11 Serious Lessons I've Learned From Being In A Relationship As A Teenager

11 Serious Lessons I've Learned From Being In A Relationship As A Teenager

Being a kid in love can be tough, but it's worth it.

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There are very few couples who start as teenagers that actually make it. The younger generations are growing up more reliant on their cell phones than on forming meaningful connections with other people. Teenagers and young adults my age show patterns of immaturity, impulsiveness, and disrespect for each other. When you find a good one, you hang on to them in this day and age.

I've been in my current relationship for 2 years, 3 months, 2 weeks, and 2 days (but who's counting?) and this is what I've learned so far. It's worth mentioning I'm not a relationship expert and we're still learning ourselves. These are just things I've reflected on that I think are important to a successful young relationship.

1. How to forgive 

When you start dating someone at a young age, you're both going to make mistakes. If you want things to work and truly care about each other, you'll have to learn to forgive and move on. A lot of teenagers would rather throw the whole relationship away than work through everything, so forgiveness is key to building a relationship together when you're both bound to mess up along the way.

2. Patience 

No two people of any age will ever come into a relationship 100% compatible with each other. When you start dating as teenagers or young twenty-somethings, not only do you have to learn each other, but you have to learn what a healthy relationship is in general. It takes patience with each other to form a relationship that is enjoyable for you both. Along with that, both of you are going to grow and change throughout the relationship when you start dating as kids. You'll need to be patient with each other as you both start to find your way through adulthood.

3. How to love unconditionally 

When you start a relationship young, neither of you has fully developed into the person you're meant to be yet. Your significant other will come with their flaws and quirks, and they'll pick up more throughout your life journey together. You'll learn to love them unconditionally, through all of the change and growth you'll both experience.

4. How to compromise

At least in my case, my boyfriend (hi, Drew!) and I were at pretty different stages of life when we started dating. We were both busy with completely different lives and wanted to spend time doing different things. It's good to learn how to work through your busy lives together at a young age, because once you get into the real world, you'll already be old pros at compromising. Whether it's something as little as deciding what to do together in your limited free time, or something as major as working on communication issues, learning to be understanding and willing to meet in the middle comes easier when you start out in a relationship early in your life.

5. It's okay not to be perfect for each other 

No one is perfect and no couple is perfect. You're going to bump heads and have your differences with any person you date at any stage in your life, but the advantage of dating while you're still kids is you have the opportunity to grow up together. Even though we may not have been perfect for each other when we met, growing up and learning how to navigate the world together will affect both of you. You might not start out a perfect fit, but you'll grow into a perfect fit because your relationship will have a significant impact on who you become.

6. Even though you grow together, it's okay to turn out differently 

Your relationship will affect your likes and preferences, but it's important to remember that a relationship is two people who happen to like each other, not the formation of one person. It's actually really cool to watch your significant other discover new likes, new hobbies, new friends, and new adventures, and they still have you as the constant in their lives. You'll definitely develop into different people, but you'll always come back to each other.

7. There is something to love in everything about them

There's something to love in all the flaws they had as a kid, and there will be something to love in the flaws they have as an adult. Their oddities and quirks will become your comfort when the rest of the world is starting to close in on you. After all, their flaws are what makes them who they are.

8. Patience again... but a different kind

There are obvious limits on teenage relationships. You might not be able to travel the world together like you would like to, or go out to bars like older couples can (if that's your thing). The adults in your lives may not take you that seriously at first, and you can't really blame them, because most teenager relationships are short-lived. Through all the frustrations of being kids in love, just remember not to rush the ease and simplicity that comes with a young relationship. You'll miss how easy things were when you're struggling to find time for each other around full time jobs. Adult life together will come soon enough.

9. Typically, you'll both outgrow your bad habits

A killer of young love is inexperience. A lot of kids go into relationships not knowing what's okay and what's not, or what a healthy relationship looks like. Even with experience, dating a new person is all about learning how to make them happy. The cool thing about dating as teenagers is you'll learn the other person inside and out, and you'll outgrow your bad habits. Little problems that seemed catastrophic as teens quickly become unimportant as your relationships matures. We outgrow and we outlearn.

10. Take your friends' advice with a grain of salt 

Teenagers today treat each other like we're all disposable. Have a problem with the current bf? Toss him out and find a new one, it'll only hurt for a second. When you're in a committed relationship as a teenager and look to your friends for advice through the hard times, be cautious. Remember that

a) their relationship ideals will be different than yours,

b) they don't know your relationship, and

c) they base their advice off of the bad things they hear.

They don't hear about how happy you are on a daily basis.

11. There isn't anything sweeter than the memories you make when you're a teenager in love

We've already accomplished so much, done so much, and we still have our whole lives ahead of us. There's something about growing together with someone that makes it so fulfilling and so worth it. I fully look forward to when we'll be able to look back on our teenage years together and reminisce about how far we have come.

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Time's Not The Right Measurement For Your Relationships, Friendships, Or Marriage

Time is used to measure a clock, not a relationship.

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Some people base a relationship on how long they've been together. For so many years I thought that the longer the relationship, the stronger it was. But as time passed on I started to understand that that wasn't as true as I believed.

I've been in many long-lasting relationships and the more I was in the more I understood that time isn't always the answer. I was friends with a guy for four years before we decided to be together and then we lasted exactly seven months and I think I realized a little that just because we had such a long history did NOT mean our relationship was solid.

