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Behind the Scenes: Teen writers describe what it's like to work at YCteen.
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Dating (100 found)
Note: These stories are from YCteen and its sister publication, Represent, which is written by and for youth in foster care.
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Carlos writes about how his parents' relationship has made him afraid to fall in love. When he meets a girl he really likes, he has to decide whether or not to take a chance and risk the possibility of getting hurt. (full text)
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In fourth grade, when this writer made a best friend, she thought it would last a lifetime. Then her BF met a boy and she blew the writer off. (full text)
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Lucas thinks kids of his generation don’t take sex as seriously as they should and that they are mostly having casual sex. When his editor challenges him to find out if his assumptions are true, he does some research—and is shocked by what he finds out. (full text)
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This writer’s date with a sexually aggressive older boy raises questions for her about how girls should respond to sexual advances, and why she wasn’t more assertive about saying “no.” (full text)
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After a series of unhealthy relationships, Marlo meets a girl who challenges his negative views of women and teaches him what partnership means. (full text)
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Rosie’s first boyfriend smokes weed and ditches her to be with his friends. She finally breaks up with him, but the experience taught her a lot. (full text)
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The author, who has never had a boyfriend, develops a flirtation with a classmate, but struggles to open up to him about her expectations and boundaries. (full text)
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Craving love and freedom, the 16-year-old author moves in with her abusive boyfriend. She ends up in the hospital, with her parents begging her to come home. (full text)
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Julijana doesn’t see too many examples of happy marriages in her family and has doubts about a couple’s chances of achieving lasting happiness. (full text)
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Teens talk about the dos and don'ts of ending a relationship. (full text)
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The author is haunted by the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. The only person who seems to understand is her boyfriend. (full text)
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Mitzi’s friend Veronica is dating a guy who constantly accuses her of cheating and even threatens violence. Although Mitzi convinces Veronica to get help from supportive adults, Veronica eventually returns to her boyfriend. (full text)
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Kelly breaks down a study showing that, when girls outnumber guys in HS, girls compete for guys and are more willing to have sex rather than hold out for a relationship. Her advice to girls: don't play into the trend. (full text)
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Noticing that she has no desire to date boys (or girls), Nesshell starts a club for "asexual women" with some like-minded friends. She argues that all girls, asexual or not, should consider refraining from dating during high school. (full text)
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Kenya, a tomboy who loves basketball, has always had a lot of guy friends—but things get complicated when she starts dating.
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In this Sex Ed column, Ravyn considers a study showing that many New York City teens have had same-sex partners. (full text)
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DeAnna comes out to her mother as bisexual and gets a surprising response. Eventually, she identifies as a "full-time lesbian." (full text)
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A psychotherapist describes what a balanced and healthy relationship looks like. (full text)
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The writer loves his girlfriend—when she’s not hitting him. (full text)
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Hattie wants a romantic relationship but fears getting hurt. (full text)
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Janill is appalled by the openly sexual dancing that goes on at her school dance. (full text)
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Eager to get “experience,” the writer rushes into sex with a boy she hardly knows. (full text)
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A former player, Antwaun discovers it feels good to get close to one person. (full text)
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The writer won’t stay with her boyfriend if he stays in the Latin Kings. (full text)
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Anne, who lives in a group home, meets Cliff and they soon fall in love. But Anne can't tell Cliff her living situation, nor that her mother is a racist. (full text)
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The knowledge of sex that Nadishia gathered in her early teens has helped her make the right choices for herself. (full text)
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Most girls are in a hurry to grow up, but Nicole wants to take it slow. (full text)
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Devastated when her father leaves the family, the writer fills her emptiness by having promiscuous sex. Eventually, she gains control of her sexuality. (full text)
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Artiqua's teenage dream of boyfriends, partying, and staying out late will never become a reality, so long as her mother has anything to say about it. (full text)
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In junior high, the writer bet a friend that she would still be a virgin in her senior year of high school. She tells the story of how she won the bet. (full text)
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The writer has unprotected sex with his girlfriend. She becomes pregnant, has the baby, and cuts off all contact with the writer, who is devastated by guilt and anger. (full text)
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Sue’s boyfriend tells her that if she were a “real” Korean girl, she would listen to him when he told her what to do. (full text)
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In these interviews with their parents, YCteen writers get a variety of advice, including pleas to look for partners who are kind, to wait until they're 40 to marry, and to think of heartache as a learning experience.
