Advise for teen dating

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Do you have a tendency to be clingy and not give the other partner his or her own space?

Do you struggle with the inability to accept constructive criticism? In dating relationships, it's important to compromise and do what you can to ensure the well-being of the other partner.

So here goes: Your quality and purpose of life is not determined by whether or not you date or get married.

“That way you’re letting her know how you feel and also considering her,” says Geraldine K. If she doesn’t like your suggestion, throw out a different one. “Use basic manners: If it’s cold out, give her your jacket.” If you're feeling nervous, don't sweat it. But be careful not to put too much pressure on her or the relationship. “On these romantic comedies, love is all about infatuation and feelings,” Kalish says. It’s about caring and growing.” You need to give her and yourself room to grow as individuals, Piorkowski says. Spend time with her, but also spend time with your guy friends. “They tend to lash out.” It’s OK to go home and cry. (Kalish says her research shows that 90% of the time, the parents cause the breakup.) Besides, if you really like her, you don’t want to ruin the chances that you might get back together someday.

Pick an activity where you won’t have to talk the entire time, like a movie or a sporting event, Kalish says. “The longer you go,” Kalish says, “the more problems you run into.” It should be a no-brainer to avoid thumbing your smartphone during the date. You miss out on the body language and facial cues that will give you a better idea of how she really feels.

If you’re not a talker, think up a list of possible topics -- TV shows, music, school -- before the date, Piorkowski says. “With texting and email, all you get is words,” Piorkowski says.

If you’re chatty by nature, be sure to give her a chance to speak.

Stay involved with your sports team or your after-school clubs. But how you handle the end of a relationship can be just as important as how you handled the beginning. On the other hand, if you do the breaking up, do it respectfully. “It’s a bit colder in a way, but it’s safer for her,” Kalish says.

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