Young people value the support, trust, and closeness they experience in romantic relationships.
Most adolescents believe that sex should occur within the context of a romantic relationship, and while not all relationships are sexual, most sexually active youth are monogamous.
The relationship between early dating and depression is not entirely understood.
Inequality within a relationship and poor treatment by a partner could well lead to depression, but the source of emotional difficulty could also come from outside the relationship.
They then begin to pair off in brief dating relationships, often following in the footsteps of the most popular of their peers.
Young teens build confidence by dipping their toes in romantic waters while supported by strong friendships.