Truths About Teen Dating, Violence and Setting Rules

Understand all about teen dating and the facts of youth dating

By Fred S.
Truths About Teen Dating, Violence and Setting Rules

Generally, teens constitute the most irresponsible age-group of our society today. Kids younger than teens are submissive to their parents and understand their boundaries, and people in their early 20s are already starting to gain maturity and seriousness in life as they progress forward. The “teens” however, have it worse when it comes to their mindset. A portion of them doesn't like being refused or rejected, and although there can be many different issues that play a part, it’s usually the entitlement and lack of understanding within them that results in issues like TDV (Teen Dating Violence). This article is meant to bring clear awareness about all the facts and knowledge about teen dating violence, its stats, and possible solutions. Keep reading!   

The Facts of Teen Dating

Violence in dating can occur online or personally, including examples like text spamming, or posting revealing pictures of partners on the internet without their consent. Unhealthy and negative bonds can start forming between two people at very young ages, and they could last a lifetime too.  

It’s a common belief for teens that certain types of behaviors, such as name-calling and teasing the other constitute a “normal” aspect of relationships. The truth is, it’s quite easy for acts like these to turn into abusive versions and develop into seriously damaging dating violence forms. Many such events go unreported too because victimized teens may be afraid to express it to their friends and family.  

1. There’s Serious Physical Violence

One of the four major types of violence in TDV is the physical form of it. It’s when one person hurts or attempts to hurt their partner through kicking, hitting, or employing any other means of force. In some extreme cases, objects could even be used as a weapon to physically violate the other person, but that’s relatively uncommon in teens. 

2. Sexual Violence

Yes, it exists even in teens. Sexual violence means intentionally forcing or trying to force one’s partner to participate in a sexual act, such as intimately touching, making out, or a non-physical sex act such as sexting. If it’s without consent, it falls under the definition of sexually violating one’s partner. Movies may influence the younger generation to try new things, and one of the partners just may not be ready for it. Saying no could be hard for a teen, under the dominant pressure of his/her partner, and this easily results in an event of sexual violence.  

3. Psychological Abuse

The seriousness of this form of TDV is probably the hardest to grasp, but the ones suffering from it know how crushing it can be. It is violence exercised through communication, both verbal and non-verbal, with an intention to hurt the other individual emotionally or mentally, and assert dominance over the partner. It’s a serious issue, and it’s important for teens to be educated about this, because many victims do not even understand that what they’re going through isn’t normal. Sure, all couples fight, but there’s a fine line between a conflict and psychological dating violence.   

4. Stalking

It’s a pattern of repetitive, unsolicited attention by a person, which causes the other to feel fear or concerning thoughts about their safety, or the safety of their close affiliates. It could also be in the form of regular and repeated attempts of contact, to a point where it gets creepy, clingy, and translates into harassment.  

The Statistics of Violence in Teen Dating

Teen dating violence is pretty common and affects US teens in millions every year. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) conducted a “Youth Risk Behavior Survey”, along with the “National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey”, the results show;  
 

  • About one in every eleven females, and one in every eleven males (high school students) report to have gone through physical violence in dating.  

     

  • One in nine females and one in thirty-six male students in high school reported that they’ve suffered sexual dating violence.  

     

  • Twenty-six women out of a hundred, and fifteen men out of a hundred, who reported to be victims of dating violence (sexual, physical or stalking) in their life, first experienced it by their partner before they reached the age of 18 years old.  

     

  • Here’s what’s even worse, TDV burdens aren’t shared equally by all types and sects of people. Groups of sexual minorities (transgender or homosexuals) suffer a lot more, along with racial and ethnical minorities.  

Advice and Rules to Set for Teen Dating

1. Insist on starting slow

Establish it with your teen dating partner early on, that you’re looking to take things at a really slow pace. Fast paced dating at younger ages is a dangerous factor which could result in sexual activities without the consent of one party. When you’re in a relationship at that age without having pre-conditioned boundaries, the other partner can easily be under the impression that he’s entitled to get physical with you, and you may not be comfortable with that.   

2. Communicate expectations and dating rules

Make it clear to your teenage boyfriend or girlfriend that you have a few specific expectations from the relationship, and you’d prefer that certain things don’t cross certain boundaries. Mentally sketch the aspects of the relationship you’re personally looking for and then once you’re certain about them, communicate the sketch to your partner and see if you can come to an agreement. If that happens, you’d have decreased the chances for teen dating violence by a whole lot. It helps prevent future conflicts, since you’re already cleared things out.  

3. Date responsibly

At an immature age, an activity like dating calls for at least some level of responsibility. One of the partners, if not both of them, has to understand that there will be repercussions for irresponsible acts committed together. Peer pressure is extremely high in teenage groups, and it’s easy to fall in the trap of “Just try it once, it won’t kill you!”. Many teenagers sadly get into activities like drug and substance abuse at an early age due to pressure from their dating partners. Tell your partner to date you responsibly, and that you’re not looking to get into any activity that’ll harm you in any way.   

4. Date in groups initially

In the start of a relationship, it’s not advisable to trust your partner fully. Don’t meet up with them without having a reliable friend with you in the start, because you don’t know what they’re actually like and what moves they could pull if they find you alone. Until you get to know them personally and build a certain level of trust, it’s generally a healthy idea to date in groups and with companions.  

5. Introduce them to parents

To make things a whole lot safer, it’s not a terrible idea to introduce your partner to your mom someday. No matter how “cringey” or “uncool” you think your parents may be, they’re more experienced than you and they’ll be a whole lot better at deciding whether a person is in your life for positive or negative reasons.  

6. Maintain healthy communication and open dialogue

Another great way to maintain a healthy, non-violent teen dating relationship is to promote dialogue and discussions to keep things as clear and positive as they can be. Conflicts occur, and they can be solved simply through talking to each other and expressing views clearly. Nothing has to take violent turns if each party in a relationship is being attentively heard and understood, and that’s an extremely valuable lesson to learn early on in your life. Make sure you partner understands this and is willing to work with you!  

Summary

Dating should always be an activity that adds value to your happiness, instead of subtracting it away from your life. Generally, one’s teenage is and should be probably the most cherished stage in any one’s life, and experiencing it with a partner should always make it better, not worse. Do not be afraid of communicating your feelings, regardless of how dominant or pressurizing a partner may be. You’re yourself because of your values, beliefs, and attitude – don't change it for anyone else. Move on from a violent partner, as they say “If you can’t change them, remove them”. Learn to love yourself first and eventually you’ll find someone who truly matches your soul!  

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