If you’re a teen in a relationship, chances are, you haven’t had much experience. As anyone who’s ever been in love before will tell you, dating comes with unique challenges. While dating as a teenager is exciting, it’s important to remember several things to ensure the healthiest relationship possible.
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Tip #1: Hang up and hang out!
Limit phone use, both when you’re together, and when you’re not. This means that when your partner is talking, listen rather than mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Twitter. This also means asking permission before broadcasting any details of your relationship online. Your girlfriend or boyfriend probably wouldn’t want you to update your Snapchat followers every time you two get into a fight, just as you probably wouldn’t want that, either. Never assume your partner is comfortable with something until you find out for sure. Ask before posting any photos or videos online.
Tip #2: Mix it up beyond Netflix
Be responsible. When you finally get your driver’s license, your relationship will likely change. Rather than depending upon your parent to drop you and your significant other off at the mall, you’ll have a whole realm of possibilities at your feet. Taking initiative is important. It will make your relationship fun. Making plans should not always rest upon the same person, though, or else what used to be fun may begin to feel like a burden. Even the most cliché dates are fun with the right person, like bowling or mini golf, and you can usually do these activities on a budget. Watching Netflix is great, but mixing it up from time to time helps you get to know your partner and better understand your compatibility!
Tip #3: Take turns
Learn how to compromise. Up until now, the whole world may have revolved around you, but when you’re in a relationship, you need to consider the best interests of your boyfriend or girlfriend as well. This means that if you saw the movie that you wanted to see on Friday, it’s probably a good idea to let your partner chose the next one. Even if it seems like your boyfriend or girlfriend is ready to give you the world, try to treat him or her in the same fashion to prevent burnout.
Tip #4: Remember your friends, too
When you first enter into your relationship, it’s tempting to want to spend all of your time with your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s important to resist this urge and focus on growing your other friendships as well. Your teen years provide you with some of the most formative windows for making friends, and you shouldn’t let those slip away just because you are in a relationship.
Tip #5: Know thyself
Don’t date someone just to date someone. Your teen years are for getting to know yourself, so there’s no need to give into pressure and date someone just because it feels like the right thing to do. Being alone teaches you a lot about yourself and what you value, which has the potential to make your future relationships that much better!