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Dating and relationships in adolescence

Youth at times become preoccupied thinking and fantasizing about crushes.

There is also some evidence that depression leads young girls to seek relationships.

About one in three 13-year-olds has had a romantic relationship, and the number naturally increases with age: By age 17, most youth have had some experience with romantic relationships.

Relationships in late adolescence become more committed and intimate, and are more likely to involve sexual activity than the relationships of early and middle adolescents.

Late adolescents also become concerned with the quality of the relationship and the amount of emotional support they receive from their partner.

Instead, youth may begin to interact with potential dating partners through group dates.

In group dates, mixed gender groups will attend concerts, movies, or other events together.

This relationship is not surprising considering adolescents describe dating and spending time with romantic partners as a central focus in their lives.

Due to the association between early dating experiences in adolescence, and later experiences in adult relationships, the following series of articles will focus on what to expect as an adolescent enters the dating arena.

This platform allows youth to explore emerging romantic feelings in a low-pressure environment.

During middle adolescence, youth begin to date more formally, and ‘couple up.’ Youth in this stage prefer to interact one-on-one rather than in a large, mixed gender group.

When this dimension of intimacy is missing, relationships often come to an end.