Teen romance is like a minefield – very few make it through completely unscathed, and the path is often strewn with the shrapnel of countless broken hearts. According to common wisdom, the reason behind all this affliction is because teenagers are capricious creatures who lack the maturity to resolve relationship issues. However, maturity is not the only key factor playing into why teen couples just are not staying together happily. Social media pressures young people to be in constant contact with one another, meaning they can constantly monitor the other. Maturity and social media are large factors in the way many relationships play out nowadays, but the same people writing articles about the topic are the ones forgetting the most important factor; communication. Building an emotional relationship and being able to relate and interact with your partner is the foundation to a truly satisfying and healthy relationship.
We live in the age of social networking, and in the past few years, technology and turned both our world and the way we talk to others completely around. There are both good sides and bad sides to such advancements and changes, as one should expect. Since words are typed onto a screen rather than spoken face to face, it is extremely easy to misunderstand words, as there is very little contest surrounding them. Such facts can cause one member of the relationship to mistake a statement one said to make it seem like something else, therefore an argument occurs. Jealously among teenagers is quite ridiculous.
Fifteen years ago, one would not have to worry about whether or not their significant other would make them their “Man Crush Monday” or “Woman Crush Wednesday” nor would they get upset if the same person didn’t text them back within half a minute. There was no “relationship status” on the internet, no reason to question their lover’s loyalty over who “liked” their pictures. The teenagers of the current generation see the problem, in fact, 75% of a surveyed group agreed that social media can affect relationships with others (Quiet Voice 1). Social media and relationships can go hand in hand at times, for traveling spouses overseas or a family member away at college. Unless you are mature enough and already have the emotional connection with your partner, I would not rely on a computer to run your relationship.
Maturity plays a major role in the success and the demise of relationships. Maturity influences a person’s ability to truly commit to a relationship for life and understand that commitment implies giving up all other partner choices. So as a teenager, not many understand the concept of maturity and trust. Certain life experiences they receive along the way can help them realize such things. High school relationships can be categorized into three different categories: Those who care about themselves intentionally, those who care about themselves unintentionally, and those who care about the other person. The ones who care about themselves intentionally are the ones who date strictly for the relationship and the title, not the other person. In a case like this one, 0% of the relationships survive because essentially, it was not a relationship to begin with.
Caring about yourself unintentionally is one thought that usually would not cross your mind. It is a difficult category, as not many always see it. You will catch yourself saying “Oh ___, I love the way you make me feel! You make me so happy!” Person A claims to care about Person B, when I reality they are truly just trying to satisfy their own personal needs. Finally, those who care about the other person. When you can truly say you have reached this stage, you have gained the independence and the maturity to maintain a steady and committed relationship. The high school sweethearts, married for over fifty years now, are the teenagers who made the decision to be committed and responsible young adults, taking the lead over others their age at the time, but setting an example that yes, it can be done.
Communication allows us to share interests, aspirations, and concerns with ones we care about. Good communication is about the way we talk and listen, and about our body language (Better Health 2). Healthy relationships rely on the fundamental of communication. When people stop interacting well, they stop relating to each other, and it can cause them to disconnect. It is much easier to face problems when you have the ability to talk through them with each other. Being in a relationship in high school should not have to be stressful, one should be able to laugh and just enjoy each other’s company. The main problem in our generation of teenagers is that we seem to have lost the mannerism of actually speaking to one another. 83% of teens break up over text message rather than face to face (Stay Teen 1).
When relationships or even friendships are conducted primarily through texting, the context of the conversation is stripped off all personal aspect. As a whole, teenagers must learn the important characteristics of communication and how interacting well with others will almost always lead to a healthy and loving relationship. A strong, healthy bond with someone you truly care about can be one of the best supports in your life. It improves all aspects of your life, strengthening your health, mind, and your connections with others as well. Your significant other can be your best friend, and you will have many adventures and maintain a fun relationship with the one you love.
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