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Healthy Teen Relationships 

Healthy relationships are fun and make you feel good about yourself. Dating is an exciting part of life, but can be a little confusing—especially if dating is new to you. 

Relationships take time, energy, and care to keep healthy. A healthy relationship should bring more happiness than stress into your life, and should make you feel secure and relaxed.

When your relationship is unbalanced and causes harm, stress, and pressure, it becomes unhealthy. If you are feeling anxious, taken advantage of, controlled or scared in your relationship, it's time to reevaluate and possibly get help.

Happy, healthy relationships include:

  • Trust, honesty, and compromise
  • A sense of playfulness and fondness
  • Room for individuality
  • Opportunity to bring out the best in both people
  • Fairness and equality
  • Great communication 

Teen Dating Violence

Abuse in teenage relationships, also called teen dating violence, is becoming more common among teens, according to a recent survey by the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence.


  • Approximately one in three adolescent girls in the United States is a victim of physical, emotional, or verbal abuse from a dating partner.
  • In a national online survey, one in five tweens (age 11 to 14) say their friends are victims of dating violence, and nearly half who are in relationships know friends who have been verbally abused.

Ten Warning Signs of Teen Dating Violence

Is your boyfriend or girlfriend: 

  1. Checking your cell phone or email without your permission
  2. Constantly putting you down
  3. Acting extremely jealous or insecure
  4. Exhibiting anger or an explosive temper
  5. Demanding to know where you are and whom you're with
  6. Isolating you from family or friends
  7. Having big mood swings
  8. Physically hurting you in any way
  9. Being possessive
  10. Telling you what to do 
If so, visit the CDC's Preventing Teen Dating Violence web page to learn more about teen dating violence, its warning signs, and how you can get help.


Resources for Teens

How Much Do You Know About Dating Violence? Quiz

Dating Violence Quiz (PDF)

How Aware Are You? (PDF)

Useful Links and Information

Transition House

Dating Violence Intervention Program


Online community and resources for young adults

Love Is Not Abuse

Educational tools and information about teen dating abuse 

Women Helping Women

Crisis intervention and support services for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking  

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Resources on healthy relationships and preventing teen dating violence  


Last revised on November 30, 2011



If you are in an emergency situation, please call 911.

For non-emergency critical information and resources, call the 24/7 Massachusetts statewide domestic violence hotline at 877-785-2020.


Did you know that texting can be a form of dating violence? Learn more about how to prevent unwanted texts from a boyfriend or girlfriend


Learn about Teen Dating Violence from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Learn more about domestic violence prevention resources for Cambridge residents.


Cambridge Public Health Department
119 Windsor Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
617-665-3800 (main)
617-665-3888 (fax)
617-643-0744 (TTY)

Hours: Monday-Friday:
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Derrick Neal
Chief Public Health Officer



Cambirdge Health Alliance

Cambridge City
City of Cambridge