Friday, October 21, 2011

Teenage Romantic Relationships

As children grow up and enter teenage, they face strong pressures to date, as well as get involved in a romantic relationship. A romantic relationship is one that invloves feelings of attraction – physical and friendship.

In fact, over half of teens in the United States report dating regularly (casual dates with one or more partners at different times) whereas a third claim to have a steady dating (exclusive) partner.

Young teens usually hang out with peers who are the same gender as they are. As they reach the mid-teen years (age 14-15 years), they start having relationships with peers of the opposite sex. Such relationships are likely to be friendships and/or physical attractions.

Although most romantic relationships among 12- to 14-year-olds last less than 5 months, but by the age 16, relationships last an average of 2 years. In the early teen years dating is more superficial-for fun and recreation, status among peers, and exploring attractiveness/sexuality.

In the older teen years youth are looking for intimacy, companionship, affection, and social support.

Desiring a romantic partner is a natural, expected part of adolescence. However, involvement in a serious or exclusive romantic relationship in the preteen/early teen years can create problems.

True romantic relationships are about intimacy, or communicating detailed, personal information verbally, and physical contact and closeness. I believe a teen first needs to form an identity and know who she or he is before developing a healthy intimate relationship.

Many young teens are still defining themselves and romantic relationships may be based on a false sense of intimacy-in other words, teens don’t know themselves well enough to share who they are with someone else.

Having a crush in the late elementary school and early middle school years is perfectly natural and part of the biological changes of puberty. Before we can see puberty’s physical changes, preteens (aged 8-10) experience an increase in hormones. Greater levels of sex hormones may influence a preteens first romantic feelings.

A final reason preteens or teenagers should not engage in romance is that these kids are still developing their sense of security. This is first initiated by parents. However, it can also be influenced by teens involved in romantic relationships. Naturally with teens, romantic relationships end, which can hamper their sense of security and hurt their self-esteem. This can also hinder future relationships when those teens become adults.

Having a crush is not a problem, but acting on early romantic feelings and biology when a teen is not emotionally or socially ready can lead to problems for early daters. It will be helpful for Teens to distract these feelings and train themselves to think about something else believing that any romantic relationship must not be a trial and error thing but they have to make sure that when they get into a relationship, it should be lasting and not a temporary thing. Otherwise they will go through the vicious cycle of loving, hurting, and loving and hurting…It would be end.