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Teenage Relationships – The What, the How, and Everything Else

Teenage Relationships – The What, the How, and Everything Else

Updated on Aug 29, 2023

Reviewed by Katina Tarver, MA (Mental Health and Wellness Counseling) , Life & Relationship Coach

Teenage Relationships – The What, the How, and Everything Else

Teenage relationships are a huge developmental milestone for adolescents – one that tends to come with a lot of emotional ups and downs.

Given the fact that they are mostly short-lived and seemingly unstable, teenage romantic relationships are often dismissed as ‘puppy love’, unimportant, and are not taken seriously.

But, time and again, we are reminded that teenage relationships deserve much more attention than they have traditionally received. 

They play an important role in young teenagers’ day-to-day lives, and have a significant impact on their current mental health, ongoing development, life experiences, and future romantic relationships.

Teenage relationships meaning

Teenage relationships are complex and mostly influenced by peer groups. These relationships are usually short-lived though some, with maturity may actually blossom into healthy adult relationships.

Teenage is definitely the most memorable phase in anyone’s life. Adolescent development is characterized by curiosities and new discoveries – emotional and physical. They learn to steer their way through the complexities of new friendships and relationships.

These relationships include all the other changes going on during adolescence – physical, social and emotional. They are also linked to the way teenagers explore their body, independence, privacy, and identity.

For some young people, a romantic relationship might involve exploring sexual orientation too. Hormonal changes triggered by brain and body developments result in the intense feelings of sexual attraction and falling in love.

Others may get involved in “romantic” relationships because of peer pressure. Adolescents are easily influenced by their peer groups. Acceptance by a peer group becomes so important that teens may modify their speech, dress, behavior, choices, and activities in order to become more similar to their peers. They may even engage in “romantic” relationships to fit in with their peer groups.

This is where things get a little tricky. Love is a strong emotion – too complicated for the young adolescent mind. So young adults usually mistake lust for love, and their attraction to the other person is purely physical.

There is excitement and energy in the relationship. The feelings are surface level and do not go deeper than that – so romance, at this point, is out of the question!

But a few young adults do fall in love. Such relationships begin with lust, but with time, they can move past physical attraction as they mature and learn to truly appreciate the other person.

Signs you’re in love as a teenager

The fact is that love knows no age. It looks and feels different each time you fall. It is mostly carefree in childhood, a little conscious in teenagers, and mature in adults.

So, what exactly are the signs that can tell if a teenager is in love? We all know the butterflies in the stomach and weak in the knees feeling. But you have to get inside the body to actually feel that!

To save you all the trouble, here are 10 signs to understand if you’re in love as a young adult.

1. You spend more time with them

When you fall for someone, no time is ever enough with them. You want to spend more time with them, know them more, and even tell them about yourself more.

If you find yourself canceling plans with your friends or bunking those extra-curricular classes to be somewhere else with someone, you are probably in love with that person.

2. They are always on your mind

Do you daydream about them? Do you replay your time spent with them over and over again? Does every little thing remind you of them?

It is natural to have that “special one” on your mind all the time when you are in love. It happens because you try to live every moment with them again and again in your mind.

Your brain registers the minute details of that person and finds common links to remind you of them.

3. You are afraid of rejection and hurt

Fear of rejection takes over your mind and heart when you fall in love with someone. You are not only afraid that you might lose that girl or boy, you also fear that you might be hurt at the end of it all.

It is not always easy to brush off this feeling, but it is necessary to look beyond it to truly enjoy what you feel for your special one.

4. Your conversations revolve around them

Do you constantly talk about them to everyone? Do you feel everything they do deserves a special mention and should be lauded for everything they do?

If the answers are yes, then it shows that you’re really fond of this person. You love them so much that you can’t stop talking about them.

You want to tell people how wonderful they are and expect others to like them too!

5. You do not judge them

No matter how they are, you do not judge them for anything. You like them and accept them just as they are.

Also, you do not entertain any derogatory comments about them. When it comes to your special one, you are not influenced by the opinions others may have about them.

6. You are attracted to their personality, not just their body

When you are in love with someone, their overall personality appeals to you more than just their physical appearance.

You value them as an individual. You try your best to get to know them better and understand them.

