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February 19th, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Teen Love Drama

love1Do you remember your first kiss? Ah, young love. Admit it. You once went through it yourself — that feeling of being completely obsessed with a boy or a girl. You wrote your crush’s name all over your notebooks. You drove past his or her home at odd hours. You stuck anonymous love notes in locker vents, desperate to be noticed.

Today’s teens seem to be more obsessed with love than ever before. I have no doubt the fairytale romances they see on TV and in the movies — not to mention the reality stars they worship, who tie the knot after a month of dating — contribute to their behavior. A recent show, “Teens Obsessed with Love,” is an example of teen love gone way wrong. Seventeen-year-old Chloe was consumed with a boy her parents did not approve of. What’s worse is they believed Chloe was doing everything in her power to continue seeing the guy. (The teen says her folks have it all wrong.) On another recent episode, “Sami’s Struggle”, Sami says she fell under the spell of her older, controlling boyfriend, and hid her suffering from her friends and family. She even went as far as mutilating her body to please her boyfriend. 

Here’s what I want to know. What would you do if your teenager becomes obsessed with someone you strongly disapprove of? And how would you prevent your child from dating this person, knowing that kids today have so many more tools at their disposal than you once did — from cell phones to the Internet?

Would you:

A) Let her see him — it will fade on it’s own
B) Forbid her from seeing him — out of sight, out of mind

Share your thoughts with me.

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76 Responses to “Teen Love Drama”

  1. Victoria says:

    Things just don’t go away that easily. My best friend decided to let it go thinking it would pass and her daughter would move on. That didn’t happen. She became even more obsessed and now she’s pregnant at 15 with a guys baby who is not as into her as she is him. I think parents need to step up and be strong. Show some courage and backbone. It doesn’t matter if your child likes everything you decide. Maybe I’m old fashioned but old fashioned works! I’m not saying be an unfair dictator, but the fact is that the parent bought the child in the world and is responsible for his/her outcome. Too many parents don’t take responsibility for their children and let them run wild. They may not like you today for what you do to help them, but one day they will live to appreciate you. I can’t say the same for parents who don’t do their jobs. These are the parents that we usually see on tv talk shows because their children resent them and how they’ve ruined their lives with lack of discipline.

  2. Becky says:

    Dr. Phil, I have a daughter that is soon to be 19. She too has “hooked” up with a pot smoking, sleep on the couch drop out. And I have voiced my concerns and I am the bad person. I know she is over 18, but I am worried sick that she is going to end up pregnant, drop out of college, and more. He already has 2 “baby mamas”. My daughter is very intelligent, outgoing, works hard and used to be very dependable and responsible, and since this guy… we are scared each day.
    She lost her apartment, bills piled up as she was working and going to school, while he lay on the couch and played mechanic on his cars. Of course offered for her to come home, and she has chosen to stay with “friends” instead. I recently got a letter from the college that she is on academic probation?? This from a “A” student tells me she is in over her head, and yet she will not hear it from me. What do I do? I have tried to keep quiet, let her find her way home, but I am afraid of her being influence by this guy that the “slum” life is ok.

  3. Grandma in Florida says:

    Should parent tell teen ,that they ”Love” person their teen is dating. In hopes this will pass over. My feelings on this are NO…If things have not gone over the line..yet. Could if the obsessed Teen..feels parent Loves him, Teen Loves him…Why not make Love?…Then you have pregnant teen.
    Have not heard anything good about the young male,age 17. Feel parent [ signal mom] should be up-front with both teens. Not let others feel ..all is fine in this relationship.Young male has shown signs of abuse to the other teen.

  4. linda stevens says:

    This situation is one best handled delicately with finesse and diplomacy. In my experience teenagers react strongly and passionately when they are forbidden from being with the “object” of thier obsession. A teenagers ability to Love ,while immature, tends to be all consuming. Taking into account the addition of fluxuating and often times, “raging” harmones, and the inert struggle they are waging between independence and dependence. A private investigator would enable a parent to arm themselves with the facts of reality and if used properly, with tact and descression and perhaps even well timed staging ….
    Appearing to be actively receptive and friendly even accepting … allows for comradery between you and your child in the likely event of “trouble”
    If all else fails and the kid is a crimminal and an abusive looser, drop a dime on him every chance you get, anonymously of course.

  5. Dawn says:

    I believe we draw to ourselves what we need. I have been where Sami was. I didn’t cut myself but at 26, I was in an abusive relationship for 5 yrs. I thought that I wasn’t complete without a man in my life. I thought I was overweight (looking back I wasn’t) and thought that I was lucky that someone paid me a little attention.
    I contribute all of those “not good enough” feelings to not having my father in my life when I was a child. My mom was so hurt by his infidelity that she was unable to give me the guidance that I needed and taught me that men were untrustworthy. It took me until I was 43 to really learn how wonderful I am and how to love myself.
    Our society doesn’t teach self-acceptance and self-love. It has to create deficency in us in order to sell us a product. It has more effect on children who are just learning about the world. Parents may have even bought into the sales pitch, too. As always Love is the answer – unconditional self-love. I work on it every day.

