1. In your opinion, what are the key qualities of a healthy romantic relationship?

A healthy romantic relationship incorporates maturity. A lot of teens don’t understand that just because someone is older doesn’t necessarily mean they’re more mature. A good relationship starts with friendship as well as trust. Those are the two components that determine whether two people are truly compatible. Viewing one another as equals is an extremely important aspect in a romantic relationship to make ensure each partner’s voice is heard as well as understood.

2. Is it possible to be attracted to or even have strong feelings for someone who you really don’t know much about?

Yes, it is possible to be attracted to someone who keeps things hidden. It’s a part of human nature to be curious about one another. People often question others actions or try and decrypt a deeper meaning. Many teenagers fall in love with celebrities they’ve never met. The emotions they feel are a form of superficial love stemming from images, videos, sound recordings and overall an idea of what the person may be like. Not knowing someone very well allows room for an entire fantasy to fill in the blanks for reality causing a deeper attraction.

3. Why do you think some teens play games, use or manipulate romantic partners? Are they likely to have successful relationships when they get older?

Some teens may play games because they’ve been hurt by past partners. For fear of losing one person, they keep multiple partners around to satisfy their every need and ensure they’ll never be left alone. Another reason this may occur is because of the satisfaction of getting away with something one isn’t supposed to be doing. This is an unhealthy practice because this becomes a habit and possibly an addiction. When teens get used to multiple people showing them affection, it becomes difficult to settle down and commit to only one.

4. Why do teens and adults who are in an abusive romantic relationship often continue to stay in that relationship?

When dealing with an abusive romantic relationship, it can be difficult to recognize. Abuse comes in many forms, it isn’t always physical, the most recognizable form. It is especially complicated because lovers may be dependent on the person who is causing them harm. The person abusing their partner may be threatening to worsen the situation if they try to leave. Those involved in abusive romantic relationships often feel helpless, scared, alone and worst of all like they deserve it or that things will get better.

5. Is it wise to become sexually intimate with someone as a teenager?

It is absolutely not wise to become sexually intimate with someone as a teenager. Many teens have a lack of impulse control and a tendency to be irresponsible. Sexual intimacy is something that requires maturity and common sense due to it’s many risks. Teens are careless, forgetful and have an underdeveloped frontal cortex that aids decision making. The risks are so extreme that avoidance is the absolute best option.

6. What do you think it feels like to a child to not have two committed parents?

Parents set an example of what to expect out of a relationship in the future. Growing up, I never had this example so I had to discover one for myself. I believe kids who grew up like me struggle in finding a healthy relationship because the example was never set for them. They may model theirs off of something they’ve picked up on TV or read about. This can be for the better or worse. It may cause kids to doubt that love exists if their own parents couldn’t work things out. Eventually kids gain understanding about love from experience instead of following in their parents footsteps.