Are you finding navigating the world of dating and love to be challenging? You are certainly not alone. The problems you are experiencing as a teenager now are probably not all that different from what your older family members and friends have experienced in the past. Ask them for teen relationship advice and guidance as you navigate the stress and joy of the world of dating.
15 Common Love Problems
Dating as a teen can be certainly be complicated. Whether you're looking for guidance with a problem that you are experiencing now, or if you're just wondering what may be in store for you in the future, take some time to learn about the common problems teens face while dating and get insight in how to solve them.
1. Unreturned Love
It's pretty common to fall for someone who doesn't return your feelings, and it can certainly be painful. Keep in mind that just because one particular person does not share your interest, that does not mean that there is something wrong with you. That particular match just isn't right - possibly because of timing or fundamental differences that aren't apparent to you at this stage. Remember "when one door closes, another door opens."
In the same respect, if you are a teen who has never been kissed or in a relationship, you would be surprised at how many other teens or people in their 20s or even 30s are in the same boat as you. Don't worry about a lack of experience; living your life and just being happy are some of the best ways to attract someone. The right match will like you just the way you are.
Dealing With Unreturned Love
Though you may think you noticed signals that your crush likes you as more than a friend, it could be that they're simply flirtatious in general with everyone. Recognize that the wrong person for you won't have the same feelings for you, but the right person will. You shouldn't have to force a relationship.
2. Teenage Cheaters
Did your significant other cheat on you? Does that make him or her a cheater for life? Maybe. Maybe not. Analyze your boyfriend or girlfriend's behavior once you become aware of what took place. If he or she is proactive in telling you what happened and seems truly sorry, you could consider giving another chance. However, if a great deal of lying and sneaking took place, the situation is different. If you can't trust the person or if he or she seems disrespectful or defensive even after you've discovered the cheating, end the relationship immediately. Getting cheated on can have long-lasting effects as teenagers form their identity as to who they are in relationships and what they will accept.
Dealing With Cheating
It can be difficult to not allow getting cheated on to make you want to assume all people cheat. That's simply not true; there are people out there who will be faithful. Take time to heal from the pain of the relationship so you don't enter your next relationship with emotional baggage.
3. Getting Noticed
Getting someone to notice you takes more than great makeup and cute clothes. Find out what you have in common, and chat him up about that. Smile, and be yourself. If your love interest doesn't notice you and seems to return the attraction when you've spent time together, gotten to know each other, and you've even flirted a little, it may be time to move on to someone else. If he's just not that into you, find someone equally fabulous who is.
Dealing With Getting Noticed
Getting someone to notice you can happen organically or you can methodically plan it; just don't go overboard in your efforts or you might appear desperate.
4. First Love
First love is a good teenage love problem to have, but it can also be like a rollercoaster ride. It's normal for the feelings to be quite intense. After all, the experiences are brand new, and you're also dealing with the confusion, hormones, jealousy, and even pressure to have sex. There are many consequences of having sex, and you are unlikely to regret waiting. Love that comes from the heart and love that comes from hormones are two separate things - and it can be hard to tell the difference when you are experiencing first love.
Dealing With First Love
Try not to get swept away in your first love to the point to where you give up time with friends and family. Ideally, you should find a balance between your relationship and the rest of your life.
5. Interference From Friends
Even though teens you might not like to admit it, chances are that you really care about what your friends think about you - and anyone that you may be dating. It's a fact that peer pressure can ruin a relationship. If your friends don't approve of your high school sweetheart, you might be in trouble. The same goes for dating within a group of friends. There might be pressure to date that certain person and fit in, even though you would rather choose a guy or girl from another group at school. Keep in mind that friends who make negative comments about your love interests might be motivated by a desire to protect you, but they may also be motivated by jealousy or fear of being left behind if you get involved in a relationship. Listen to what they have to say, but make up your own mind.
Dealing With Interference From Friends
There are certain rules that come with dating and how much interference you'll allow from your friends. While you should allow friends some input, you should also trust your own instincts.
