Young love teaches lessons on healthy relationships

A relationship that’s dangerously unhealthy warrants more forceful involvement.



March 2, 2020 - 11:37 AM

Dear Carolyn: My daughter, 17, has a boyfriend in her class. They’ve been together for about a year. He is a very nice kid, and I think in some ways they are good for each other. Yet my daughter, who is a very feeling and open person, tells me daily about all their relationship issues: miscommunications, her feelings of rejection when he pulls away from her, her feelings of guilt when she pulls away from him, personality clashes between him and her girlfriends . . . the list goes on.

Carolyn HaxCourtesy photo

She also talks about all the work she does to stay with him even when it’s hard. She seems to feel there is something inherently noble or virtuous in staying in a difficult relationship.

If they were much older and married or had kids, I would agree with that, but I don’t see much value in a teenage relationship that isn’t lots of fun. She often asks me to listen or advise about her relationship. I don’t want to belittle her or the relationship. How do I advise?

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