Caged Bird I – Everything You Need to Know About Relationships as a Teen

By: Rawan Khalil

As teenagers we love adventures and anything ‘fun’; we jump straight into fire without considering the consequences, we make decisions way too quickly and more often than not; they tend to be flawed.

Being in a relationship for many is a fantasy, for others a reality, and for several people an oblivious thought. I’m not claiming it’s wrong nor am I claiming it’s right, I am pointing out the fact that it is a choice which sometimes has good outcomes and sometimes does not. Now, some of you may be confused by my statement, some may agree and some may disagree.

It can be a positive experience; which can end up being a lesson, a chance for growth where two people experience devotion, passion and commitment. Where two people are fully supportive of each other’s personal lives where there is encouragement, trust and good communication. I am not going to blab about healthy relationships and I am going to focus on the other side of the spectrum.

OR it could end up being a negative experience; as in you end up in a toxic relationship and so instead of being an asset to your growth; it ends up being an abusive experience which scars your memory.

Teenage relationships should be way more than just first dates, first kiss and cute couple pictures. They should not be some type of ego-booster, or show-off runway.

Some teenagers who get into relationships end up having a halt in their growth due to the fact that there relationship is toxic. Even though, one of the partners may be putting their absolute best effort to make it work, the other partner may be neglectful and ignorant to all the effort their significant other is putting in, this leads to the lack of communication between both partners.  

The abuse in such relationships is usually disguised or hidden, in which you know it exists but you try to avoid its existence. You know your partner would get angry if you discuss your problems as a couple with other people so you shut the fuck up about them and you cage your problems within you as your subconsciousness tells you to not share these thoughts. Or, you know that if you confront your partner they’d be upset and again you do not bring it up. The lack of communication results in one side of the relationship feeling caged, muted, incapable of using their voice to free themselves, but they remain in the relationship just because of feelings, which I am not undermining, but I do think abusive relationships have one solution- to leave.

Toxic relationships are very abusive to one’s emotions, because instead of making one feel happy it makes them feel emotionally drained and it also may contain constant judgement- one which is belittling instead of encouraging, not constructive criticism but one which is intended to be negative and hurtful which means there is no mutual respect.

A good, healthy relationship should improve one’s life but a toxic relationship is filled with drama, fights and possibly one person being fully in control; setting rules and boundaries, possibly to make them feel dominant and so the other person is the victim to that domination, and as teenagers we do not need further domination and control in our live- one thing we need is freedom to do what we want to do to, not what others expect us to.

How can we learn and grow if we are constantly betraying ourselves to please others?! That crap doesn’t make you free, it breaks your wings and makes you forget how to fly! If you find yourself constantly changing your mind about plans or things you want to do just to please someone else, then who are you? You are a human being who is fully capable of judging what is best for you, and if your partner is the reason you’re not making a decision, or two, or five- then you’re damaging yourself and diminishing your worth to someone else’s expectations.

In a relationship two people are together, they support one another, they do not weaken and exhaust each other, they do not control each other. There is a complete difference between discussing and sharing and being authoritative and commanding!

No one ever should be forced to pretend in a relationship, you should be metaphorically naked in front of your partner because for one you should trust them otherwise it’s like trying to drive a car which has no gas- there is no use it’s a waste of time and energy, and two we are teenagers after all, we don’t to pretend more than we already do. There are so many people in our lives that do not actually know us; why add one person to the tally of people whom you have to force yourself to smile around around? Why add one more person to your life if you have to act perfect in front of them?

We are all broken and flawed in some way and that isn’t shaming or ugly, it is what makes us beautiful and unique and if we are in a relationship we should view each other as beautiful as flaws are part of our life. YOU should not be in a relationship which makes you feel worthless because you’re beautiful and magnificent no matter how flawed, or hurt you are! YOU should not be in a relationship which slows your growth and learning experiences because you’re a teenager and you ought to absorb knowledge and use your wings to only go up! YOU should not be in a relationship which makes you unhappy because you should exude your positivity!

Please do not cage your true self.

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