Enjoying a Healthy Teen Relationship

With summer ending and school fast approaching new relationships are both beginning and ending for teens. It’s almost as if I can hear Justin Bieber singing in the background as I type : )  It can be difficult to form and keep new relationships. Many times teens start dating someone or hanging with new friends to end up finding out they don’t share their values or they are pushing their buttons. Speaking up to let others know you are uncomfortable with their behaviors, actions, or beliefs may end up in a breakup, fight, or the ever feared “drama” (oh no she didn’t).

Choosing Healthy Relationships

So what is a teen to do when it comes to choosing healthy relationships?

One way that I think about choosing healthy relationships (don’t ask me why) is reflected in the process of lighting a lamp. This process occurs in three steps:

The first step is plugging the lamp cord into an electrical outlet. With a lamp, you are trying to connect to electricity to produce light. In relationships, we may be looking for various responses to create connection. It’s important that we examine the consequences or benefits of trying to establish any new connection. Remember, you would not plug a cord into a wall outlet that looked dangerous or broken. Why would you connect or “plug into” relationships if you are having similar feelings?

Step two is flipping the switch. In an attempt to produce light, we must exert energy by pulling a chord or flipping a switch. In relationships, we must also make an effort to produce or establish a connection. However, before starting this new connection we may want to ask what would make me want to “flip the switch”? Taking time to establish what you want or don’t what can be helpful so that you have a clear vision before starting a new relationship. Imagine what it would be like if you kept flipping a light switch expecting light without checking to see if a bulb was in the light socket to begin with!

Step three is looking for light. The final result of switching on a lamp is luminosity. If there is no light, low light, or too much light we begin a process of finding ways to adjust it to meet our needs. In the same way, relationships may need to be adjusted to best meet our needs. This could come from ending, reconnecting, setting boundaries, and/or letting others know that you appreciate them.

If you’re in the Atlanta area and you want to make an appointment with Adam visit: atlanta-counseling.com or call us at 404-682-1923.

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