Three Reasons Teen Girls Stay Instead of Walking Away!

conflict and emotional stress in young coupleHave you ever wondered why teenage girls stay in unhealthy relationships?

A recent conversation with a young lady after class provides some insight.

She waited until everyone else left and came back to speak with me. It took her a while to speak because she was trying unsuccessfully to fight back tears. I held her as she cried and I repeated, “Whatever it is, you’re going to be okay!”

She finally pulled herself together enough to speak and said,

Thank you for speaking to my class! Hearing you speak made me realize that I need to end a 2 ½ year relationship with my boyfriend. He pressured me into having sex about 9 months after we started dating. Even though he wasn’t a good guy, I felt like I had to have sex with him to keep him around. I gave him so many chances even when he lied to me and cheated on me. He even gave me an incurable STD and I stayed with him.

Last summer I was diagnosed with HPV, the strain that causes cervical cancer. I’ve already had my cervix scraped twice because the pre-cancer cells had returned. My doctor says I will have to be monitored for cervical cancer the rest of my life.

Listening to you talk about how a guy treats a girl that he really loves made me realize that he never really loved me. I just wish I had heard you before I made the decision to have sex with him. It’s not going to be easy, but I know what I have to do now.

I asked her why she remained in this relationship almost a year after finding out her boyfriend infected her with HPV. She shared the following reasons:

Emotional attachment

First, I am so emotionally attached to him that it was difficult for me to walk away. I have given him so many chances and even though he keeps hurting me, I always take him back. I just wish I hadn’t become so emotionally attached.

Desire to minimize number of sexual partners

I only wanted to have one sexual partner during my lifetime. I felt that if I stayed with him, at least I could still meet my goal of only having one sexual partner even if I didn’t wait until marriage to lose my virginity.

Something is better than nothing!

My last reason is because I felt that I may as well stay with him because I can’t imagine any other guy wanting to date me once they find out I have HPV.  I always felt if I didn’t stay with him, I may end up with no one.

Unfortunately, her story is not that uncommon in teenage relationships (or adult relationships for that matter). Many young ladies remain in unhealthy relationships for one or more of the above reasons.

Sex complicates things!

Please share this post with young ladies in your life as a great example of the complications that arise when sex becomes a part of teen relationships. Decisions to remain in a relationship with someone should be based on the mutual love and respect the couple has and not based on complications that have occurred due to sex.  

Have you heard any other reasons why teen girls stay in unhealthy relationships? If so , please share them below.


  1. Movene Futch says:

    Jackie, as always, your article is excellent.  We have just finished our Choosing The Best series with the 7th and 8th grades here in Monroe County.  It has gone well, but the culture is most challenging.  I am sending your blog to all of my instructors since this story is an excellent example of why the abstinence message must be proclaimed. Movene Futch

    • Jackie Brewton says:

      Thank you Movene. Glad to hear that you think the post will be helpful for your instructors. Yes, the current culture does present a challenge. But, I don’t think the task is impossible. We have to empower the students to impact the culture. Thank you for your efforts in the cause. 

  2. Donna Golder says:

    This amazes me …because it's me 46 years ago…minus the HPV.    Then it's me again 40 years ago… Again, minus the HPV, but plug in 2 great kids.  And on it goes until we learn that we don't HAVE to live like this.  I did my first talk with HS girls, then boys, at the youth groups, and can see eagerness in their faces, and hear their very open questions.  It impresses me how open they are with discussion and questions.  If only we will tell them the truth!  Thank you, Jackie, for doing that and for teaching us to do that!   Blessings, Donna Golder

    • Jackie Brewton says:

      Hi Donna, Do you follow my FB fan page on FB? If not, you may want to do so as I post letters from students there that you could use as discussion starters with your youth group. You can find the link on my website if you want to follow the page or you can follow my personal profile as I post the letters there as well.

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