Dating relationships can be as different and diverse as the kids involved. Some may fade after a few days while an occasional few may last over a year. Regardless, teens spend a significant amount of time thinking about, planning for, and working through romantic relationships. Often, peer-group friendships and romantic partners temporarily replace a teen's primary relationships with parents and siblings.
This growing independence can be exciting, painful, anxiety-provoking, and difficult for all parties--parents and children alike. Some teens seem naturally better equipped to handle the nuances and balance needed to start separating from one set of close relationships. Other teens can become rude and disrespectful to their parents, latching on to friends or a romantic partner in an attempt to completely sever parental ties. Most teens fall somewhere in the middle. In other words, finding a balanced way to maintain relationships while forming new ones is a developmental skill--one many of us spend our lives working to master.
Building on the concept of the "greatest commandment," this study explores the importance of balancing friends, family, and God in dating relationships to decrease the ups and downs of the roller coaster.