About Teenage Dating
Learning to navigate hormones and relationships is already a difficult task for teens. When you add in peer pressure and unhealthy relationships, the situation can get pretty sticky. Renowned relationship abuse expert and domestic violence survivor, Jessica Yaffa, has 8 very important messages for girls about teenage dating.
1. If you aren’t ready to date, you aren’t alone, many young women are choosing to wait to be in a relationship. Whatever your reasons for not wanting to date, honor yourself and go at a pace you are comfortable with.
2. Nobody has the right to hurt you. NEVER does anyone have the right to call you names, put you down, threaten you, control your clothing, whereabouts or friends, nor does anyone EVER have the right to force you to have sex or put their hands on you.
3. Continue to be Yourself. Dating doesn’t mean giving up your individual friends, activities, interests, goals or values. A healthy dating relationship encourages you to pursue these things.
4. You have the right to privacy. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean we share every thought, feeling or past experience with our partner.
5. You have the right to change your mind. Whether you’ve just started dating, have been sexually active or have been in a relationship with your partner for a long time, if at any point you no longer feel comfortable dating it is ok to say so and feel respected when communicating this.
6. Social media doesn’t paint the real picture. No one has the perfect relationship. We can be made to feel like something is wrong with us if we have an argument, become frustrated or lose interest in our partner because of the picture that social media often paints.
7. You will be ok. When we go through a break-up as young women it can often feel like the end of the world. Remind yourself that it wasn’t the relationship that defined your magnificence, recapture that sparkle and trust that better things are to come.
8. A relationship doesn’t define you. Healthy relationships add to the brilliance of who you are. They don’t require you to sacrifice yourself, give up things that are important to you or ask you to change who you are.
If you or a loved one are struggling with unhealthy patterns of dating, you’re not alone, and there is help. Jessica Yaffa offers relationship coaching and workshops for teens and adults and is passionate about helping people find their inner worth and create healthy, loving relationships.