Every parent hopes their teen will enjoy healthy relationships as they mature, but it takes more than hoping to make that happen. Understanding the signs of a healthy relationship will help you guide your teen through this part of their life. Call Imagine Boise at 208.487.8260 to learn more about our adolescents relationship counseling program.
What Is a Healthy Teenage Relationship?
If you’re a teen asking yourself, “Is my teenage relationship healthy?” you’ve already taken a giant leap into maturity. Young people are inundated with unrealistic images of what relationships are supposed to look like and how people in relationships are supposed to behave.
It’s important to recognize that in its most basic definition, a healthy relationship is one where both partners feel supported and valued.
Families have different guidelines about when dating should begin and what it should look like, but all are likely to agree that teenage relationships are an extremely important part of development.
Most humans develop a physical and emotional attraction to a romantic partner at some point in life. Typically, these feelings begin to emerge when a person is between 10 and 14 years old. Romantic relationships become increasingly important from the ages of 15 to 19 onward.
Regardless of age, most people tend to start relationships wearing rose-colored glasses. It is normal to see only the wonderful things about your partner and turn a blind eye to the traits that could be red flags. However, once the thrill of “new love” settles down, it is time to evaluate whether the relationship truly serves your best interests.
Is My Teenage Relationship Healthy?
Regardless of a teen’s sexual orientation or gender identity, knowing the signs of a healthy relationship is just as important as knowing the red flags of an unhealthy one. Consider these five signs a relationship is healthy.
Both partners trust one another to enjoy social activities with other people. Jealousy is a natural human emotion, but if jealousy prevents either person in a relationship from having friends, it is unhealthy.
A positive relationship includes give-and-take, with no one person making all the decisions for the couple.
3. Personal Identity
Both partners feel free to pursue their personal interests and hobbies. The teenage years are a time of change and exploration, and a healthy relationship will not inhibit that exploration.
Partners encourage one another to pursue their dreams and goals, even if it means spending time away from one another.
Both people are heard, understood, and valued for what they bring into the relationship. In a healthy relationship, both partners feel appreciated.
What if Others Don’t Approve?
Having the support and approval of friends and family members is also a sign of a healthy relationship. If you’re wondering, “Is my teenage relationship healthy?” talking to a parent or trusted friend is a good idea. People who care about you may see signs of trouble that you don’t recognize.
While it is important for teens to trust their own instincts and learn how to make their own decisions, it is also important for them to seek advice from the people who care about them the most. If several people in your inner circle are concerned about how a relationship affects you, it’s smart to take those concerns seriously.
Find Support for Healthy Relationships at Imagine Boise
Even teens who are fortunate enough to have supportive adults in their lives who model healthy relationship behavior can find themselves in verbally, physically, or emotionally abusive relationships.
If you’re a teen or a parent wondering, “What is a healthy teenage relationship?” the teen relationship counseling program at Imagine Boise can help. Call Imagine Boise today at 208.487.8260 to learn more.