How to talk to parents about dating

Rebekah Richards is a professional writer with work published in the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "Brandeis University Law Journal" and online at

She graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with bachelor's degrees in creative writing, English/American literature and international studies.

Here are 3 steps to help you prepare for that talk. Most often you'll probably want the adults in your life to do one or more of these things: Things like personal feelings or sex are awkward to discuss with anyone, let alone a parent.

If you have a strained relationship with your parents, consider asking a relative, clergy member or social worker to mediate the discussion.

If you don't feel comfortable talking to your parents, talk to another trusted adult, such as an aunt or uncle, coach, teacher or school counselor.

Signs of a unhealthy relationship include extreme possessiveness, being put down by your partner in front of others, pressure to have sex and physical threats or abuse, such as grabbing, hitting or shoving.

Abusive partners may also refuse to take your opinions seriously, make all the decisions, check on you frequently and refuse to accept a breakup.

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