Love Notes v2.1

Relationship Skills for Love, Life, and Work

More Details

Love Notes 2.1

What’s new in Love Notes v2.1? Details here

Love Notes is geared towards older teens and young adults who are at risk of an unplanned pregnancy, troubled relationships, or who are already pregnant or parenting.
Love Notes aims to help young people make wise relationship and sexual choices—choices that will help them, rather than create barriers, for achieving their education, employment, relationship, and family goals.

While focusing heavily on healthy relationship concepts and skill building, Love Notes v2.0 (2012) incorporates significant content on sexual decision-making, medically accurate STI and pregnancy prevention, pacing of relationships, and planning for choices. As such, it represents a unique approach to pregnancy prevention and meets the National Sexuality Education Standards. The course, thanks to a rigorous federally funded evaluation, has been added to the Office of Adolescent Health’s registry of Evidence Based Programs.


Relationships; the Missing link with High Risk Youth

A fundamental premise of Love Notes is that one’s love life is not neutral. What happens with relationships can affect every aspect of life—school and work success, physical and mental health, and especially one’s child. Troubled, unstable or dangerous relationships and unplanned pregnancies have a way of derailing the progress young people may otherwise make in school, work, or parenting. Helping youth succeed requires attention to both education and employment (and parenting for some), as well as to healthy couple relationships.

Appealing to Aspirations and Building Assets

Love Notes builds assets and protective factors. It appeals to young people’s aspirations, rather than merely emphasizing what they must avoid. It offers engaging ways to learn more about themselves, to cultivate a vision of what they want for their future, to establish and to take steps towards their educational, parenting, employment and relationship goals.

Participants gain not only self-knowledge, but also real skills for knowing what a healthy relationship is and isn’t, for choosing partners wisely, and for developing and maintaining healthy relationships. They are provided rich frameworks to help assess current or past relationships. They are encouraged to leave dangerous relationships safely. They are helped to identify what might need to change or improve for a relationship they want to continue and deepen.

Finally, participants also learn how to go about their next relationship more wisely and cautiously.

Of special importance, participants acquire a powerful set of research-based skills for improving communication and their ability to handle conflict. Adapted from the acclaimed PREP® program for adults, these skills are critical for all relationships—work, school, peers, couple, and co-parenting.

Proactive Skills for Interpersonal Violence Prevention (IPV)

Love Notes offers a fresh, complementary approach to IPV prevention. Youth are short on models of healthy relationships—if you’ve never “seen good”, it narrows your sense of what’s possible. In-depth relationship education provides a positive and proactive way to address IPV by equipping young people with knowledge, skills, and a vision to move towards what they want – not just away from what’s harmful.

Love Notes contains activities to not only raise awareness of abuse but also to practice setting boundaries and to apply them at the first sign of disrespect. It motivates by raising awareness of the impact of dangerous relationships on children.

Reflections CD

New Strategies for Pregnancy Prevention & Wise Sexual Choices

Addressing issues of the heart, not just risks and health, encourages and empowers youth to cultivate a “North Star” for their sexual lives. They gain a better understanding of intimacy, decide what they want sex to mean, where they want to set their boundaries, and how they want to pace their physical involvement in a relationship.

The PREP® model of Sliding vs. Deciding from the research of Scott Stanley and Galena Rhoades is used within Love Notes to encourage participants to make decisions rather than merely slide into situations that increase risk and diminish options in life.

The range of choices youth can make are dealt with head on, with room for young adults to decide if or when they will have sex, accentuating the impact of relationships and sexual behavior on their options in life and the welfare of their child. The approach taken encourages setting boundaries on sexual behavior while allowing participants to be fully informed on birth control.

Most importantly, young people are encouraged to step outside themselves to look more deeply at the consequences of unplanned pregnancy for children. By placing the child at center stage in the activities, participants see the consequences of sliding into unplanned pregnancy (a first or a second), and the “relationship turbulence” that often accompanies it, through the eyes of a child.

Love Notes Cards

Examining how an unplanned pregnancy can disadvantage or hurt a child may tap a more powerful source of motivation to more consciously plan to prevent a first or second pregnancy. It helps bring home to young people why it really, really matters to avoid pregnancy, or to wait on having a second child until other things are in place like an education and a healthy, committed relationship, like marriage.

Love Notes contains a strong planning message for young parents and young singles alike— it takes real planning to stick to one’s sexual boundaries and desired pacing of physical intimacy and it takes real planning to be a “stickler” on birth control to prevent pregnancy.


Connectedness to Caring and Wise Adults

Every lesson of Love Notes contains an engaging Trusted Adult Connection piece. These activities are meant to serve as conversation starters, while conveying the core concepts and offering talking points to the mentor adult. It is a powerful protective factor when young people can dialogue with a caring, wise adult on these very important issues.