Its not wrong to love and be committed to someone at the ages of 15 or 16. For example, we love and are committed to our families. As for dating relationships, thats a different type of relationship. Dating relationships can be complex. They look easy from the outside looking in, or in the beginning. When you are young you have to take time to look at the laws, your situation, your maturity, and support system when you date.
Good Questions to ask are: Do I have permission to date? If so, what are the guidelines and am I willing to abide by them? If you are not willing to abide by the rules set forth by your parent or guardian, you are taking a huge risk, in creating a situation where they might not trust you. Mature relationships are ones that are thought through.
Commitment may be an issue for young boys, or teens whose parents don’t support getting into serious relationships at young ages. If teens are dating (and even committed) but are sexually active, then other type of laws come into play such as the age of consent laws. Teens need to make sure that they are not breaking any age of consent laws. Age of consent laws vary from each state but the law gives a specific age number minimum that’s considered the age at which two people can voluntarily have intercourse together. Once young people become sexually active, or have friends that are sexually active, its is important to be informed, get tested regularly, and be knowledgeable about what is healthy and what is not. It is important to take precautions and practice safe sex, but remember that Abstinence is the 100% sure way to prevent STD/STI’s, H.I.V/A.I.D.S., &pregnancy. Did you know that there are many STD/STI’s that can be contracted even if two people have not had sexual intercourse?
I would consider the above, just the start of the list of things to consider before getting into a relationship. Overall, healthy relationships begin with a strong and solid friendship. They are built over time and youths need education about what goes into a relationship, how to maintain one, and what’s dangerous.
My recommendation is that you focus on building a friendship with that person before getting deeply involved or committed to that person. Communication is the key. When two people enjoy talking about their interests, and activities, they share a bond. If the communication is not healthy. The relationship is not healthy. Whatever you decide to do, make it a healthy and proud choice!
Youth Outreach Team
Please login to post questions.