked and frantically splashed back towards the boat. What I didn’t realise was that my baggy bikini bottoms had slipped down to my ankles at the exact moment I swam past all those people wearing snorkelling masks. So, to summarise: I made it back to the boat bare bottomed, everyone else got an eyeful and I had to spend the rest of the day surrounded by strangers who had just seen EVERYTHING.”

When I was 14, I wet myself from laughing so much while at the park with my friend and her dad that her dad had to carry my trousers home ON A STICK down the main road while I had a zipped-up hoodie wrapped round my waist like a skirt.

The first time I went to the hairdressers and asked for a real hairstyle – as opposed to a simple trim – I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted sassy, grown up layers, I wanted hair that casually flicked around my face, that made me look at once meticulously put together and casual and fun. As a family, we did not have the money for hairdressers who are capable of this kind of nuance, so I took my example picture and my dreams to a place called Just Snips, that would cut your hair for three or four pounds. The hairdresser gave me layers. The hairdresser gave me exactly two layers. The bottom layer came down to just above my shoulders, it flicked out slightly at the bottom. The top layer was in line with my ear lobes. I have a lot of hair. A lot. The short, top layer doubled the size of my head. I looked like a mushroom cloud. Everyone needs to have a haircut that drives them to tears at least once in their life, and this was mine. I went back and got them to ‘fix it’ – but I ended up with hair flicking out every which way from my ears to my shoulders. High school got really fun for a while there.”

I fainted on the train in evening rush hour, knocking two other people to the ground, vomited on my own coat, a woman’s shoes and guys suitcase on wheels. Had to be carried off the train, (followed by most of the passengers from the carriage covering their noses) rolled in a blanket on the platform on Paddington station, and made to wait there for doctor to come. I still worry when I get back on that line how many people recognise me from that day and don’t say anything, but keep their distance…

It was back in the day when dark big and bushy brows (I am naturally born with these) were not yet in fashion. Overwhelmed and self-conscious, I decided to tame my brows a few days before starting university. My mum suggested a trip to the eyebrow threading lady followed by a swift home-bleaching session to “lighten” them up a little. This is something women from the Middle East commonly do – usually your hairdresser would dye your hair and eyebrows together. But we were going to do it at home and neither of us was sure how long bleach would need to take effect on eyebrows. It turned out 10 minutes was too long. When I wiped it off, I found yellow eyebrows. I had to colour my eyebrows in for weeks and made a unique impression at fresher’s week. I haven’t messed with my eyebrows or listened to my mum since.”

I fell down the gap on the tube the other week! I went straight down and had to be helped out by bemused strangers who kept telling me to “get out!” but I was dazed, and my leg got attached to the undercarriage of the train. I just kept saying, calmly, “I’m very tired, so sorry,” as they panicked that the train was going to pull off. One shoe fell off – one felt worse than two, somehow – and a kind (brave) stranger balanced on the edge of the platform to fish it out with a very long umbrella.

“Aged 18, and still riding an A* GCSE wave, I was so, so confident that I’d not only passed my English Literature exam but absolutely smashed it. And I mean confident – I mic dropped my biro. All summer I gloated, telling anyone who’d listen that I guess when I got that school poetry prize aged eight I should have known I had rhyming couplets running through my veins. When summer was over and results day rolled in, I sauntered up to the table to collect my grades – probably (I mean, I was) wearing a charity shop trilby and ripped jeans for the ‘starving artist’ vibe, Pulitzer Prize speech saved in the notes section on my phone. You’ve probably guessed by now that it did not go well. I got a U. Indignant, I paid to get the paper remarked. It was bumped up to an E. I ended up using my free periods to sit in on lessons with students in the year below me for a whole year and, thankfully, eventually passed with a boring old C. But the silver lining is: despite a lot of shattered pride and frustration, I grew a thick skin, which is how I was eventually able to become a paid writer. Stick that in your Tiger Tiger Burning Bright and smoke it, William Blake.”

Last year, I found myself starting a big new amazing job just a week after moving into my new flat. It was a pretty stressful time but I seemed to be holding it all together remarkably well. At least that’s what I thought… until the morning I sat on my peanut butter and strawberry jam bagel. I’d got into the habit of eating my breakfast in my bedroom while getting ready however, on this fateful morning I placed my breakfast on my bed… and then proceeded to sit on it. As the jam penetrated my PJ bottoms, I felt all of my calm and togetherness melt away, and realised that I was actually INCREDIBLY tired. Still, I did what any normal person would do under the circumstances, and took a picture of my jammy bum before whipping off my PJ bottoms, picking my bagel off the floor, and eating it. Yum.

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See. Told you we’d done worse.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome. 

The course of true love ne’er did run smooth.

-William Shakespeare

Talk about a dramatic understatement, Wills. Any way you slice it, fancying someone who doesn’t even seem to notice you exist is sucky. We’ve all been the girl who tries a little too hard to get their crush’s attention – so if you’re out there listening to music you actually hate, trying to stay awake in a foreign film or hiring an aeroplane to write ‘HEY I LIKE YOUR HAIR’ in the sky in the hopes of impressing someone, you’re not alone.

As proof, we crowdsourced the most ridiculous things the betty team have ever done to get our crushes’ attention. Here are the best/worst. Don’t judge.

Routinely took the train two stops past my house, in case the extra time would induce a boy from the boys’ school to talk to me. I would get off the train when he did, discreetly cross the bridge, and get back on a train in the opposite direction and go home. He never spoke to me.

“Sent messages to a girl about my plans for the weekend by ‘accident’, then sent another message saying, “Sorry, that wasn’t meant for you.”

Woke up an hour early so that I could drive 45 minutes to my crush’s house and pick them up, before driving another hour to get from his house to work, even though it was only 15 minutes away from my house. And the same on the way home.

“Pretended I liked heavy metal because the boy I fancied did. Bought the Slipknot album – terrible. Went to Camden to buy a Metallica T-shirt and wore it on non-school uniform day with a necklace fashioned out of a bike chain. Chic.”

Pretended to like Nick Cave.

“Literally put a boy’s hand up my jumper and onto my boob under the pretence of ‘ooh it’s so cold, we need to huddle together to stay warm’. He moved it away and did not fall in love with me.”

I literally threw my number at a girl on a bus. She never text me, and in fact went out of her way to avoid me after that.

“Walked around sixth form for a day with one of my Dad’s old vinyl records (Led Zeppelin IV, if you’re interested) tucked under my arm.”

Pretended not to like Nick Cave.

“Met a boy at the under-16s disco who was SO handsome I could barely look at him. He kept going on and on about how much he loved skiing, so I did what any normal 14-year-old would do: I told him I was a professional skier. He asked me on a date to the dry ski slope in Edinburgh. I panicked and considered telling him the truth beforehand, but then chickened out thinking ‘sod it, if he likes me he’ll get over it’. Oh god, his face as I snowploughed very, very, very slowly to the bottom. He shouted at me for lying to him and I never saw him again.”

Got my lip pierced, wore really baggy trousers with 5 (no more, no less) studded belts and carried around a skateboard I COULDN’T RIDE.

“Announced that I had a golf handicap of 12, and consequently was entered into a golf tournament. I had to develop a shoulder injury (chronic), meaning I couldn’t turn up. Perhaps my best lie ever.”

“Wandered the fields around the back of my village, alone, in the hope that one of the boys would see me and come and talk to me. They didn’t.”

And you thought the things you’ve done were embarrassing? Although if you were on the verge of hiring a plane for some romantic sky writing, we would suggest cancelling that. Perhaps spell out your declaration in alphabet soup instead? Just an idea.

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.