6. Lack of Maturity
While you may not want to admit it, the fact that you are young will have an impact on your dating relationships. You're not supposed to have the maturity level of an adult; after all, you are a teenager. Learning how to stand up for yourself and say what you want when you're still trying to figure things out can be tough - but it's a learning experience that will help you grown into a responsible, assertive adult. A guy might think a romantic evening is playing video games, while girls might have high expectations for love and romance. Being in a relationship takes two and there is a give and take that must satisfy both people, no matter what the age.
Dealing With Lack of Maturity
When young people haven't yet developed emotionally maturity they can easily be compelled by their hormones. This isn't a good basis for a solid relationship - even if it does feel right.
It's not healthy to get so involved with someone you are dating that the two of you become isolated from other people. Don't distance yourself from your friends just because you have a boyfriend or girlfriend. While it's not uncommon to feel the need to be with your love interest all the time, it's not good for either of you - or the other relationships in your life - in the long run. It's human nature to need more than one person in your life. Isolation can be especially devastating if you break up. Keep your friends in your life and spend time with them, in addition to scheduling alone time with your romantic partner.
Dealing With Isolation
Stay actively engaged with your friends and family to help you avoid isolation. If you allow your crush to become your everything, what do you have left if they leave you?
Communication is an essential part of a relationship. It builds trust and prevents misunderstandings. When you don't talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend about your thoughts and feelings, you could be keeping your relationship from growing. Without growth, love isn't able to develop and continue. When you first start going out with someone, take your time opening up, but if you find that you aren't able to speak freely with this person after a good amount of time, that may be a sign of a serious problem. If your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn't open up to you, it may be a sign of a lack of trust or comfort. You can help this by asking questions and listening intently. The more your love interest tells you, the better he or she will feel about telling you more.
Dealing With Communication
If you don't master communication - or at least make an effort to communicate, the relationship has a decreased chance of being successful. Recognize that neither of you are mind readers and tell each other how you feel.
9. Commitment Challenges
As a teenager, you're still figuring out who you are going to be - and this can lead to differences in a desire for commitment in young relationships. It's common for one person to want a long-term commitment while the other person does not return feelings at the same level, or is simply not ready for a long-term commitment at a young age. When commitment and feelings aren't reciprocated, it can become difficult for a relationship to continue. If you the one pushing for commitment, stop and ask yourself what you really want. If you want to enjoy spending time with someone you care about, try to focus on "now" instead of what may happen many years down the road. You still have plenty of growing and developing to do.
Dealing With Commitment Challenges
Commitment issues can wreck a relationship. If you have commitment issues, work toward resolving them. If your partner has commitment issues, help them work toward resolution. Only 14% of teens currently in a relationship consider it a serious relationship, so don't be surprised if your partner's level of commitment is different from yours.
10. Disapproval From Parents
Parental disapproval of teen relationships is very common, for a variety of reasons. Your parents may have concerns regarding whether or not you are truly ready to date or if the person you are interested in might not be a good influence. They may also not be ready to admit that their child is nearing adulthood. If you're dealing with this, try to discuss your feelings calmly with your parents. Listen to them and be ready to follow some rules about your relationship. If your parents forbid you from seeing the person, you should abide by their wishes. You can still see your boyfriend or girlfriend at school and remain friends. If you stay friends until after you graduate, you can start dating again since you'll be old enough to make your own decisions. While this may hard to accept at first, what is meant to be will be.
Dealing With Disapproval From Parents
It can be tough when parents don't approve of your partner, but unless you parents have a history of sabotaging things for no reason, there's a good chance they simply want what is best for you. Have frank discussions with your parents about their reasoning and be willing to be honest and straightforward. Perhaps your parents just haven't yet seen your partner's good side.
