Authored by: Catherine Cato & Jessica Bodmer
Teen To Teen is a series of blogs written by teen authors for teens on topics that matter most to them. Please Note: “Teen to Teen” should be considered peer to peer advice and support. It is not given in place of professional consult or care.
High school dating can be exciting, fun, adventurous, and all sorts of amazing things, but it can also be very stressful, time-consuming, and complicated.
Here are some tips for building a healthy relationship from the start:
Build A Foundation on Friendship
When dating someone, it is essential to establish a friendship within a romantic relationship. Being romantically involved with someone who is also one of your best friends can make life much more comfortable. Just hanging out and getting to know someone, to form a bond, can be significant in helping build a healthy relationship.
Now I’m not saying that if you jump into something, it won’t work out; I’m saying that having a foundation beneath the romantics can provide a more safe and trusting feeling for both people involved. You will also learn to be more comfortable with each other faster, which means less awkward moments!
Be Your Authentic Self
If you feel like you cannot be yourself or if you have to change for someone to like you, then he or she is not the right person. A healthy relationship involves you being able to be completely yourself without feeling insecure or judged. A significant other worth keeping will value you entirely and never push you into uncomfortable situations or predicaments.
Communication Is Key!
Text messages, phone calls and apps surround our fast-paced society. It is easy to get distracted and forget to check on one another. Telling your person your feelings and thoughts helps keep a relationship together because it leaves no room for surprises and lessens the likelihood of the type of arguments that stem from misunderstanding.
The better you can express your feelings and talk out your problems (instead of holding everything in and blowing up months later), the better off the relationship is.
Communication is the base of every relationship, so it is crucial to have a firm root. If you cannot communicate, more likely than not, there will be assumptions made that can lead to the base crumbling and falling apart.
Trust Yourself & One Another
Building a foundation of trust will help prevent more stressful or complicated times. Having a significant other is great because you always have someone to talk to, but that means nothing if you can’t trust them with what’s weighing you down.
Trust is also difficult to repair once it’s broken, so be careful about who you decide to trust. If there is even an ounce of doubt in you, don’t ignore it—instincts are usually right. Being able to trust without worrying about lying or cheating is critical in a healthy relationship.
Breakups Can Be Opportunities
Breakups are the absolute worst, right?
Losing someone is hard, but it allows you to find yourself and be who you are. When you go through a breakup, the worst thing to do is hold on. Chances are, the person who left doesn’t care about you the way you deserve to be cared for, and that’s the hard truth.
Move on in whatever way you can, but don’t make unnecessary contact, especially if it was a messy breakup. Don’t give up on dating or finding “The One” because when you look back on relationships, you will realize that you have learned a lot about yourself through the process. Most importantly, give yourself time to be you and discover who you are without someone.
Obviously, everyone has their bad days, but you shouldn’t find yourself always unhappy or wish to change something about yourself. A healthy relationship should leave you able to go to bed happy, knowing that the person you are with is right for you.
Relationships should be a good thing with a special someone who you can count on and care about. Every couple has their issues and bumps in the road, but it is important to figure out if the problem is a kink that can be fixed or a red flag that needs to be analyzed further.
You have to learn to be happy by yourself before you can commit to a relationship with someone else.
High school is a time when you can learn who you want to be and what makes you happy; don’t feel guilty for putting your well-being first before jumping into a relationship. Not all things are meant to be, but it’ll be worth it when you find the one who was meant to be.