Teenagers haven’t yet learned how resilient the heart is.The first time they experience romantic rejection, the sadness can seem bottomless.While there may be the occasional romantic twosome among the members, the majority are unattached.If anything, youngsters in the group spend as much time interacting with their same-sex friends as they do with members of the opposite sex. Ron Eagar, a pediatrician at Denver Health Medical Center, views group dating as a healthy way for adolescents to ease into the dating pool rather than dive in.When he’s ready to socialize, he’ll do so without any prompting. “My first year in college, I fell madly in love with this girl named Elyse. I couldn’t imagine ever being with anyone else, and I thought she felt the same way about me. I used to spy on her around campus; some nights I’d stand outside her dorm just to see if she walked in the front door with anybody.“One day, out of the blue, she told me that our relationship was getting too serious, and that she wanted to date other people. My friends couldn’t stand to be around me, and I don’t blame them!They march off en masse to the mall or to the movies, or join a gang tossing a Frisbee on the beach.
If one or both young people leave home, the physical distance has a way of opening an emotional distance between them, and eventually the relationship coasts to a halt.”) and, if applicable, divorce (“Dad, how can two people love each other for years and years, then stop being in love? Having an imperfect romantic résumé yourself does not disqualify you from initiating this conversation.You might say, “I haven’t always made the wisest decisions when it comes to love, but I’ve promised myself that the next time I become involved with someone special, I won’t settle for anything less than a healthy, honest relationship.Parents need to treat a brokenhearted youngster’s feelings seriously.“Breakups are one of the major precipitators of suicidal gestures in young people,” says Dr. The vast majority of kids, though, will get over their hurt and be fine.