When in love, the Emotional Experiences : A Part from the Book Chapter : What is the Parents´and Adults´Role in Supporting the Young in their Intimate Relationships?

Social expectations

When in love, the emotional experiences and behavior get their peculiar form. Still, falling in love and the way one shows it is learnt to a great extent and respond to those social and societal expectations leveled at people. All things considered, people preconceive love based on the models, stories, rules, and rituals that are transmitted to them from one generation and society to another. Show business provides us with its own points of comparison. We are being taught what love is. We learn to interpret and show love in a certain way. Additionally, we learn about love and our experiences of love by ourselves. Still, the role of adults and parents is important: they can be model and they can support the young to handle and tolerate all the feelings from happiness to disappointments in the phases of falling in love.

This article is a theoretical publication where the aim is to describe some perspectives of the falling in love experienced by youngsters and discuss the possibilities the adults and parents have in order to support the youngsters to understand and accept themselves and their feelings in this special event of their life. In this manner, the article asks: How can adults and parents support youngsters to learn to love?

Author(s) Details:

Kaarina Määttä
Faculty of Education, University of Lapland, Rovaniemi, Finland.


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Recent Global Research Developments in Adolescents’ Perceptions of Intimate Relationships

Adolescence is a transformative period marked by significant changes, and understanding how adolescents perceive intimate relationships is crucial for their well-being. A qualitative study conducted in Portugal explored this topic, involving 109 adolescents aged 14 to 18 years from public schools [1]. Here are some key findings:

Terminology: Adolescents use their own language to label relationships. Common terms include:

  • Crush: Feelings of attraction toward someone.
  • Friendzone: When a close friendship doesn’t progress to a romantic relationship.
  • Friends with benefits: Casual, non-committed physical intimacy.
  • Making out: Kissing or other intimate acts.
  • Dating: Romantic involvement.

Priorities: In intimate relationships, adolescents prioritize factors such as respect, trust, and love. These elements contribute to healthy connections.

Challenges: Adolescents face challenges like fear of loneliness, obsession, and low self-esteem, which can impact the quality of their relationships.

Violence Awareness: A separate study found that 67% of adolescents do not recognize control, stalking, and pressure for sexual relations as violent behavior.

Romantic Relationships, Dating Violence, and Sexism During Adolescence: A Cross-Cultural Case Study of Poland and the United States

  • Adolescents’ romantic relationships are impacted by various contexts, including family and broader cultural contexts. Cultural context influences people’s views and expressions around gender, power, and violence in romantic relationships. [2]

References

  1. Moreira I, Fernandes M, Silva A, Veríssimo C, Leitão M, Filipe L, Sá M. Intimate Relationships as Perceived by Adolescents: Concepts and Meanings. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(5):2256. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052256
  2. Taylor, S., Kosakowska-Berezecka, N., de Guzman, M.R.T., Xia, Y.R., Padasas, I., Esteraich, J. (2024). Romantic Relationships, Dating Violence, and Sexism During Adolescence: A Cross-Cultural Case Study of Poland and the United States. In: Xia, Y.R., de Guzman, M.R.T., Esteinou, R., Hollist, C.S. (eds) Global Perspectives on Adolescents and Their Families. International and Cultural Psychology. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-49230-3_12

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