Their thoughts and opinions matter to you too. You admire the way they talk, the way they walk and behave with others around them.

7. You are constantly texting and calling them

This one is the most obvious sign that you are in love with someone. You constantly call and text them when you are not around each other and keep talking about romantic escapades.

You want to spend every moment with them, and technology has made it possible. Video calls, voice calls, texts, social media – you have so many different options to stay connected with them all the time.

8. You want to be the best version of yourself

When you are in love, you try to improve yourself to impress them. You start to perform better in school, behave well with others and even start to groom yourself in a way to fit best with your special one.

You try to present the best ever version of yourself in the hopes that they would admire you too!

9. You want to look your best

Yes, most teenagers would go to any extent to impress the person they like. You may find yourself getting a little more conscious about the way you look, the way you dress, and make sure to keep up with the latest fashion trends.

For example, you might start to grow your otherwise very short hair if you happen to find out that “they” like long hair.

Or you might even get yourself a tattoo – only because “they” think it’s cool!

10. Your intuition guides you

Last but not least, your instincts will tell you if you are in love with someone. You will always have this feeling of “security” whenever you are with them.

You will never have a doubt if this relationship will last or not. Your mind, body, and soul – all will guide you in unison towards the one meant for you.

How to have a long-lasting teenage relationship?

Most teenage relationships don’t make it through high school. Why do they fall apart? The simple answer is most teens aren’t mature enough for a real relationship.

So, here are 10 simple tips that will help teenagers to form long-lasting relationships.

1. Strengthen the friendship

The first step to a strong relationship for a teenager is to be good friends with your date. A good friendship usually lays a strong foundation for a relationship.

Your love relationship is easier to manage if you both share a good comfort level with each other.

Teenage is a very fragile phase of life and infatuations are common. To avoid such short-lived “puppy love”, make sure you have a strong bond with the person you have feelings for.

2. Remember, slow and steady wins the race

Please understand that love is not a marathon you must win. You need to give it time to blossom and bloom.

Maybe you are already deeply connected to the other person. But you must keep in mind that they might need some time to build the same.

Also, because you are a teen, there is not much you can do till you reach a certain age. So, it will be wise if you don’t rush the relationship.

3. Be honest and communicate

A large amount of drama enters relationships because the boyfriend or girlfriend either “drops hints” or take their relationship issues to their friends instead of each other.

A simple relationship is easier to maintain, and one way to keep a simple relationship is to lay out all the cards on the table.

So, be wise and speak to them about how you feel and what bothers you.

4. Keep social media out of your relationship

Social media is now an intrinsic part of our lives. But you must not forget that it is just a part and not your actual life.

If you want to post a cute picture of the two of you, go for it. But when you are not on god terms.

Don’t go around roasting each other. Your virtual friends do not need to know what goes on between the two of you.

5. Rely on more than just one another

We’re all human and we’re all inherently imperfect. You won’t be able to support one another 100% of the time.

Maybe because you’re physically too far away. Maybe you’ll both go through individual challenges at the same time.

So, you need to keep in mind that you must seek help and advice from others (probably elders) when you face any difficult situation in your relationship. This should be communicated clearly from the start of your relationship.

6. Make sure you trust each other

Mutual trust is the basis of any strong relationship. While jealousy might strike your mind at times, do not let that rule you. Believe in them, and they will also believe in you.

Neither of you should doubt each other unnecessarily. It will eventually weaken your bond, and the relationship will die.

7. Set healthy boundaries

When you set boundaries early in a relationship, it leads to fewer complications later on. What are certain things you want to make sure you consistently do? What are certain things you want to be sure you don’t do at all?

It’s time you must answer these questions and communicate them to your partner. Remember, healthy boundaries lead to a healthy relationship.

8. Respect one another and your parents

Mutual respect strengthens a relationship. Do not ask for nude selfies, do not flirt with other people, and do not take them for granted.

None of these points will ever come in your mind if you simply respect your partner and their boundaries.

Along with respect for each other, you both must respect each other’s parents and the rules they set for you. If you try to break or bend the limits set by both parents, it will only make things difficult for everyone.

9. Be a team

In a world full of negativity, many will try to dim the brightness of your happy and cute relationship.

So, be a team. Face every hurdle together. Build each other up and encourage one another often. Set a couple goals to motivate each other.

