By Kritika Malik.
Almost all relationships in romantic movies start with a little teenage crush, then the cat-and-mouse chase for years and after that, finally the couple gets together but HELLO! Life isn’t a movie and in a normal Indian society, a few steps are added to this process.
You go through all the troubles to get that one person, you see always through heart-shaped frames, the one you can’t take your eyes off during classes so you learn to write without looking and after much trying.
And when you finally get their number and start exchanging mushy texts is exactly the time when your mom says, “Kya hai aisa phone me jo dekh ke hase jaa rahe ho?”
We have all been there- the hiding your relationship from your teachers, your parents and, the hardest of all, your neighbours. BUT, WHY?
What I can’t seem to wrap my head around is why something as sweet as a teenage romance has to be made into a taboo, which basically almost forbids the children to indulge in any sort of relationships during their pre-adult years.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying there should not be any boundaries but you have to talk to your kids and set the boundaries for them to understand the right and wrong rather than neglecting their doubts and thus further provoking them to try it with less or no guidance.
It’s like this. Stop a kid from eating candy and he’ll move hell and earth but HE WILL EAT THE DAMN CANDY.
So if when someday, your nosy neighbor comes and tells you that she saw your daughter walking in the park with a boy, please do not tell your daughter that she can’t go out anywhere alone anymore; talk to her instead. Tell her right from wrong and relationships are not always wrong.
Healthy teenage relationships are helpful in many ways. Here are a few of them:
1. They are your go-to person to share anything and everything:
When you are dating somebody, you connect on a different level altogether; you talk to them about stuff you just don’t trust anybody enough with, be it family issues, stress or any other problem in general. This allows friendship to build among two people who act as psychological support to their respective counterparts.
2. They fill your mind with positive energy:
A good relationship gives you a more positive power to work hard to attain your target about your future.
You can help each other with your studies and work and impact your life in a positive way. It doesn’t necessarily need to circle to all the “sugar-spice-and-everything-nice” bracket when you can even help your significant other professionally, give them career advice and even help them establish a network.
3. They help you get ready for the real thing:
A teenage relationship is like a trial version for what’s coming up in your life, it teaches you the ways to interweave your life with another human’s but still not get tangled in the chaos of it all.
This, in turn, makes you mentally prepared to choose your partner with a lot of contemplation and deliberation in the foreseeable future for a long-term relationship.
4. They make your insides jimmy:
Teenage romance is the cutest thing on this planet! Your lover makes you happier than even a pizza ever could (okay, that was clearly an exaggeration). Admit it or not, any emotionally sane human being likes to be cared for in times of need or just in general.
But all said and done, let’s face it, this puppy love only lasts for a few months or years at max.
So when your little one comes to you and finds the guts to tell you that their heart is breaking, please don’t say “I told you so”, just be there for them without any judgments and embrace their immaturity to guide them further.
No matter how many rules you apply, your teenager is probably dating somebody out there, you need to accept it and talk to them about it instead of scaring them so much that a random “pados wali aunty” has to tell you about it.
Don’t condemn relationships, teach them where to draw the line instead, help them get their priorities straight and if a cute little relationship makes your kid happy without causing serious harm to their life, then WHY NOT?
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Love Matters India is an online platform that provides blush-free information and news about sexuality and sexual health for 18 to 30-year-olds in India. They are the first bilingual (English and Hindi) sexual health website in India with open, honest and non-judgmental attitude towards all topics related to love, sex, relationships and everything in between. Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.