Importance of Teen Relationships

During your adolescents, you begin to learn how to form safe and healthy relationships. You are also trying to figure out who you are as a person and your relationships that you have in your life play in big role in figuring this out.  The types of relationships you have in your life can have either a positive or negative impact on your well-being.

Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship

Minimization, denial, blame: not accepting responsibility for your actions, making a joke when you hurt your partner, telling your partner everything is his or her fault, making light of abuse

Anger/Emotional abuse:  putting the other down, making them feel bad about themselves.  Name calling, playing mind games, humiliation, imposing guilt

Using social status: treating the other like a servant, making all the decisions, defining gender roles

Isolation and exclusion: controlling what the other does, who they talk to, what they read, where they go, limiting outside involvement, using jealousy to justify actions

Sexual Coercion: manipulating or making threats to get sex, tampering with birth control, reproductive coercion, getting someone drunk or drugged to get sex

Threats: making or carrying out threats, threatening to leave, commit suicide, threatening to report them to the police, making him or her drop charges, making the other do illegal things

Intimidation: making someone afraid by using looks, actions, gestures, smashing things, destroying property, abusing pets, or displaying weapons

Signs of a Healthy Relationship

  • Honestly and Accountability
  • Open Communication
  • Intimacy with respect to boundaries
  • Positive Physical Affection (respecting each others rights)
  • Trust and Support
  • Respect
  • Shared Responsibility
  • Fairness and negotiation


If you feel that you are in an unhealthy relationship, we can help!   You can contact your local Planned Parenthood, Riverview Center (sexual and domestic violence help) at 319-540-0080 or

What do I say?

“I don’t know what to do…”
“Can we talk?”
“I am struggling with…”

Speak up for yourself, find someone to talk to, know what your needs are, and know how to communicate

For more information go to or call your local Planned Parenthood

on May 2 • by