Relationships can be exciting for teenages as they share mutual interests and companionship. But teens need to be wise and careful when starting relationships. Parents can help by modeling healthy relationships in their actions and conversations.
Evaluate Your Maturity Level
Before you enter into a relationship, ask yourself if you have the maturity that's needed to have a successful relationship. Do you have a tendency to be clingy and not give the other partner his or her own space? Do you struggle with the inability to accept constructive criticism? You should consider these issues before dating.
Keep Your Identity
In dating relationships, it's important to compromise and do what you can to ensure the well-being of the other partner. At the same time, it becomes a problem when you try to change who you are to keep the relationship. If you don't wear immodest clothing, for example, don't start wearing them just so your partner will stay with you.
Don't Base The Relationship on Sex Alone
Too often teenagers see sex as the most important element in the relationship when the sex act is the result of real and unconditional love. When you begin a relationship based on sex alone, you don't get to know each other emotionally or spiritually. Soon the relationship grows stale because you skipped steps that would build the relationship.
According to KidsHealth.org, having respect for each other is also important in a dating relationship. If your partner keeps calling you, even after you told him or her that you can't take phone calls, this person does not respect your boundaries.
Beware of Trouble Signs
If you find your partner becoming extremely jealous of time you spend with family or friends, belittles you verbally or if you see warning signs of physical abuse, do not ignore them. This could cost you your life. Instead, seek help from relatives, friends, a school counselor or your pastor.
Thea Theresa English is a freelance writer who lives in New Orleans. She has written articles on career development, maintaining healthy relationships, politics and cultural issues. She is currently a graduate student at Tulane University where she will receive her Master of Liberal Arts degree.
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