Recently I've watched so many people who have been together for so long crash and burn. I've seen four years, ten years, and even marriages end when you would think the opposite. Time means nothing, time is just a measurement of seconds, minutes, hours, not the measurement of how well a pair works or how close they are.

Time is nothing to determine a relationship, time is there to determine the time of day so don't let it determine your relationship. If you feel close to someone, then don't let people tell you it is too soon to tell. I've seen couples who have been together for two months get married and live a lasting life together. Time is just a number, it is not a measurement of a relationship, friendship, or marriage.

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How To Deal When You Want To DTR And They Don't

Defining the relationship, commonly known as DTR, can be an anxiety-inducing topic for many people.

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In a world filled with hook-ups, casual dating, friends with benefits, open relationships and committed ones, it's so important to be on the same page when it comes to where you and your love interest stand. Here are seven ways to define the relationship and with these steps in mind, you'll better navigate the rough waters of dating and DTR once and for all.

1. Make It Clear What You Want From The Relationship

One of the most difficult parts any relationship or sort-of-relationship for many is clearly stating what you want. There are many types of relationships out there, but if exclusivity is something you want out of your current relationship, it's just something that needs to be said. It can be scary to speak up for yourself and ask for what you want at times, but you'll never get what you want if you don't ask for it!


Whether it be openness, exclusivity or somewhere in between, you'll ultimately want to ensure that you and your love interest are on the same page. Taking a stand and making it clear from the get-go what you expect out of the connection you have can really save both of you a lot of headaches and heartbreaks later on.

2. Ask Yourself What You're Okay With And Not Okay With

While it's important to make it clear what you want from the relationship right away, even when they're not quite willing to define it, it's also equally as important, to be honest with yourself on what you're okay and not okay with. Ask yourself, "What am I willing to give to this relationship, and what will I accept and not accept from my partner?" in order to decide what is best for you.


Some examples of questions you can ask yourself include, "Am I okay with us dating around, or sleeping with other people? Am I okay with not being labeled as a boyfriend or girlfriend? Am I okay with us just being casual, or friends with benefits?"


I think it's important for you both to have the conversation and figure out what you are okay with. If you feel that your relationship is not exclusive, then it's a good indicator that you'll need to be honest with yourself and ask the tough questions. At the end of the day, it's up to you to figure out what you're willing to give and accept—just don't sell yourself short!

3. Discuss Your Terms

Terms aren't just for legally binding contracts! They exist in any and every type of relationship whether you know it or not, and they need to be discussed if you're having trouble to DTR.

Just as asking yourself whether you're okay with each other having multiple partners or not, for example, that also doubles as a specific aspect of a relationship that needs to be up for discussion.

If your love interest isn't willing to DTR, then you should at least ensure that you have agreed on a set of terms, including commitment, exclusivity or openness.

4. Understand Their Perspective

While it can be extremely frustrating to be involved with someone who won't budge on defining the relationship, understanding where they're coming from can typically shed some light on the situation.

Everyone has their own story, so really taking a moment to stop and understand a different perspective can help ease some frustration that you probably have.

Life happens, and commitment can be scary, especially for those who struggle with it or have had bad experiences with a past relationship. After all, we're only human, and our own thoughts and perspectives are what make us individuals!

5. Question If The Relationship Is Worth It

Now that you've thought long and hard about what you want and what you're willing to accept from your relationship, it's now time to question whether the relationship is worth it. It's certainly not easy, but just know that your time and worth are major priorities!


You've already been real with yourself about what you want and expect from the relationship, so you'll have to take that next step further and truly define your idea of self-worth and what type of relationship is worthy of your time and commitment (or lack thereof).

6. Decide Whether The Commitment Is There

Commitment – it's the C word that can send many running for the hills. If you still can't decide whether your love interest is committed or not, even without your definition, you'll want to consider what exactly avoiding that definition could actually mean.

When a person says, 'I don't want to define our relationship,' usually what they're saying is, 'I don't want to commit because as soon you define the relationship, then the other person is forced to make a decision and to commit or not commit.


Commitment is a major, if not the most, important component of a relationship, so if you can pinpoint your love interest's commitment or a lack thereof, it can become easier to decide if the commitment is what you're looking for.

7. Consider Ending The Relationship If You Are Unhappy With It

Okay, so, you've spoken up for yourself. You've asked yourself the difficult questions. You've discussed terms. Ultimately, how do all these steps help you deal with someone who isn't willing to DTR? Essentially, this process is the key in deciding on whether it's time to stay together or walk away.


Although it's super tempting to stick around and hold onto the hope that maybe they'll change or eventually want to define and label an exclusive relationship, that doesn't always happen.


Walking away from a relationship that probably won't change will not only spare your feelings in the end, but it'll also allow you for more time to seek out what you truly want from someone else. Your happiness is everything, so if the stress of defining your relationship is weighing you down, you do have options.


Defining the relationship is not something that comes easy, and that's okay! Relationships are messy, and rarely anything that is worth your time is easy. Just always keep in mind that there are actions you can take when you find yourself lacking definition in your current relationship, or whatever you'd like to refer to it as, and if you find that your needs aren't being met and that you're not happy, then walking away may be the easiest way to deal of them all.

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