So many of us have a difficult time forming meaningful friendships. There may be many reasons for this. But for adolescents, this problem is amplified many times over.

Adolescents tend to be uncertain about themselves and about others. Some adolescents haven’t developed a sufficient amount of self-certainty to form healthy relationships.

There’s a difference between short-term friendships and long-term ones. Short-term friendships are friendships that last a few months to a year. Long-term relationships, on the other hand, can last for quite a few years, depending on the adolescent’s situation and whether (s)he has to move after elementary school.

Adolescents have no difficulty forming short-term friends. But are long-term friendships harder for adolescents to maintain? Well, yes and no.

Yes, some adolescents have a difficult time to make long-term friends because their values and beliefs aren’t formulated and solidified. Most adolescents start firming up their values around age 18 or so. Before that, many adolescents have a difficult time forming that long-term bond. It, therefore, follows that once adolescents firm up their long standing values and really determine their likes and dislikes, they will definitely be able to form long-term healthy and loyal friendships.

On the other hand, some adolescents don’t have a difficult time to make long-term friendships at all because they can show a real and almost raw loyalty that is sometimes lacking between adult friendships. Many adolescents form friendships in elementary school, and as long as they don’t move, they will have the same friends throughout high school. And some of these same adolescents will keep in touch with the same friends even after they graduate and move on the University.

So, it is a myth to say that teenagers cannot form long-term relationships because they can’t stay loyal to the same kids. They can form such relationships and often do. And some of these enduring friendships can continue for many years into their adulthood. After all, don’t high school sweethearts marry and have kids and spend a whole lifetime together? All they have to do is to want to be friends and the rest usually takes care of itself.

So, we should stop assuming that adolescents can’t make viable, lasting, healthy, and loyal relationships. They can, and often do. Let’s all try to encourage our teens to form healthy long-term relationships because they sure are capable of it. Maybe they’re even more capable than we are of forming such bonds.

By yanam49

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