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Aside from in-person flirting, social media is the most common way teens express interest in someone they have a crush on.

Although most teen romantic relationships do not start online, digital platforms serve as an important tool for flirting and showing romantic interest.

Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime.

In this page we use “dating” as an inclusive term covering the range of adolescent romantic relationships ranging from casual, episodic encounters to longer-term, committed relationships. TDV can include physical abuse—things like hitting, pushing, slapping, or strangling a dating partner.

It may also include emotional or verbal abuse, behaviors like name-calling or insults.

According to the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline, teen dating violence (TDV) is a pattern of behavior that someone uses to gain control over his or her dating partner.

It is also important to note that “dating” is a term that adults tend to use to identify romantic relationships between young people; accordingly, that’s the term that we use in describing these dynamics on this page.

TDV may include sexual violence including any kind of unwanted or forced sexual contact.

Sexual control may also include reproductive coercion where an abuser sabotages his partner’s birth control, forces pregnancy and/or determines the outcome of the victim’s pregnancies.

Dating violence often starts with teasing and name calling.

These behaviors are often thought to be a “normal” part of a relationship.

Half of teens (50%) say they have friended someone on Facebook or another social media site as a way to show romantic interest, while 47% have expressed attraction by liking, commenting on or interacting with that person on social media.

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