“I’d rather talk to my cricket bat than a girl!” said one 13 year old guy. Fair enough. But in a few short years he’ll probably feel very differently.
Relationships – family, friends and (in time) partners. They are so important to us. Human beings need to be in relationship with others or we get sick!
Did you know that (horrible) experiments with orphaned babies years ago showed that just feeding wasn’t enough to sustain life? The nurses in these orphanages were forbidden to cuddle or ‘love’ the babies and guess what happened? The children failed to thrive, were retarded physically and mentally in their development, and some even died.
From our parents we first experience being loved and we learn how to love. As we grow older we learn how to show that love to others, hopefully through caring and respecting the needs of others.
Good friends can really make the difference, no matter what our age. Friendships come and go. Sometimes primary school friends drop away as we enter secondary school. Sometimes we have a falling out with a best friend and that can be really hard.
Being an adolescent means discovering romantic love and the joy and pain that goes with it. Teen relationships can be both wonderful and awful. From them we learn what we are looking for in a lifetime partner. Along the way we need to make decisions about how we want our relationships to be so we don’t stuff things up for the future.