Teen Dating

Teen Relationships

Many people begin dating when they are in their teens; however, others may choose not to date or dating may not be a part of their culture. If you are dating, keep in mind that it can be fun, exciting and a great way to learn more about yourself and your values. But dating can also be a source of worry and confusion.

What do you want in a partner?

Figuring out what you want in a partner can be tricky. There are some things you may be sure about like:

  • you want someone who loves sports as much as you do
  • someone of the same religious beliefs
  • someone who has a great sense of humour

and some things you aren’t so sure about like:

  • can you date someone with different tastes in music than you?
  • can you date someone who doesn’t want to go to college or university?

While it’s important to find someone who you are compatible with, remember that you don’t need to make any life-long commitments right now – you have lots of time to find the “right” person. Are you wondering if what are you feeling is love or infatuation? We have the answers. If you relax and have fun, you’ll enjoy getting to know lots of different people and you’ll learn a lot about yourself and your values/needs too.

Where do you meet people local singles?

It can be lonely and frustrating when you are ready to be in a relationship but can’t seem to meet the right person. Meeting people can be tough for anyone, but it may be especially tough if you are looking to meet someone of the same sex.

It is important to keep socializing and doing the things you like to do. You can also try meeting new people:

  • through friends and family
  • through clubs, teams and social events
  • at school
  • at parties

What if all your friends are dating and you’re still single?
It is ok to be single.

Sometimes it’s hard for other people to understand that you’re happy being on your own right now – enjoying other areas of your life until the “right” person comes along – or that you’re just not ready or able to date yet. Try not to let other people’s expectations pressure you.

If you’re really shy or nervous about dating, why not talk to someone you trust like a friend, parent or Kids Help Phone counsellor?

My friends don’t like my boyfriend/girlfriend

When you are dating someone, the people you are closest to will probably have feelings or opinions about your choice of partner. If they don’t approve of your choice, they will probably let you know. This can be hard to deal with. You might want to ask yourself the following questions:

Why don’t my friends like my partner?

There may be lots of different reasons that your friends and family may not approve of your partner. For example:

  • they don’t think you’re old enough to date
  • they are concerned that your partner is too old/young for you
  • they don’t like the way your partner treats you

You may not always agree with other’s opinions but it may be helpful to your relationship with them to at least consider their perspective and offer reassurance.

mixed race coupleIf they dislike your partner because of her or his gender, race or religion, this is called prejudice and can be especially hard to deal with. In fact, there are many harmful effects of racism that are very harmful to those involved.

Sometimes your loved ones may become more accepting over time, as they get to know your partner better as a person. If they cannot accept your choice in a partner, you may have to decide between your relationship and the approval of your family and friends.

This can be a very hard choice and you may want to talk to a trusted adult or a Kids Help Phone counsellor before making your decision.

What Is A Healthy Relationship?

Safety in relationships

Are their concerns about my safety or well-being valid?

If you think that you’re in an abusive relationship, it’s important to get support and make sure that your safety and well-being are taken into consideration. It can be hard to reach out for help in these situations. For more information, see our section on abusive relationships.

Respect in Relationships

Do I feel valued and respected by my partner?

Is your relationship healthy? You deserve to be treated with care and respect. If you do not feel valued or respected by your partner, ask yourself why you are settling for this relationship.

Do you want a relationship so badly that you are settling for mistreatment over being single? Are you used to being treated poorly and so don’t feel you should expect or deserve to be treated well?

If you’re not being treated properly by your partner, talk to a trusted adult or call Kids Help Phone and talk to one of our counsellors.

Love and Relationships

Things to think about When you start dating, you might want to keep the following tips in mind:

  • Be true to yourself – other people’s opinions matter, but remember that you get the final say in deciding who you date.
  • Keep your friends – spend time with your boyfriend/girlfriend but don’t forget the rest of your life! Happy couples spend time apart too. Your relationship will be happier and healthier if you remember to make time for your friends, family and the activities you like to do.
  • Take your time – it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new relationship, but it’s important to take the time to get to know your partner before getting too serious. Find out what’s important to them, what their values and beliefs are, what their good and bad qualities are. As you learn to accept them for who they really are, your relationship will deepen and become more intimate.
  • Communicate – this means sharing your thoughts, feelings and ideas with your partner. It means being open and working together to solve problems and find compromises rather than insisting on having your own way. It also means learning to negotiate and fight fairly. Communicating means learning to agree to disagree sometimes and respecting your partners opinions even if you don’t agree with them or see things from their perspective. Communication can be a lot of work and no one gets it right all the time, but it’s important to try and communicate as best you can.

There are lots of things to think about when you start dating someone. If you have questions about dating, talk to a trusted adult or call Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.