That's Not OK Relationship Jargonbuster

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There might be a lot of words or phrases that you might not understand when it comes to relationships. We explain some of them.


This can either be a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a familial relationship (where you are related to someone). There are lots of different types of relationships you can have with someone, but the most important thing is that it is healthy. Find out more about what a healthy relationship involves. 

There's lots of really useful information about relationships of all types for disabled young people, which also includes information in BSL (British Sign Language), over on the Scottish Government website. Find it here.


This usually means someone that you are in a romantic and/or sexual relationship with. Some people tend to prefer the term 'partner' as it doesn't describe the gender of the person they are talking about, unlike boyfriend/girlfriend or husband/wife. 

LGBTQIA+ Relationship

This is when one or more people in the romantic and/or sexual relationship are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual. It also includes other identities that aren't straight or heterosexual (where someone is attracted to the opposite gender) or cisgender. Find out more about gender identity. Get more information about LGBT relationships and gender identity in British Sign Language (BSL).

Romantic Relationship

This is when you and another person do romantic things like holding hands and kissing. It also involves being emotionally open with each other, like talking about your feelings and sharing things about yourself. It can also involve sex too, but not all romantic relationships do. 

Sexual Relationship

This is when you and another person are intimate with each other and have sex. It can involve romance too, but not all the time. Just because you have had sex with someone before, or have a sexual relationship, doesn't mean you can't say no to sex if you don't want to. It also doesn't mean that you can pressure your partner to have sex. Find out more about consent.

Where can I get help and support?

Find out where to get support.

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Visit the That's Not OK campaign page for more information.