Being a teenager is hard enough as it is. You go through hell on a daily basis with exams, parents and pretty much being told you need to decided what you want to do for the rest of your life. Every day can feel like a minefield. Then, when you throw guys and dating into that mix, things get even more complicated. It’s hard, right?
When it comes to dating, there’s surely a battle of thoughts and questions raging in your head – ‘Is he right for me?’, ‘What if we break up?’, ‘His friends hate me!’, ‘Do I have time for a relationship?’, ‘Will I ever get a boyfriend?’. I’m right, am I not? Relax, all that’s normal! It’s not that you worry that’s the problem, it’s something we’re prone to in all aspects of life no matter what age we are, it’s how you deal with it that matters.
Never fear though because I’ve come up with three timeless pieces of relationship advice that are sure to help de-stress your life.
Take Things Slow
Don’t feel like dating is a race and you have to rush to the finish line. Whether you’re already in a relationship or are still in search of one, remember to take things easy.
If you’re just starting out in a relationship, make sure you go on plenty of dates. Get to know each other as well as possible so you can both be sure that you’re good together. Date’s don’t have to be a pull-out-all-the-stops expensive meal either – they can be simple. Movie nights, shopping trips, walks in the park – it’s that easy. Pretend you’re just friends and choose where you’re going on your date from there. Trust me when I say that relationships where you can act like friends are the most rewarding and also the most promising.
For those of you already in a relationship, remember that it’s okay to say you want to slow things down. If things feel like they’re going too fast for you, don’t feel pressured to let it stay that way. If you don’t speak up, chances are your relationship will fail anyway because you’re not 100% happy. If your guy truly respects you, he’ll understand why you’re asking to slow down and will do anything he can to help you feel better.
Share, Listen and Learn
The most important aspect of any relationship is communication. This is true in all aspects of life whether you’re speaking to family, friends, teachers or, of course, your other half. If you’re feeling unsure about something make sure you open up about it. Don’t just let your thoughts and feelings fester inside of you because, trust me (I know from experience), things will turn out ten times worse in the end. There’s no ‘for better or for worse’ in this situation either. The situation will only worsen if you keep quiet. No matter the outcome, things are always better out in the open.
Communication is a two way street though. You can’t just speak and expect to be heard without giving your partner the same courtesy. Just because you’re feeling insecure or worried doesn’t mean your partner can’t be too. Or maybe you think everything is hunky-dory and it’s only your partner who needs to get something off his chest. Either way, listening is equally as important as talking.
This is a three part formula – share, listen and finally learn. There’s no point in either you or your boyfriend talking about anything if the pair of you aren’t going to take something away from it. Don’t just talk about things then brush the whole conversation under the rug as though it never happened. You’ll never move forward if you do.
If you want to maintain a healthy and satisfying relationship, these three things are key.
Remember, you’re only young.
You’ll probably hate me for this last piece of advice but honestly it’s the best advice anyone can give you. Remember that you’re only young. You have the rest of your life to meet ‘the one’ so don’t panic if things aren’t quite right with your current boyfriend. It’s extremely rare that someone’s first relationship lasts forever. There’s plenty of time for you to go out and make mistakes and simply be young – it’s called gaining life experience.
So there you have it, ladies. Those are my three best relationship tips for when you’re a teenager (or at any age for that matter!). Whether you’re in a happy, long-term relationship or a still looking for love, I hope you can take something worthwhile away from this. These are timeless tips that could see you through a lot of trouble and a lot of heartache in the years to come.