Teens need to feel loved, whether it is by family members or other people in their peer group. If you feel loved, you may be happier and have greater emotional stability. However, getting involved in romantic relationships at a young age can lead to heartbreak. Some teen relationships end simply because they have run their course. Others end due to violence. The Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund reports that one in three teens experiences some kind of abuse at the hands of their girlfriend or boyfriend.
Love and Romance
It is normal to want a romantic partner once you reach a certain age. If this happens, you may seek out a girlfriend or boyfriend who shares your interests. Once you have been in a relationship for a while, you may even develop feelings of love toward the other person. In many cases, this is a positive experience. Teens in loving relationships are usually more in touch with their emotions, giving them the ability to empathize with others.
When a teen does begin dating another person, several changes occur. If you date someone known for his or her popularity, you may enjoy improved social status at school. You may start to spend more time with this person instead of spending time with your friends and family members. In some cases, teens have several relationships over the course of a year. Dating different people can be a positive experience because it helps you learn about the dynamics of relationships.
When teens are dating, they may want to experiment with hugging, kissing and other physical contact. In some cases, teens take their physical relationships to the next level by engaging in sexual activity. In fact, the Guttmacher Institute says that 13 percent of teens have had sex by the time they turn 15. It is okay if you are not ready for this type of commitment; in fact, the vast majority of teens aren’t ready. You don’t have to jump into a sexual relationship just to please your peers.
Relationships progress through several phases (http://www.bygpub.com/books/tg2rw/dating.htm). It is important to recognize each phase as a part of a normal relationship. Most relationships consist of five stages.
- Romance stage
- Power struggle stage
- Stability stage
- Commitment stage
- Co-creation stage
The romance stage is the most exciting stage of a relationship. This is when both partners focus on similarities and place a high importance on pleasing each other. The power struggle stage occurs when one or both teens feel the need for more freedom. You may decide to spend more time with friends or family members instead of your girlfriend or boyfriend. During the stability stage, both people in a relationship set boundaries. Many teen relationships do not progress to the commitment stage or co-creation stage. It is important to understand that this is normal. You do not have to commit to another person when you are young if you are not ready.
Love and Family
Even though parents may get disappointed sometimes, most of them love and support their teens unconditionally. Having this kind of love and support is very important for teens, as it helps them build healthy relationships with other people. If you decide to date as a teen, you may turn to your parents for information and advice. Since they have been more experience in this arena, you may gain valuable information from talking with your parents, and these discussions can even strengthen your relationship with them as well as your relationship with your significant other.
Pets are another important source of love for teens. Unlike people, most pets provide truly unconditional love. This makes it easy for teens to get attached to their pets, which results in a profound sense of loss when these pets die. It can be painful to lose a loved one, but loss is a part of life. The benefits of loving someone deeply generally far outweigh the pain experienced by losing that person.