Shannon is a 16 year old from Maryland. She enjoys writing, is pro recycling, and loves the Jonas Brothers.
A few of my friends have been having this problem. They’ve become incredibly detached from our regular group of gal pals and spend all of their free time with their boyfriends. And when they’re not with them, they’re talking about them or texting them or saying how they wish they could be with them. So I thought it might be useful to inform parents about some of the not-so-great consequences of “teen love”.
Loss of Identity
There’s nothing wrong with a girlfriend/boyfriend being part of your child’s life, but when your teen’s whole world starts revolving around his/her significant other you’ve got a problem. Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the romance and the excitement of being in a relationship that we allow our girlfriend/boyfriend to dictate our personality, and we end up losing our individuality. By latching onto them, our normal behavior and unique qualities are switched off and we end up with a new joint identity. Instead of just being “you”, you’re now know as “you and bf/gf’s name“. This loss of identity can lower a teen’s self esteem, making them feel like they need to be with someone else to feel confidence and worth something. This can result in a string of continuous relationships and the teenager lowering their standards just so they will never have to be without a boyfriend/girlfriend .
You Don’t Know What You’re Missing
Many teenagers don’t recognize the difference between dating and being in a relationship. When you date, you’re free to go out and get to know multiple people. It’s a healthy way to gain experience and determine what qualities you do and do not find attractive in the opposite sex. Being in a relationship means being exclusively committed to one person. It also can be healthy, but long term relationships at a young age usually don’t prove to be beneficial. Because of their inexperience and their limited awareness of dating, both parties end up not knowing what they’re looking for when the relationship ends. They are only familiar with what they are used to, which can lead to confusion, uncertainty, and relationships that aren’t meaningful or successful.
Monopolization leads to Isolation
It’s very important to learn how to balance your free time when you’re in a relationship. Spending time with your friends is just as important as spending time with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Speaking from experience, people usually don’t appreciate it when their friends repeatedly cancel plans and forget to call back. Choosing your boyfriend/girlfriend instead of your friends is acceptable sometimes but not on a regular basis. Friendship is strong but it’s not a one way street. Eventually friends get tired of their efforts being ignored so they stop trying and allow your tight bond to unravel. Once you’re out of the loop, it’s not easy to regain the closeness you previously had.
You’ve Got Time
You’re only young once.
At this point in time, you don’t need to tie yourself down to one person.
Opportunities usually don’t present themselves more than once so experience as much as you can, while you still can.
Don’t put your own life on hold for someone else.