“He seemed honestly happy, he was really good at hiding what was going on,” Chris describes.“We didn’t find out until later how manipulative his girlfriend was being with him. I guess he felt like he was protecting her.” Chris and Jana noticed that Michael was becoming increasingly irritable and moody.“That’s just in the movies,” says Brett, 14, of Aurora, Ont.“What happens in real life is you’ll be hanging out with your immediate circle of friends, including your girlfriend, and you go, ‘What’s everybody doing Friday night?
In their group of eight friends, the four boys and four girls are paired off into couples, but prefer to spend their time all together, sitting around and talking at one another’s houses, grabbing something to eat, going to a movie. “We just feel better when we’re together,” Catherine explains.
“At this age we’re always fighting with our parents, so we need to feel we’re loved.” She’s quick to add that while she and her boyfriend love each other, they’re not . ” This is the new world of teen dating, and it can be almost unrecognizable to many parents.
Long gone is the tradition where a boy phones a girl on Tuesday to ask her out for Saturday, picks her up at her house, meets the parents, pays for dinner and a show, and sees her home.
Instant photos through instagram and snapchat, instant messaging through skype, facebook, or text, plus old-fashioned contact via the phone or in person.
Teens’ relationships today can be even more consuming than ours were – with the added accessibility of the other person making the relationship both more private and more public simultaneously, as well as more intimate – and potentially more intense.