The bustling lives of teenagers revolve around a multitude of things, but their friendly and romantic relationships always manage to be in the spotlight.
Relationships are psychologically speaking a link for the inner self to bond with the outer universe. It is a connection forged based on certitude, consideration, communication, and attention.
Sharing of crayons when in kindergarten, the seating arrangement in eighth grade, playing against each other in a tournament, being neighbors, a chance encounter at a fest, meeting for the first time after chatting for months, standing up against a bully together, … the moment can be mundane or special, but the chance encounters sometimes lead to future soul-mates or best friends.
Striving for grades, dealing with identity crisis, facing our parents… all-cause piercing headaches and need insane amounts of time. But relationships offer a respite from the daily chaos of life – listening to how their day went, ranting about yours, helping with each other’s homework.
Friends and partners open doorways that are otherwise considered a distant dream or forbidden fruit, both seem enticingly delicious but sometimes in a haste to prove certain judgements made by others, instead of having a healthy, meaningful relationship. It turns toxic, abusive, or dysfunctional.
Friends are an integral part of every sphere of development. Adolescence requires the emotional support system of wondrous beings outside the family. They are the people, teenagers show a hidden side to and confide in. At a certain age, due to the generation gap, adolescents drift away from family, they want to belong to a peer group, as it signifies their first step into adulthood.
Although ranting to best friends is a lifeline one cannot afford to disavow but co-rumination and rehashing problems, dissecting them from every angle, and commiserating with one another about the negative feelings is one of the leading causes of depression.
Also, adolescents often forget that their friend’s experience, knowledge, or advice may not always be in their best interests purposefully or by accident.
Relationships in a teenager’s life bring about wholesome developments – they are inspired by their partners, aspire to be studious or good at a certain sport if they are, develop a better sense of self-esteem, they are introduced to a whole new circle of acquaintances – are now adults in the real sense.
Early relationships are quite similar to playing “house”, the real responsibilities don’t rear their head, keeping it a secret makes it so special, expectations are limited as experience is nil, major priorities like studying or obeying house rules are abandoned. Also since taking guidance or asking for advice from more experienced people is not the norm, mistakes are committed often irreversible ones.
Experimenting with half-baked knowledge, or considering love to be the only goal while ignoring practicalities, or moulding oneself to the extent of not having an identity except being the representation of their partner’s wishes – not all relationships end happily.
Relationships whether casual, romantic, or friendly mould us into people we choose to be.