What your teenage relationships can teach you today
There’s no doubt that the relationships you have in your teens help form your views of love and romance and how you conduct your relationships in later life. Whether your experience included unrequited love, hot intense passion or innocent romance, they all hold lessons which formed who you are and which could help you today.
One way of finding out what treasures were hidden in those early experiences is to imagine you could go back and give advice to your younger self – what would you say?
Teenagers are usually painfully self conscious and this can often affect how they interact with other people. The desperate desire of every teenager is to fit in and be like everyone else. Constant comparison of body shapes (and body parts) does nothing for your confidence because we’re all unique.
Maybe some of that self-consciousness has carried across into your adult life and you’re still holding back because you think you’re too tall, fat, short, pale… whatever it is, imagine what your adult self would say to your 16 year old self to give them confidence.
How much are you still judging potential dates on their looks or other status symbols? Have you ever really questioned why? Is it time to let go of some of the ways you judge people and become more open to getting to know who they are on the inside rather than just seeing what is on the outside?
When you’re a teenager romance and love all seems very intense. You can’t imagine feeling any other way and you’re more prone to obsessive, all-consuming crushes. Just as we look back and laugh at some of the fashion mistakes we made when we were younger, those early relationships may have lots of cringe-worthy memories but they’re worth examining to find out what you could have done differently.
Maybe you’d have been more open or honest about your feelings? Perhaps you would have fought harder to keep something precious? Or maybe it would have been a completely different story if you’d confided in someone rather than struggling on your own without any guidance?
The ability to sit comfortably with your feelings, both good and bad, is essential if you’re to have a healthy relationship with anyone.
The hedonistic days of early adulthood are often a time of risk taking. Did your younger self take too many risks or not enough? Have there been consequences in your adult life because of the fun you had when you were younger? Do you have fun now? Have you let go of hobbies and activities which you used to love because you don’t have time?
People who are fulfilled in life and know how to have fun are often more successful when dating because they’re not desperate to find someone before they start enjoying life – they already are. What advice would your teenage self give to your adult self when it comes to fun?
Who we are today is a product of everything that happened to us when we were younger. Rather than try and forget the past, go back to it with an open mind – it may hold the key to your future happiness. You’ll see how much you have learnt and how useful all the experiences of love have been – even the ones that seemed awful at the time.
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