April 2002
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Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (The Teenager Years)
By Danielle McCarthy, SNN Editor, Booth Memorial High, St. John's, NF

"It's only puppy love dear," a father says soothingly to console a distraught mother who cries, "My baby is all grown up!"

Sound familiar? Remember how you rolled your eyes, and insisted that yours was a case of true love, and it would last forever? Of course you and *insert name here* would be a couple for a long time, as you think over the nights you spent cuddling and holding hands, exchanging presents, and talking for hours on the phone. I know from a girl's point of view, you probably felt that there was no sweeter feeling than just being with the person you liked, knowing they felt the same way about you.

Unfortunately, in most case scenarios for adolescents, relationships end; the chirping birds DO stop singing, the flowers wilt, and instead of smiling, all you want to do is cry. As the famous lyric goes; "Why do the birds go on singing? Why do these eyes of mine cry? Don't they know, it's the end of the world? It ended when you said goodbye."

Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend when you are a teenager is especially hard, because serious relationships are a new experience.

The effects of a break-up can be emotionally, mentally, and even physically damaging to both parties involved in the relationship. Even when you are the person initiating the break-up, it's not easy because you try not to hurt the other person's feelings, and remain at a friendly level with them.

If the relationship was not ended on mutual terms, then the person who wanted to stay together, may experience a lack of appetite, sleep deprivation, self esteem issues, among many other things. Getting over a shattered relationship takes time, and all depends on the strength of the bond you shared, or time you spent going out. The only way to recover yourself is to allow as much time as needed; rushing into another relationship will not make you forget, neither will thinking "I must get over him/her! It's been months since we broke up!"

Besides precious amounts of time, good friends are the most important ingredient to moving on after a relationship. Obviously you will be hurting, so your friends need to be good listeners who have 'hug' intuition. If none of your friends fulfill this description, buy a journal and a cuddly teddy bear and snag a different group of friends. If they aren't willing to be there for you in a time of need, those aren't the kind of friends you want. Day by day, little by little, you will become more cheerful, refraining from tormenting yourself with questions like "How could I have prevented it?" or "What's wrong with me?"

I choose to think that if something is destined to happen, it will happen. Therefore, there is no point in driving yourself crazy with wonder. There is nothing wrong with you; a break-up really can't be blamed on one person. You and your partner probably just grew apart from each other; change such as this is natural and inevitable.

Relationships, friendships, like everything else in life are constantly evolving and growing; sometimes closer together, or apart. It's up to you how you choose to deal with these situations in a way which is healthy for your well-being. But remember, when it comes down to it, it's your well-being that you need to look after, before anyone else's. Compromising your values, beliefs, and feelings to save someone else, is not the right solution because all members involved will get hurt twice as much in the long run. The best thing to do, is to cherish the memories you made together, and chalk it up to experience.

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