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Brain Matters: Dating and Relationships


The moment the teen years roll in, most people think that they are ready for dating and relationships. Actually though, the body may be ready but the brain may not be.

The human body matures during the teen years. Guys get deeper speaking voices, girls get bigger breasts, and guys and girls both get pimples. Underlying these are hormonal changes that are preparing the body for reproduction. A more subtle result of these hormonal adjustments is the need to date and form relationships.

It's a fact though that the body is more prepared than the brain is when it comes to dating and relationships. The brain develops in stages, and the capability to deal with intangible and abstract ideas such as consequences, goals and plans develop last. While the body may be physically mature for romantic relationships, the brain may not be mature enough to handle them.

And so it happens. Teenagers date and get romantically involved. Their hormones tempt them to experiment sexually. But because they're not psychologically mature, they do so blindly and without thought to consequences. Impulsive behavior characterizes the teenage years. This inability to fully realize the consequences of actions and choices is the root of a lot of heartaches and problems. Such can be said for teenage pregnancy and high divorce rates.

The brain's state of readiness, therefore, has a large influence on how you handle dating and relationships. It is better to wait when you are more psychologically mature before venturing into serious relationships.

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