How adolescents and young adults achieve quality romantic relationships?
Adolescence and young adulthood are the two most interesting parts of human development. During these periods, numerous emotional and relational changes happen.
People began to feel that interesting feeling of love. Then these young individuals (adolescence) would explore the world like never before.
Part of their journey is towards an intimate relationship. However, this journey is not always a straight line. Romantic relationships are challenging.
Because of the nature of romantic relationships, experts want to understand what makes a romantic relationship stable over time.
Quality of romantic relationships matters
Researchers such as Charlene Collibee and Wyndol Furman tried to dig into the bottom of this issue. What they found is simple and yet almost always forgotten reality.
In their study entitled, “Quality Counts: Developmental Shifts in Associations Between Romantic Relationship Qualities and Psychosocial Adjustment,” Collibee and Furman found that the quality of romantic relationships matters the most.
Adolescents and young adults who have a high level of quality relationships have lower level of problematic internalizing behaviors (such as anxiety, social withdrawal, depression) and externalizing symptoms (such as aggression, delinquency and impulsivity).
The authors suggest that developing a quality romantic relationship is a key towards intimate happiness.
But how can we, or you (adolescents and young adults) build a quality relationship?
We don’t need scientific research to make our way towards a successful, happy, and productive intimate relationships.
Your grandparents and parents (the successful ones, of course) have the answer. They will tell you three most important things.
1. Listen to your partner
The first lesson the old ones will tell you is respect. You’ve got to listen to his/her voice when s/he speaks.
Respect comes from understanding that relationship is an interaction. Meaning, sometimes you send the message, and sometimes you receive it.
However, there are numerous noises that could hinder the message from reaching to the other end. As a partner and communicator, you have to strive to make it sure that the message is clearly understood. You can achieve this by listening attentively. If not, conflict may arise.
2. Make a response
An intimate relationship is more than just a mutual feeling of joy, it is a web of social interaction (in a smaller context). In order for the interaction to work, you have to share your voice. But be careful, see to it that you respect your partner by considering his/her ideas equal of yours.
Make him/her feel s/he is worthy – that you value times you’re together.
3. Be responsible
Because an intimate relationship is not and will never be a perfect journey, you’ll encounter failures and frustrations along the way. But don’t let those challenges break the link. Take full responsibility if necessary. Don’t blame him/her. Accept consequences and apologize if that makes everything alright.