Insight, Mutuality and Emotion Regulation: How Teens Can Choose Right Partner

Ideally, high school would be a safe, non-judging culture devoid of social consequences for relationship and sexual choices; both genders would believe peers are sexual beings with no consequences including no double standards. Answers to “How far do I want to go sexually?” would come from insight into their needs (preferences and limits). The reality of #probablynotforever would not come with consequences of treating another person (or being treated) with a lack of respect and care and good communication. Unfortunately, the exact opposite of almost everything above is true.

MCCP identified a widespread failure to prepare young people for caring, ethical romantic relationship and provide resources for parents and educators to help teens develop these relationships. Many types of school troubles often have roots in romantic anxiety and failure including teens experience trauma at their first and failed attempts at relationships.

Healthy relationships are not the norm for young people. Troubling, because while good relationships promote health, bad ones lead to physical and mental health problems. This is a problem. And it’s a problem I’ve been working on to help fix. There have been 3 things missing all along in relationship research and education:

  • Know what you need in a partner and a relationship/sexual experience
  • Select the right person based on your standards and limits
  • Have and use skills to find, create, and maintain healthy relationships and sexual experiences, and exit when it’s not

To be in a healthy relationship, young people must be aware of their own and their partner’s needs and those needs must be getting met satisfactorily. To do this work they need skills; insight – knowing what one’s own and one’s partner’s needs are – mutuality, and emotion regulation to communicate what their needs are and negotiate conflicting needs. And it’s by using the skills to do the work of healthy relationships they can create the concepts including intimacy, respect, and good communication. 

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  • Kaycee Lashman

    Kaycee Lashman: EMBA, Writer, Guilford Author, Science-Based, Skill-Based Healthy Relationship Expert, Educator, Co-Developer of Relationship Education Program.

    I am an experienced speaker, having given numerous talks and educational workshops at conferences, public libraries, and schools for school counselors, parents and teens to understand how to detangle what makes for a healthy relationship based on science. I have media experience, including print, Internet, television, and radio.

    Healthy relationships and sexual experiences are not the norm. I consult with teens (and parents jointly) to work through a variety of things including identifying what their ideas of a good relationship are, who they are, and what they want, how far they want to go (sexually), why there is no such thing as hooking up to get to boyfriend, why pressuring for oral is the same as pressuring for sex, why if at first you don't succeed, try-try again is not healthy in romantic relationships, how does girl code work when exclusivity is a question not a promise, and how to move on after being slut shamed with power.  

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