If you view each other as partners instead of rivals, a lot of problems regarding the dating game disappear. It no longer remains him vs. her, but you both vs. life’s challenges.

10. Keep it simple silly!

This is the most important thing to remember!

Teen relationships are cute, simple, and sweet. A teen couple has to deal with too much at the same time – hormonal changes, family pressure, peer pressure, and education worries.

So, when you enter a relationship with someone in your teen years, make sure not to expect a lot from each other and keep it as simple as possible. B

e the cute couple and set even cuter relationship goals.  The simpler you keep the relationship, the longer it will sustain.

Teenage Relationship Problems

Teenage is by far the most challenging age for a person. Teenagers find themselves on the edge of unknown territories of love and relationships. They see their friends go out on dates and get eager to join the bandwagon. Consequently, they make mistakes and find themselves in a sea of problems.

Here is a list of 15 most common problems faced by teenagers in their relationships.

1. One-sided love

One of the many teenage relationship problems is falling for someone that does not love you back. It is painful but does not mean that something is wrong with you.

You might not necessarily be the reason; it might be so that they are not ready for a relationship yet. Instead of worrying, live a happy life that will attract the right person to you.

2. Serious Relationship or just a Crush?

Most teens mistake an infatuation to be the love of their life! Intense attraction towards someone that you barely know is a crush/infatuation – not love.

Weekend dates with a cute guy from your class does not mean that you are in an exclusive relationship.

When you like someone, act upon it but slowly to avoid heartbreak and disappointments.

3. Trust issues

Teenage relationships are more prone to trust issues because their brains cannot process complex emotions and feelings like adults.

Teens are young and fight over silly issues. Jealousy creeps into their minds easily and they find it difficult to trust each other.

4. Communication problems

Teens cannot communicate well. They find it difficult to express what they feel inside.

So, in teen relationships whenever there is a fight – both of them do not talk to each other for days and stay away from each other in the hopes that the other would realize their mistake and apologize first.

That usually doesn’t happen and the relationship soon fades away.

5. Lack of maturity

Absence of maturity is another major problem teens face in relationships. Teenagers are not mentally equipped enough to handle all the complexities of a relationship.

When relationships face darker days, a lack of maturity to handle the problems compel the teens to end their relationships.

6. Poor academic performance

A relationship, whether serious or casual, can harm a teenager’s grades. They might skip school and studies altogether to spend time with their partner.

Teens often lose their focus on education as they concentrate more on the relationship. It becomes a serious problem and often negatively impacts the relationship.

7. Disapproval from parents

It is normal for parents to disapprove teen relationships. It is usually because of their concern for their child’s education.

Teenagers, of course, fail to understand their parents’ point of views and often become rebellious. This in turn hampers their relationship with parents, their partner and of course their grades drop!

8. Commitment issues

You commit to a relationship when you are 100% sure that your partner is the one for you. Teenagers neither have the maturity nor the understanding to be committed in a relationship.

It is very rare that a teen couple will be mature enough to maintain the level of commitment required for a serious relationship. Most are scared of the responsibilities of a committed relationship and prefer to keep it casual.

9. Breakups

Breakups are hard to deal with – even for us adults. Teenagers are affected more because they are not mature enough to handle such emotional upsurge. They feel depressed and scared to be single again.

Many teenagers break up without a reason. This leaves the other partner confused and makes it even more difficult for them to cope up emotionally with the situation.

10. Cheating partners

Teenagers are young and their mind is constantly changing. It is very common for teenagers to lose interest in someone after a week (or even days) and get attracted to someone else.

They most often act on their instincts and end up cheating on their present partners. Most teenagers cheat because of lack of communication and trust.

11. Abusive relationships

Many teens find themselves in abusive relationships because too often they settle for too less. In most cases, teens fail to understand that it is an abusive relationship until it is very late.

Even if they do realize that it is an abusive relationship, they carry on silently because they are – a) scared and b) they do not want to be single again.

12. Social branding

The social status of a teen can be affected by the relationship they are in. Teens choose to date popular kids in school to rise higher in their peer group because it directly impacts their “social status”.

13. There is no respect

Respect is a key component of any relationship. Teenagers are too young to understand how to maintain a healthy respectful relationship. Problems arise when either one disrespects the other. It is important to speak up whenever you feel uncomfortable or disrespected.

