Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.
Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name-calling, are a “normal” part of a relationship.
Others mentioned how text-based communication can help them overcome the shyness they sometimes experience in person or give them time to come up with the perfect response during conversation. You know, so that kind of made me mad, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to act clingy or whatever. Teens also described other negative aspects of technology in romantic relationships, such as surveillance that leads to jealousy, as well as arguments between partners that play out publicly on social media for all to see.
I think texting kind of makes you feel closer because boys are more shy. But when we text, it seems like it’s so much easier for him to talk to me. About a quarter – 27% – of teens with dating experience have had a partner use social media to track their whereabouts, and 27% of teens with dating experience say social media makes them feel jealous or unsure of their relationship.
It can occur in person or electronically and might occur between a current or former dating partner. Healthy relationship behaviors can have a positive effect on a teen’s emotional development.
Several different words are used to describe teen dating violence. Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Unhealthy, abusive, or violent relationships can have severe consequences and short- and long-term negative effects on a developing teen.
Many teens are online throughout the day on multiple platforms where their communications are visible to others, and dodging or screening communications from one’s significant other in this environment is fraught with challenges. But if you’re kind of like, oh, it’s kind of a like a waste of time, then you won’t do that.
Teens in our focus groups described how a delay by their significant other in responding to a text message or phone call can make them feel ignored or unimportant, especially when they can see on social media that their partner is online: So recently, actually, like two days ago, my girlfriend actually got her phone taken away by her mom. So like a day or two passed by, I'm like wondering if I should text her. Check to see if she's looked at my Snap or whatever. But publicly sharing the details of one’s romantic life online is not without potential pitfalls, and many teens elect to not document their relationships in this way.
Indeed, 85% of teen daters expect to hear from their significant other at least once a day, and 11% expect to hear from them hourly. ’ On witnessing someone argue with a romantic partner on social media: See, the thing that they did wrong is they didn’t put it in messages. When somebody’s willing to fight, they bring out their problems and comments and let the whole world see and not just keep it between them. Teens take a number of steps to show that they are in a romantic relationship with someone, and many of these rituals take place on social media.
This issue came up frequently in our focus groups, as many teens expressed a desire (and in many cases, an expectation) that they hear from their significant other on a regular basis. In our focus groups, teens spoke about the reasons why couples might showcase their relationship on social media, from seeking attention to letting others know that they are now “off the market.” I mean, 'cause like if you and then person are, like, super open and you both use Facebook a lot, then you’re going to like post pictures of yourself on Facebook.
The 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months* before they were surveyed. Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who: Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.
All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is never acceptable.
Some 35% of teens have some type of experience in a romantic relationship, a figure that includes current and former daters, as well as those in serious and less-serious relationships. Teens also spoke about social media as an information-gathering tool that helps them find out all sorts of information about a potential partner, like whether they are dating someone or not.