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Teen Relationships. Common Issues that Arise in Teen Dating

Teen Relationships. Common Issues that Arise in Teen Dating

Adolescence is a time in a teen’s life to experiment, learn about one’s likes and dislikes, individuate, and begin to cultivate a moral compass. It is also a time of great physiological growth and emotional turmoil. The hormones that begin to surface during puberty can cause great confusion and self-evaluation. Further, the teenage brain is not yet fully developed, and will not reach full development until age twenty-five, at the earliest. A teenager relies heavily on the amygdala (the area of the brain associated with impulses, emotions, aggression, instinctive behavior, and plays a role in sexual activity and libido) when reacting to certain stimuli whereas an adult relies on the prefrontal cortex (the area of the brain that is involved in planning, self-control, and decision making) when reacting to the same stimuli. Hence, teenagers instinctively react to stimuli emotionally and often without any consideration of foresight or rational thought.

While many adults minimize teenage love and refer to it as lust, from the perspective of a teen it is experienced as an intense, all-consuming emotion. Romantic teenage relationships typically involve exploring sexual feelings, physical intimacy, and sexual attraction. Teenage relationships are integral to one’s overall development, and a major developmental milestone. It has been noted that teen relationships are linked to the way adolescents explore independence, body image, privacy, and identity. 

Common Issues

There are a variety of issues that could arise in teen dating. Common examples include, but are not limited to the following, provided by the Child Mind Institute:

  • Unrequited love
  • Unwanted or coerced sexual activity
  • Aggression between romantic partners
  • Breakups 
  • Falling behind academically due to prioritizing a romantic relationship over education
  • Becoming isolated from everyone except one’s partner, which can result in friendships and other important relationships suffering

Romantic relationships can bring many emotional ups and downs for teens. While these emotional rollercoasters may be difficult to witness as a parent, it is helpful be mindful of the fact that these shifting emotions are beneficial in the long run, as they increase a young person’s capacity to share, empathize, and develop healthy intimate relationships in the future.

For Information and Support

Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.


We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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