December 2002
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Teenager Relationships
By Christina C., Grade 12, Fredericton High School, Fredericton, NB

The definition of a boyfriend or girlfriend changes throughout our life. In elementary school a relationship is defined by giggling and saying "hi" in the hallways and every so often you will be dared to kiss each other. In junior high holding hands and hanging out with your partner in a group is considered a strong relationship. Yet when a teenager gets to high school a relationship is seen in a whole new perspective.

Teenagers are becoming older and more mature. They want to be seen as adults. Therefore they begin to act like them. In Fredericton High School public displays of affection are a daily occurrence. Every hallway we walk down we a see a young couple cooing and cawing over each other, oblivious to the world around them.

Couples become obsessed with each other. This is when jealousy steps in. Fourteen-year-old girls are crying in school washrooms because their boyfriend was simply talking to another girl. Boys are causing fights because another guy was "looking" at his girlfriend. These kids are spending every minute they can with their boyfriend or girlfriend, leaving no time for friends, school or being a teenager.

Is this healthy? Of course every teenager at some point wants a partner. It's part of growing up, part of feeling mature. But should it go to the extent that it does?

All too often we hear of teenagers being abused by their boyfriend or girlfriend both physically and emotionally. This causes a major issue because teenagers are so naive. Most abused teenagers have never been in a serious relationship. They have not seen the real world, and do not understand that this is not acceptable treatment.

I cannot tell anyone that they shouldn't even think about a serious relationship in high school, because I myself was in one for sixteen months. Yes, it was fun, and a good experience. But in this relationship I drifted away from my friends and my schoolwork. I am happier than ever now. I can spend time with my friends whenever I feel like it. My schoolwork is no longer suffering. And I still remain friends with my ex. There is a happy medium out there. Why try to act like adults now? We'll have 70 years to do that!


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