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In this interview, activist Christopher Watson explains how males should be held accountable for preventing dating and sexual violence.
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The author examines the definition of date rape and explains why so many people–both girls and guys—hesitate to use the term.
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In this sidebar, couples are encouraged to discuss and agree to a list of "relationship rights."
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The writer falls for a "bad boy" in hopes that she can change him. As the relationship intensifies, he becomes increasingly possessive and their constant fighting turns physical. It's not until after she breaks up with him that she realizes she was in a truly abusive relationship.
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Ebony is ecstatic when she falls in love with a Nigerian boy, but as the relationship gets serious she realizes that he's breaking his family's and his culture's rules by dating an American.
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Results of a survey in which teens responded to questions about their thoughts and beliefs on love, sex, and relationships.
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When Renea discovers that her boyfriend's father cheats on his wife, she gets scared that her boyfriend will be unfaithful, too. She wonders whether children are destined to repeat the same relationship mistakes of their parents.
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Right before she moves to New York from her native Panama, 13-year-old Madeline falls in love with Barry. They try to keep the relationship going, but the distance and Madeline's trouble expressing herself prove to be too much. It's not until she returns to Panama for a visit that she discovers the secret to lasting long-distance romance.
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Boys don't know as much as they think about girls, says Brittany. She thinks relationships would work better if boys were honest about their feelings, listened better, and worried less about being macho.
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Percy clarifies some of the points he thinks women misunderstand about male behavior.
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Arguing that teen boys are all but incapable of fidelity, Philippe suggests that teen girls should let go of romantic ideals and play the field as well.
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The writer's "no sex before marriage" policy is tested when her boyfriend pressures her. When the relationship ends, she feels betrayed and used.
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A cartoon exploring what the L-word really means.
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As a person of mixed race, Brittany has never considered interracial relationships a big deal. She interviews peers who have been involved in interracial relationships to learn more about the practical pros and cons.
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The writer discovers her boyfriend has joined a gang.
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The writer is attracted to Ray and goes out on a date with him. Soon after, the writer finds out that Ray is HIV-positive.
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The author is not allowed to date, but she rebels against her mother's rules. When her mom reads her diary and finds out that she's had boyfriends, they have a devastating fight.
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As a child, David had a severe crush on Mishland, a girl at his elementary school. He never saw her after she moved to another part of Haiti and he emigrated to the U.S. As a teenager, he realizes that Mishland represents a simpler life he has left behind forever.
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When Jerrica starts dressing like her older sisters, she starts attracting boys like they do, too. But she also learns to be wary about all the male attention.
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When Leneli, who is Filipina, dates Jeremy, who is black, they turn heads.
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The writer shares her concerns about sex with her boyfriend, and he agrees to wait until she’s ready. When they do decide to have sex, it feels special.
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As a shy boy without a clue, Juelz is unsure if he’ll ever be able to approach girls.
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The writer interviews other teens about how they talk to their parents about sex—and discovers that most aren’t talking about it at all.
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When Tasha is 12, she discovers a book on female sexuality and, her curiosity piqued, begins masturbating. Since she enjoys it and sees it as a healthy part of sexuality, Tasha wonders why so many taboos surround masturbation, and interviews her peers to find out why.
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The writer, 15, is pressured into having sex and feels disillusioned by the experience. Later she realizes sex can be physically and emotionally satisfying with the right person.
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Rosheed, whose dad is a womanizer, is cynical and cautious about relationships—until he meets someone special.
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The writer questions his sexuality when he falls in love with a boy at his school.
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The writer feels pressured to have sex by her boyfriend, and almost gives in before she realizes she's not ready.
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Jennifer falls in love too easily and winds up getting hurt by guys she doesn't really know. She eventually realizes the need to go slow in relationships.
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Nethaniel has felt the temptation to have sex, but fear of the consequences, as well as his religious beliefs, help him decide to wait until marriage.
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Caught up in the heat of the moment, the writer has unprotected sex. The next day she’s terrified that she might be pregnant.
