The Problem of Romantic Love in Teen Relationships

November 20, 2019
Since they're very young, through movies, books and society in general, children and young people absorb certain ideals about love. This can be very damaging when it comes to establishing relationships in adolescence. In this article, learn all about romantic love in teen relationships.

Currently, romantic love in teen relationships is very relevant, since society is evolving on this issue and is becoming freer and more open.

A person’s perspective on love is built over time, depending on their lived experiences, the messages transmitted by their surrounding environment, and the characteristics of the society they live in. Nowadays, many young people believe certain traditional ideals about love, which can make them stay in toxic relationships.

“The heart sometimes doesn’t care about limits.”

–Kristen Ashley–

Myths about romantic love

Throughout the years, people have developed various myths about romantic love. Although many of them belong to medieval times, they’ve been perpetuated to the present day due to books, movies, and the media. Some of these myths are:

  • The love compatibility and abuse myth. The belief that fights and violence are normal in relationships. This is also closely related to the belief that those who fight desire each other.
  • The jealousy myth. The belief that jealousy is a fundamental part of love, a sign of true love.
The Problem of Romantic Love in Teen Relationships

  • The delicate princess and the brave prince myth. Traditional fairy tales tell the story of a brave prince who rescues and wins over a delicate and sweet princess. This instills the image of men as heroes and women as helpless people who can’t fend for themselves.
  • The myth that love changes people. The belief that an aggressive and violent person will change in a relationship. This idea leads people, especially women, to endure and tolerate their partner’s intolerable attitudes because they think they’ll change with time.
  • The myth that there’s only one true love in life. The idea that you’ll only have one true love in life, which you can’t afford to lose.
  • The soulmate myth. The belief that everyone has a person who compliments them perfectly. Thus, people spend their entire lives trying to find their perfect match.

The problem of romantic love in teen relationships

Traditional ideals and myths about romantic love lead people to build unequal and unhealthy relationships. This is especially dangerous in adolescence, as the first relationships and love experiences occur during this life stage. These relationships are determined by social and cultural influences that often defend the idea that love is synonymous with effort, suffering, and pain.

All this makes young people likely to be perpetrators and victims of gender-based violence, as they may have a hard time identifying toxic behaviors, thus tolerating inappropriate conduct.

The Problem of Romantic Love in Teen Relationships

In addition, other risk factors can lead to gender-based violence among adolescents:

  • Having experienced abuse within the family.
  • Having friends who have violent relationships with their partners.
  • Low self-esteem (both the victim and the aggressor).
  • If the aggressor has poor social skills and low empathy levels.

In this regard, you have to bear in mind that the first amorous experiences are fundamental to the development of future relationships. Therefore, as a parent, you must watch out for possible inappropriate behaviors that your teenager may have with their partner, correcting their behaviors and helping them build healthy and balanced relationships.

  • Álvarez-Casal, A. B. (2014). Mitos del amor romántico y tolerancia de conductas violentas en las relaciones de pareja jóvenes (Trabajo de fin de grado). Leioa, UPV/EHU.