Risks associated with early teen dating

Gone are the days when people would spend weeks, months and sometimes years in expressing their love to someone. Today, things have changed. The advent of high-speed communication, particularly those hand-held devices that give access to innumerable dating apps, are only adding a new buzz in the dating world, especially for the teens.

Some of the members of the younger generation who put in huge efforts to find a date are as young as eight to 12 years, still nearing their puberty. This quest for a date forces them to try new things, like wearing lots of makeup, adorning skimpy clothing, while the males try to act as cool dudes by getting tattoos, piercings, drinking, driving rashly and so on. They do not fret over the fact that they could not land a date in the real world because they have millions of options on the social media platforms and numerous dating sites.

At this stage, it is the moral responsibility of parents and caretakers to enlighten their teens about the perils of adolescent dating, based on the following concerns:

Substance abuse and alcoholism: Teenagers are naïve and impressionable. Most of the time, they perceive an infatuation as love because of their lack of exposure and limited understanding about the dynamics of a relationship. They find it impossible to strike a balance between their relationship and other commitments, which often leads to a vicious cycle of breakups, violence, patching up and even rebounds. This leads to a lot of stress, which is exacerbated by insecure partners and instability. To find solace, a teenager might be compelled to try a drink or a take puff of marijuana. Their initial stress busting effect can lure the teens into continued use which might lead to an addiction.

Shift in perspective: When a teenager falls in love, he or she may get so overwhelmed that a they might experience a total shift in their life goals, i.e., from securing good grades and getting admitted to an Ivy league to get drowned in love, impressed the love interest and boast in the friend circle about how desired he or she is.

Unsafe sexual practices: Teenagers are young and usually experience a high when they start dating. One they have a partner; the next milestone for them is to explore each other’s sexuality. However, they fail to realize that every act, every indulgence should be tried when one reaches an appropriate age. Because of their inhibitions, lack of knowledge and desperation, they might overlook the importance of using safe sexual practices and therefore, predispose themselves to an unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

Road to recovery

Since the younger population is not mature enough to understand that relationships require efforts and nurturing, these associations fall apart abruptly and pretty soon. And if the teenagers are sensitive, they might get stressed and seek respite in drugs, alcohol or may have suicidal thoughts. Therefore, it is imperative that teachers, parents, older siblings, and caretakers must educate teens about the concepts of dating, the suitable age for getting into relationships and maintaining its sanctity, safe sexual practices, procreation, substance abuse and mental health consequences of dating out of inquisitiveness and for fun sake.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any mental health concern, the California Mental Health Helpline can help you find one of the best mental health treatment centers in California. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-559-3923 or chat online to seek information about mental health facilities in California.

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