If the other person is not ready to listen, it is better to end the relationship and move on in pursuit of someone who truly respects you.

14. Peer pressure

Teens in middle school care a lot about what their friends do or think. Teens often get into a relationship with someone simply because it is a trend in their peer group.

It often happens that the teen wasn’t really ready for a relationship but still went ahead with it because all the other friends were in relationships. In such cases, the relationship doesn’t last too long.

Also, teenagers are influenced by their friends’ opinions. If the friends say that they do not like the person the teen is dating, the concerned teen would break up with their partner without a second thought!

15. Fear of losing first love

Firsts are always special. Especially first love!

Everyone is afraid to lose the love of their life, especially teens. Teens are so carried away by the overwhelming feeling of giddy in love and butterflies in their stomach – they cannot even fathom how life would be without this feeling.

They are always scared to lose out on their first relationship even when everything is smooth between the two.

How to deal with teenage relationship problems

Every problem must have a solution! No matter how complicated a teen relationship gets, it can still be sorted. I’ve compiled 10 ways that would help resolve a teen relationship problem.

1. Apologize quickly

Teens are mostly preoccupied with a lot of things on their minds. They have a lot of ego issues and are always reluctant when it comes to apologies.

If you know that you have hurt your partner, be sure to apologize as soon as possible. This is a great trait to develop if you want a long-lasting relationship.

2. Do not judge

Judgment creates a false image in your mind which may impact your relationship negatively.

Whenever you face any issue with your partner, try to put aside all your judgment and try to look at things from their point of view too. This will help you to avoid any further conflict and save the relationship too.

3. Communicate with your partner

All healthy, long-lasting relationships have one thing in common – effective communication. So, when the relationship is troubled, and you both face issues to sustain it, you must sit down and talk about it.

Good communication helps partners to understand where the problem lies, and also a solution to it.

4. Be an active listener

You can never build a healthy relationship if you are not a good listener. You should not just hear your partner but pay attention to what the other person says.

If you remain ignorant, your partner may feel left out and alone. That will eventually lead to bitter feelings or worse, breakup.

5. Protect your mental health

Relationships can be overwhelming. It can be like an added pressure to your present problems (peer pressure, family expectations, education worries). In such a situation, stress and anxiety may start to affect your mind… which is definitely not pleasant to experience.

If you feel your mental health is being affected by your present relationship. It would be only wise to give it up.

6. Do not design your life around your relationship

Make sure you do not give too much priority to this relationship that you start to ignore other important people – friends and family – in your life!

If you do so, you will slowly isolate yourself from everyone around you and when the relationship fails; you will be all alone to deal with the whole situation. Always remember, this relationship is just a part of your life – not everything!

7. Do not complicate things for no reason

Keep relationships simple. Do not create problems for yourself out of thin air. Do not fight with your partner over trivial issues. It will only make them resent you, which will ultimately lead to a breakup. So, try to be at ease with the relationship and let it flow on its own pace.

8. Choose your partner wisely

This is perhaps the best way to avoid any relationship problem. Always make sure that you choose your partner because you actually like them and not because they are popular or physically attractive.

A relationship is only sustainable when the two people have compatible personalities. Choose someone who actually understands you and values you for who you are.

9. Do not follow the crowd

Just because your friends start dating, does not mean that you have to date too. Make sure to get into a relationship only when you are ready for it.

If you jump in early, you might not be able to handle all the complexities and end up hurting yourself and your partner.

10. Seek advice from parents and elders

If you ever feel that you are not able to fix the issues you have with your partner, it is always a good idea to talk to someone you trust, preferably your parents or elders.

They are more mature than you and would be able to guide you better before things get worse in the relationship.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

There is a lot of debate and stigma that surrounds teen love. Many adults brush teen relationships off as frivolous waste of time. But this belief is not entirely valid.

If you’re a teenager romantically interested in someone; this relationship is important to you; and if you work on it, your relationship stands just as good a chance of lasting as any adult relationship.

Teen relationships may have unique challenges, but with patience and healthy communication, they, too, can create a love story that will stand the test of time!

Are you interested to know more about ‘Types of Romantic Relationships’ then click here?