In thinking about the different types of relationships, it is important to realize that you can have an intimate relationship with anyone. An intimate relationship is one in which you can truly be yourself with someone who you respect and are respected by in return. It is an emotional connection that can also be physical. It does not have to be in the context of a romantic or sexual relationship.
Many people think that "intimate" means being physically intimate, such as being in a sexual relationships. However, an intimate relationship can be with anyone who you are really close to and with whom you can be completely open and honest. Intimate relationships afford you the opportunity to grow as an individual.
Now let's talk about romantic relationships, which, unfortunately, are not always intimate relationships. In a healthy romantic relationship, both partners respect each other and have their own identity.
Each partner is an entire individual, not simply part of a couple. Just as peer pressure can negatively impact a friendship, partners can overpower each other and create instability in a romantic relationship.
As preteens become teenagers and enter adolescence, new kinds of relationships emerge. Friends may find themselves attracted to each other in ways they were not before, and they may become closer, or grow apart. Either way, relationships are bound to change during the teenage years, especially in the area of romance.
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Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
Healthy Relationships: A Guide for Teens, Center for Young Women's Health.