Three Reasons Teen Girls in Unhealthy Relationships Stay Instead of Walking Away!

Have you ever wondered why teen girls stay in unhealthy relationships?

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

She waited until everyone else left and came up to speak with me.

It took her a while to say anything as she unsuccessfully fought back tears.

I held her as she cried and repeated, “Whatever it is, you’re going to be okay!”

She finally pulled herself together enough to open up.

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 the relationship almost a year after finding out her boyfriend infected her with HPV. She shared the following:

1. Emotional attachment

First, I am so emotionally attached to him that it is 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.

2. 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 the goal of only having one sexual partner even if I didn’t wait until marriage to lose my virginity.

3. 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 was afraid if I didn’t stay with him, I may end up with no one.

Sex complicates things!

Unfortunately, her story is not that uncommon in teenage relationships (or adult relationships for that matter).

Many girls remain in unhealthy relationships for one or more of the above reasons.

I discourage teen girls from dating so young because they can end up with emotional and/or physical baggage that could follow them the rest of their lives.

So please share this post with your daughter so she’ll be aware of the complications that often arise when sex becomes a part of teen relationships.

And better equipped to make decisions about whether to stay or walk away from a relationship based on mutual love and respect, and NOT complications caused by sex.

I’ve included a free download below to help you empower your daughter with the confidence she needs to walk away if/when necessary:

FREE DOWNLOAD: 10 Ways to Raise a Daughter Who’s F.A.B (Focused. Authentic. Brave). With lots of love from you, daily guidance from this checklist and practice on her part, your daughter can become the Focused, Authentic & Brave girl you and I both know she can be.

P.S. Don’t put off talking to your daughter about these three reasons many teen girls remain in toxic relationships instead of walking away. The sooner you arm her with this information the better equipped she’ll be to recognize these red flags and know it’s in her best interest to walk away. No questions asked. No explanations necessary. And don’t forget to grab the FREE DOWNLOAD

P.P.S. It breaks my heart to see so many of our girls remain in toxic relationships for ANY reason. Please help me spread the word about these three by sharing this post with friends and family who have daughters as well. Thank you!



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  • Donna Golder

    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

      Donna, Thank you for sharing your experiences. As I mentioned in the post, I know this is the story for a lot of women. I’m glad your talks are going well with the high school students. If they know that you genuinely care, that’s the majority of the battle. Yes, they are very hungry for truth! Hopefully, I will make it to California one day so we can make an even greater impact on the teens there. Be blessed!

    • Jackie Brewton

      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.

  • Movene Futch

    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

      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. 

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