How Does a Teen Pregnancy Affect a Dating Relationship?
Pregnancy is one of the possible outcomes that you may face if you become sexually active. According to information from the American Academy of Pediatrics, two out of five women will become pregnant before age twenty, and four out of five of these teen pregnancies will be unplanned. Additionally, the discovery of a pregnancy is usually unwelcome and shocking. Based on the extent of your dependency on your parents or guardians and your emotional and psychological preparedness for parenthood, the impact of a pregnancy can have lasting negative effects on a dating relationship.
1 Turmoil and Uncertainty
Discovering that you are pregnant can cause intense shock and emotional anxiety. You may be overwhelmed, worrying how your parents will react to the news. You may romanticize the pregnancy, thinking that you can have your own family, but more often than not there is distress related to whether or not you can handle taking care of yourself as well as a baby. It is at this point that you may begin to consider the options of adoption and abortion.
2 No Longer Just Hanging Out
With the idea of becoming parents or giving up a baby to consider, the carefree and intense romance of your dating relationship may come to a halt. In addition to the physical and hormonal changes that the expectant mother experiences, both of you may feel depression. You may also be faced with an increased level of overprotectiveness from your parents, who may try to keep tighter reins on you, restricting your social activities.
3 Preparing for Parenting vs. Dating
You will be faced with serious decisions which may distract from the intense romance you had. According to the article “Teenage Pregnancy: Consider the Options,” published by the Mayo Clinic, with this type of unplanned pregnancy, you must both make more immediate and direct plans for the future. This is especially the case if you plan to keep the baby. Some life-altering decisions you will have to make include how to support yourselves, plans for raising the baby such as prenatal classes, and how and when to finish high school or college.
4 No Relationship
A pregnancy can end your dating relationship, significantly reducing the possibility of the father having an active role in the life of the child. In a report for the Congressional Research Service, Carmen Solomon-Fears, a specialist in social policy, highlights the fact that as a teenage parent, you are much more likely to experience single parenthood or divorce. Without strong support from your parents, you are also more likely to experience poverty and be forced to rely on welfare.