Unhealthy love stories

July 30, 2009

Sorry to be Debbie Downer here, but my friend Vicki who works at Domestic Violence Intervention Services (DVIS) in Tulsa sent me some information awhile back that I just can’t get out of my mind.

In a recent survey of teens aged 13-18:

25% of teens have been called names, harassed, or put down by their partner through text message.

22% of teens have received undesired sexual advances via cellphone or the Internet.

71% of teens identify their partners spreading rumors about them on cellphones and social networking sites as a serious problem.

68% of teens say their partners sharing private or embarrassing pictures or videos through technology is a serious problem.

I have a love/ hate relationship with technology anyway, and all this information sucks. But, I remember when spreading rumors and sharing embarrassing pictures or stories of a partner happened before technology came along. So, somehow, I think the findings below are even more disturbing:

24% of teens in a relationship say they communicated with their partner via cellphone or texting HOURLY between midnight and 5 a.m.

30% of teens are text messaged 10-30 times each hour by a partner inquiring where they are, what they’re doing, or who they’re with.

Geez! Are we looking forward to a new generation of control freak, co-dependents? And, I can’t help but wonder what effect new love narratives like Twilight have on these kids? Why do we love a stalky vampire so much? Is it something innate in our human psychology? Or, is it just teenagers?

I think love stories that get wildly popular are always somewhat unhealthy. See Romeo and Juliet. I mean, should we think that it’s sweet to die for young, passionate, forbidden love?

Why can’t a really healthy love story sweep the nation?

I don’t think it’s just teenagers that could use a good relationship role model. I think we could all use one!

Ponderingly yours,


P.S. I thought about this some more, and wrote some more over at the Examiner if you wanna check it out.


5 Responses to “Unhealthy love stories”

  1. beamish Says:

    reading Twilight was like reading a codependence self-help book. except all examples.

    text messaging allows us to push each other’s boundaries further than before. when you’re are young (and a lot of times when you are not so young), it is difficult to know that you can say no to people or ignore them. i can’t imagine what it’s like now for kids who have that much connection… maybe it’d be a good exercise for kids and teens to brainstorm phone etiquette rules/suggestions.

  2. Miz H Says:

    This is why my dad always said he intended raise his girls to have a “strong will and a stronger right hook.”

    I think healthy love stories don’t sweep the nation because they’re kind of boring. I think it would be an interesting challenge for someone to come up with an INTERESTING story about a healthy relationship.

  3. spring Says:

    i’m telling you… AWAY WE GO is a good love story! i want someone to go see it so we can talk about it in this light. K? thanks.

  4. Courtney Says:

    This is probably a boring realization, but I was just thinking that we may not have healthy love stories because we don’t really love ourselves. I think we fear loving ourselves and having a healthy relationship–we fear that that would be so boring.

    On the practical level, I’m not really sure how this insight would translate into a positive love story. Hmm. This is some good stuff to think about!

  5. Lavaughn Says:

    It’s sad the way this technology is being used, but are we surprised? I remember being that idiot jealous fool in high school and actually finding someone (finally) who wouldn’t put up with it. High school relationships are supposed to be the next stop in our socialization journeys, right before long commitments. We use them to find out the boundaries, as Sara said. A good, or at least interesting, love story would explore how two people back the hell off each other and allow each other to grow as individuals rather than whatever organism they become as a couple. But yeah, that’s probably boring to most, too. 🙂

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