Teens: Guidelines For a Healthy Relationship

Adults have a hard enough time keeping their relationships healthy. For teenagers, who do not have the skills, insights and experience, it is so much more difficult.

Talk to your teens using the following criteria, as they are guidelines for a healthy relationship. Let them know that these are essential to keep any relationship happy and healthy.

  1. You should feel safe and comfortable expressing your feelings and needs, without fear of being reprimanded or belittled.
  2. You should support each other’s goals, encouraging in a non-competitive, accepting way.
  3. Decisions are made together, with respect given to each other’s opinions. No one person is superior to the other and there is a balance between giving and receiving.
  4. Conflicts are mutually resolved. There is a willingness to compromise so that no one person is left feeling wrong or devalued.
  5. You share common interests and ideals, but are able to pursue outside interests, including friends, hobbies, schooling, etc. There is a balance of closeness and separateness, yet when you are together, you are able to play and have fun.
  6. You maintain your autonomy, so that if you are left alone, you are able to function, taking care of all your responsibilities and commitments easily.

These may seem impossible to fulfill, but they really aren’t that difficult. After all, they are the inalienable rights we all deserve. Everyone needs to feel respected and valued for who they are, without compromise. Just remember that these guidelines are basic and if your teens feel they need to walk on egg shells or are intimidated if they speak their mind, they need to get out of the relationship – NOW!

Written by: Amy Sherman, Author/Dating & Relationship Coach/Therapist


About the Author

Amy Sherman is a Dating & Relationship Coach and the founder of the Baby Boomers’ Network, a website geared to helping boomers transition through the challenges of midlife. She is the author of “99 Things Women Wished They Knew Before Dating After 40, 50 and Yes, 60!” Go to for more information.

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