11. Changes in Life
As high school graduation approaches, you will face difficult decisions. You and your boyfriend or girlfriend may go to different colleges, join the military or move away to seek job prospects. Distance can make sustaining a relationship difficult. It is possible to keep a relationship going from a distance, but it is not easy. You may decide to break up or to pursue a long distance relationship. Both of you have to make great efforts to keep communication open and see each other whenever you can. It's also important that you both trust each other and resist temptation. By keeping the love you have for each other the focus in your life, you'll be able to stay strong through the distance. Remember the famous quote by Richard Bach: "If you love someone, set them free. If they come back they're yours."
Dealing With Changes in Life
Long distance relationships can be hard, even for adults with years of relationship experience. Make an active attempt at staying connected despite the miles to see if your relationship is destined to last.
12. Initiating a Break-Up
You're not looking forward to hurting your significant other's feelings, but if you feel that the relationship isn't working out, you're probably going to have to initiate a break-up. There are some ways to take the sting out of it for the other person, however. Do it in person, for example. If you're in a long-distance relationship, using the phone will be better than sending a letter or a text (please don't break up with anyone in a text). Don't point fingers. Not only could it additionally hurt the dumpee's feelings, but if he feels inclined, he could promise to change the things you mention, confusing you further. Don't drag it out by avoiding the other person or making excuses about why you can't go out with him. A clean break is less stressful for everyone and you may be able to salvage a friendship later if the breakup doesn't get too messy.
Dealing With Initiating a Break-Up
It's best to break up with as much respect as possible. Don't be vague in your intentions and consider the other person's feelings.
13. Having an Abusive Relationship
If you're in an abusive relationship, alert your parents. Don't break up with the abuser when you're completely alone together. Remember that the abuser is the one with the problem; the abuse has nothing to do with you. Surround yourself with family and friends as you ready yourself to leave the relationship. On average, violent behavior in relationships starts between the ages on 12 and 18. For additional information, check with TeensAgainstAbuse.org.
Dealing With an Abusive Relationship
Relationship abuse comes in more than one form. If your partner tries to control you or makes you feel insignificant, it's obvious they're not the one for you. Of all advice on teenage dating, the advice to swiftly leave an abusive relationship is the most important.
14. Getting Dumped
Take a deep breath. Just because the relationship didn't work out the way you'd hoped, that doesn't make you less of a person. Set a time limit for yourself to be sad, stay in, watch movies, eat ice cream-whatever makes you feel comforted. After that, get back to life as usual, and don't forget to be your fabulous self. Enjoy being single for a while, fill your weekends with things you love to do, and the right person will show up eventually. Getting dumped does hurt your ego, but enlist your best friends and closest family members in helping you remember everything you have to offer. You'll be back to normal before you know it.
Dealing With Getting Dumped
Allow yourself time to heal when recovering from a break up. This is definitely an instance when time can help heal the wounds. How long should you expect your relationship to last until it ends? If you're over 16, averages say around two years - but remember that's merely an average from teenage relationship facts so yours might be shorter or longer.
15. Dating a Friend's Ex
Should you or shouldn't you date someone who used to go out with your friend? In most cases, the answer to whether or not you should date a friend's ex is a resounding no. There are some exceptions, however. If they didn't date for very long and mutually decided that they were better off as friends, it could be fine. Another time it could be okay is if they dated long ago, and there are no leftover feelings. Ask your friend's opinion first. Be aware that your friend may tell you it's fine even when it isn't. Watch closely for body language cues. Keep in mind that your friend won't want to hear the details of your relationship and be ready to make a choice between the two if it does become a problem.
Dealing With Dating a Friend's Ex
It can feel as though you're "cheating" on your friend when you date their ex, but you may find your friend doesn't actually mind as long as you are open and honest. If you have nothing to hide, don't hide.
Perspective on Dating
If you are a teenager having love problems, you are not alone. Many teen relationships don't make it. It's no one's fault; it's simply a lesson to learn that will make you stronger in future love relationships. While you may feel as though your heart has broken in a million of pieces, it's temporary pain. Soon you'll see why it had to end and what you learned from it. This knowledge will lead you to the love of your life, whether it's in a few weeks, months or years. Dating or being in a couple as a teen should be fun, no pressure, and enhance your life and your opportunities.