The Benefits

Benefits of Romantic Relationships

Romantic relationships in the teen years are not just exciting, they can bring a surprising number of benefits – through experience and practice and through successes and disappointments.

Please Note – these benefits can also come through peer friendships, relationships with parents (yes, really), bosses, co-workers, extended family, etc.  They are simply often more intense in romantic relationships.

Good Feelings Experienced

  • Connection – not alone
  • Intimacy – sharing
  • Someone has my back
  • Affection
  • Companionship
  • Increasing emotional autonomy – from parents
  • Acceptance
  • Confidence
  • Self-esteem
  • Sexual identity
  • Feeling understood
  • Resilience – bouncing back from disappointment

Capabilities That Can Develop

  • Learning to give and receive
  • Learning how to listen and share feelings
  • Learning how to attend to and support someone
  • Learning to ask for what you need
  • Learning to hear and give what others need
  • Learning how to manage strong emotions
  • Developing empathy
  • Building interpersonal skills
  • Learning how to manage sexual relationships (having or not having sex and having healthy sex)

An intimate relationship does not banish loneliness. Only when we are comfortable with who we are can we truly function independently in a healthy way, can we truly function within a relationship. Two halves do not make a whole when it comes to a healthy relationship: it takes two wholes.