Teen Relationships

The thrill of relationships

Relationships — with friends, girls, boys, kids you’re interested in, kids you might be interested in — can be the most meaningful things in your life. At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we’re happy that you’re at this stage of your life and we want to help you, in any way we can, to have relationships that are healthy, mutually-enjoyable and fun.

Dating: make good decisions

Do you like someone? Or are madly in love? That’s great! Before plunging headlong into a serious dating relationship, we just want you to ask yourself a few questions. Is he or she right for you? Can you be yourself when you’re around him/her or do you feel you have to pretend?

What about kissing…and sex? Is this person ever abusive or violent? Do you feel pressure to date when you really just want to be friends?

Hopefully, you’ve chosen a good relationship with someone you enjoy. And if you want to talk with us about any aspect of it, good or bad, we’re here for you. (We’ve actually been through one or two relationships ourselves.)

Finally, never get so wrapped up in another person that you forget who you are. Remember: the most important person in the relationship isn’t the one you’re dating…it’s you.

Are you in an abusive relationship?

1 out of 3 teenagers has experienced violence in a dating relationship, and 50%-80% have reported knowing someone who was involved in a violent relationship. Teen girls, ages 16-24 years, experience the highest rates of relationship violence.

Some teens involved in an unhealthy relationship think it’s their fault. They may feel helpless to stop the abuse, and also may feel threatened or humiliated.

At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we want you to know that nothing gives anyone the right to abuse, intimidate or hurt you. If this is happening to you, we want to help stop it.

Signs of an unhealthy or abusive relationship:

  • Controlling behaviors, such as not letting you hang out with your friends, telling you what to wear, having to be with you all the time, or calling or texting you frequently to “check up” on you.
  • Verbal and emotional abuse that involves calling you names, jealousy, cutting you down, or threatening to hurt you or a family member if you don’t do what your boyfriend/girlfriend wants.
  • Sexual abuse that includes unwanted touching and kissing, forcing you to have sex, or forcing you to do other sexual things.

What to do if you’re in a violent relationship

  • Get help immediately. Don’t keep this to yourself.
  • Break the silence. Talk to someone you trust, such as a parent, teacher, school counselor or nurse, or your doctor. Tell them what the other person has done to you and how they are treating you. Then the person you’ve told can take steps to stop the abuse but the first step is telling someone about it.

What is discussed with us stays with us

At Westchester Health Pediatrics, we want you to come in and talk to us about relationships, your body, sexuality, peer pressure, anything at all — we will keep it confidential.

Most of all, we want to help you be healthy and happy and safe, in any way we can.