How serious is too serious when it comes to teen relationships?I’ve had to ask myself this question a few times over the past few years.Many parents struggle with knowing what limits to set with how much time they should allow their child to spend with their boyfriend/girlfriend and what they can do if they think their child is in a relationship that’s too serious. Dating at this age meant eating lunch together at school, going to the community dances, and posting on Facebook that you’re “in a relationship.” He and his “girlfriend” would buy each other red carnations during the Valentine’s Day fundraiser at school. Still, by the time he was 15, his relationships were lasting longer and he seemed to be getting more serious. He started to buy “serious” gifts, like roses and heart–shaped lockets.He started asking me to take him to the mall so he could buy a one month anniversary gift.*You are in any semblance of an exclusive relationship be it weeks, months or years where you see each other often, refer to each other as BF/GF and such.*You have ever talked about big commitments like marriage, creating a family, buying real estate together, are facebook-official, planning your next big vacation or holiday together, clearly indicating you see your future with this person.
With good reason, we mythologize love in adolescence, with its power to plant in our hormonally-fertilized psyches the seeds of memories that will grow more and more sentimental to us into old age.
“She was hurting herself, it turns out,” Chris reveals, “and she kept trying to get him to do it by telling him it would help him understand how she felt. We were really angry with this girl, but it was just as surprising to us that he was actually going to do it.
He’s a sensitive kid, but that just wasn’t anything he had ever tried before.
While part of me found it to be a sweet gesture, another part of me worried he was getting too serious at his age.
Being that he is my firstborn, I was at a loss as to what, if anything, I should do.
But along with learning about what it feels like to hold hands at the mall, and to sneak a kiss on the patio steps, it is also a time for teens to learn important concepts such as boundaries, autonomy, and the right to say “No” without consequences.