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Destiny is 13 when she realizes she’s attracted to women, but isn’t sure she’s gay until she meets Keesha.
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When Christian falls in loves, he learns that a serious relationship is much more satisfying than playing around.
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After a pregnancy scare, the writer vows to never have unprotected sex again.
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The writer is turned off by the immaturity of guys her own age and starts going out with older boys. But when she dates someone six years older, he turns out to be suspicious and controlling, the relationship ends, and the writer blames the age gap.
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The writer has a penchant for going out with older guys. Right now she's involved with Bobby, who, at 25, is eight years her senior. She freely admits that she likes being controlled and told what to do.
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Abanty respects her parents and accepts their rules about not dating—but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
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The writer starts having sex before he’s ready, and ends up having performance problems in bed.
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The writer has a very close friendship with a girl named Zarah and longs to become physically involved with her. But he also worries about ruining their friendship and Zarah's many relationships with both sexes. He realizes he wants Zarah to be someone she clearly is not.
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Eugene is too shy to approach a man he finds attractive.
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Cheryl shares how her cousin, Renee, got into (and out of) a harrowing relationship.
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Now that she’s raising a daughter by herself, Fetima knows why adults are always telling teens not to get pregnant.
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The writer gets pregnant in her sophomore year of high school and decides to have an abortion.
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The writer, 14, acknowledges that people will read her story and think she's too young to be sexually active. But she feels having sex with her boyfriend is the right thing to do and brought them closer, and she has no regrets.
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Savita’s values and her friends’ experiences have taught her to be cautious about sex.
My Bad  
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Lenny falls for a girl and continues to pursue her until they have sex. He doesn't use a condom, however, and when the girl is hospitalized for pelvic inflammatory disease and Lenny tests positive for gonorrhea and chlamydia, unprotected sex quickly loses its appeal.
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Jasmin interviews guys and girls on what they want their first sexual experience to be like, and, in the case of the non-virgins she talks to, whether the reality lived up to their expectations.
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Tired of relationships that revolve around the guy, Faleisha decides to figure out what she wants from a boyfriend and how to go about getting it.
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After contracting chlamydia for the second time, the writer resolves to start protecting herself.
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Her parents tell her marriage is the key to happiness, but Clariza wants to keep her freedom.
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Most parents are trying to protect their daughters and keep them out of trouble, but some of their rules are hard to follow.
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Nicole questions whether becoming sexually active should be considered one of the "milestones" of womanhood. She thinks too many girls have sex for the wrong reasons, losing sight of their own best interests.
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Shaniece explores the issue of teen girls having sex with older guys, and concludes that these relationships can be risky for girls.
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Fetima interviews a therapist about the causes of promiscuity, its consequences, and how teens can achieve healthy sexual relationships.
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After losing his virginity, Lenny feels betrayed by all the hype around sex.
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At first, the writer’s boyfriend makes her feel happy and secure. Then he gets violently angry if she refuses to do what he says. When he hits her she thinks that’s the price for keeping him, but she eventually realizes she shouldn’t put up with that kind of treatment.
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After years of experiencing sex as a tedious duty, the writer realizes she has the right to say no.
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Artiqua, who’s black, is pressured to break off her relationship with Johnny, a Puerto Rican.
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Rance makes some negative assumptions about the beautiful girl he sees hanging out with the neighborhood players. But when he finally talks to her, he sees that he’s misjudged her.
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When the guy she loves starts dating her best friend, Magda thinks her life is over.
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After they have been dating for about a year, the author's boyfriend Roger starts pressuring her to have sex. Even though she's terrified about losing her virginity and maybe getting pregnant, she decides to "go along with the program." But is she really ready?
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Troy feels intimidated by a girl who approaches him and “takes control” on the street.
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Latrice used to think that if you didn’t have a boyfriend there was something wrong with you. Now she’s older and wiser.
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There are many ways teens can express themselves sexually without intercourse.
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The author is caught in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, lives in fear and isolation, and can't find a way out.
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Julio is shocked when he becomes a father at 16, but he quickly devotes himself to his young son.
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The writer’s strict parents crack down when they discover she’s been disobeying them to date boys.

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