We all know of teen girls who are being mistreated or abused by their boyfriends. We also all know examples of teen boys who are so into a girlfriend they retreat from their previous activities and interests.
These kinds of relationships are not healthy. However, the people in them often can’t see it. And, when others point out the problems from the outside, the ones in the toxic relationships aren’t able to spot them.
If you are in one of these unhealthy teenage relationships then please talk to a teacher or guidance counselor about it. If your friend is in one of these, you should also talk to an adult to try to get them help.
You Act Like You’re Married
There’s nothing wrong with being a loving couple that spends a lot of time together. But, when you act like you’re married, it could be a problem. For example, married couples make decisions about themselves and their future based on the other person.
When you’re sixteen and make major life decisions based on a relationship, it could be a problem. In marriage, the other person is legally and morally bound to their partner. As a teen, there is none of that. And, probably ninety-nine percent of high school romances don’t last long term. So, basing long term choices on these relationships is foolish.
You Drop Out
Most unhealthy teenage relationships involve one or both partners focusing on the other person to the exclusion of other activities. A lot of teens in bad relationships go from being active in sports, school clubs, church, and family activities to focusing exclusively on the boyfriend or girlfriend.
To enjoy activities and then drop them over another person isn’t healthy at all. A truly loving boyfriend or girlfriend would celebrate the interests of another person, not try to stop or limit them.
You are the Target of Abuse
A lot of teens are in abusive relationships, some of them physical. Others, however, are verbally and emotionally abused. They don’t even see a problem with this sometimes.
Let me tell you, abuse of any sort is unacceptable. Just because you love someone and they say they love you doesn’t mean you have to put up with abuse. Love should be measured in action, not words. As mentioned earlier, if you are being abused or someone you know is, tell a trusted adult in a position of power.
You Are Being Manipulated
Sometimes people aren’t outright abusive, but are still manipulative. In fact, manipulation can be a sign of an abuser before they act out in other ways. A manipulator will toy with the person they’re dating. For example, he may say, “you’d do what I asked if you loved me” even though he knows it goes against the girl’s values. Other examples of manipulation are a person threatening suicide or self harm and stirring up drama to get his or her own way.
So, if you see these signs in your own life or in the life of your friends, they may be in unhealthy teenage relationships. If you are a parent reading this, take action. Letting teenagers stay in these unhealthy relationships can create problems in the present and down the line.