  6. Paula Goodwin says:

    As I am watching the “Sami” story, I can only sigh to myself and think of how many times I see this in young women time and time again. The first question, and most important is, “where is the father figure in her life?” Not only have I been through this myself, but I see this in girls in all walks of life and the majority of the time it is due to the absence of a father. These girls are lacking the self-confidence and security they have needed since birth from their fathers and are tricking themselves into believing they have found it in these numerous men they claim they can’t live without. The insecurity is so immense in these girls that they believe if they don’t bow down to the demands of the man they are with, another man will never come along and they will be lonely forever. The girl never has time to heal and get to the point she needs to be at because she can never give herself alone time. She will jump from one man to another, no matter if she is still scarred because she simply needs a man in her life to be happy. So therefore the situation worsens until the girl can find the strength she was never given to be a real woman. I haven’t had a father figure in my life since I was 5, never even used the word “Dad” since then. I watched my Dad cheat on my Mom, choose women and their daughters over me, just constantly lowering my self-esteem for years. I witnessed my Mom be distraught, lonely, and vulnerable until she found a new husband. All the while my insecurities and feelings of worthlessness overwhelmed me year after year. The result, I lost my virginity when I was 15, let men take advantage of me to fill a void, never reaching the true understanding of what it is to be a real woman. I am 28 years old now, married to the man I met when I was 16, have 2 kids, and still feel incredibly awkward in my own skin. What most girls go through during puberty, I am still struggling with on a day to day basis. I feel so uncomfortable in my skin. I am unhappy everyday with who I am. The only thing that keeps me going are my children. When I was younger, I wanted men around to feed my self-esteem, now I don’t even want my husband to look at me because I am so insecure with who I am. It’s crazy but I feel like I don’t need a man anymore because I have all the attention and feelings of self-worth I need from my children. I am on a mission to let all the fathers out there know just how important it is to be in their daughters’ life. A father-daughter relationship is like no other and it takes a man being in their daughter’s life to help mold a solid and secure woman. I also want to let all the girls out there going through this know you are not alone and there’s no time like the present to take control of your life and find the resources you need to be the woman you will one day become. Take it from me, it is an awful feeling to not know who you are even at the age of 28.

  7. Karen Huey says:

    My granddaughter is a recent graduate at age 16…she is super smart and has always had honor cards and participated in school activities. Two and half years ago she met the kid from hell (not just my opinion..her parents as well as others)..he graduated last year, has worked at McDonald’s, ran away from home, went back home, now living w/a friend who is another loser (drugs, etc) and MY GRANDDAUGHTER SAYS SHE LOVES HIM….
    In the meantime, my son (her dad) and his wife have split…the wife is an alcholic and lives w/her parents and NOW IS CONDONING this relationship….what the hell?
    I could go on and on, but you get the point…her dad has caught her in so many lies and had to hide a gps in her car….so much for trust!

  8. Jill says:

    I believe that a lot of teens are sturggling with love and will do crazy thing to be loved because they are missing something: a relationship with God and experience his unconditional love.
    Christianity can be difficult, it is not easy and everything does not go great in life. There are bad things on earth but they test faith. To anyone who is giving up on God, persevere and look to God to strengthen you. Don’t give up, something will be missing in life. I have felt all of this and God is the only solution to the emptiness.

  9. Debbie says:

    My son is obsessed. He met this girl a year ago. He had been staying in his room so he could instant message her. Then got a phone and text her all the time. Staying up why past bedtime to do this. He stop doing school work. Changed the way he dresses. Dyed his hair dark. Stayed like this all school year. When school got out. He went to her house 30 miles away and hasn’t been home. He is seventeen and considered a adult in the state of missouri. So I feel like their is nothing that I can do. I have begged and plead for him to come home. He either says he can’t or he has got plans with her. I have only spoke to him once in the last five weeks. And no matter what I can’t convince him to come home. How can I get my son home and away from this girl?He thinks that she validates him. What can I do as his mother? He has not seen his two brothers, his dad, or his friends for this whole time. This is so painful to me. Please help?

  10. Laura says:

    I’m currently watching Sami’s story.

    The only thing on my mind right now is that I wish I was there to tell her to her face that she is absolutely beautiful, smart, and has a great personality. Also, that the only person that can make or break herself is her. She needs to be proud of and confident with who she is, what she looks like, and where she wants to go in her life.

    Anyone can tell her that all day, every day, but the only turning point will be for HER to realize the good in herself so she can learn to take control and make herself proud every day. After that, the self-esteem and thoughts of self-worth will come along. Then, she won’t allow herself to be in her previous situation again.

  11. Lisa says:

    This was an eye opener for me. I’m 50 years old and I had this same relationship when I was 20, except there was a child involved as well. I did get out of the relationship with my daughter, but I’ve not been able to have a real relationship since. I have a wall and noboldy can get close to me.

  12. Richard Lantz says:

    Dr. Phil,
    I am divorced and have a daughter that lives with her mother. Her mother is very reluctant to keep strict rules for our daughter. My daughter has had two issues, one she was skipping school to go have sex with a guy. Luckily I had a feeling something was wrong and called the school to get her attendance, we found she was missing 1/2 days three times to do this. While she was to be grounded from anything her mother let her go to a friends house. My daughter and her friend snuck out that night and they went to smoke pot and had sex with another guy.

    I have been very active in my daughters life, though divorced, i call her every night to speak to her and see how she is doing. I can speak to my daughter about anything that goes on.

    How can I improve what I am doing and is there anything that i can do to help her. I have tried to get my ex-wife to have her come and live with me if she is not going to be stricter on her, and alot more observant of whats going on with her.

  13. Tracie says:

    I feel samis pain. I have recently been in the same sitch again. I have very often thought about cutting my legs the way sami did and I dont know if that feeling ever goes away, but seeing her and hearing her story really will make me think “is it worth it”. I am almost 30 and would love to have a family but always pick the wrong guys. I also feel alone alot and am not really sure why. I just hope Sami can get some answers and get over this curse. It only gets worse as you get older. She still has a chance to do everything she ever wanted. Good Luck Sami!! Stay strong and dont let anyone control you!!

  14. Jana says:

    Parents need to raise their children together. What about the other side of the coin where the mother isn’t there for her son and he ends up being the controlling boyfriend the anyone’s daughter meets online?

    Meeting Online is too overrated and so are shows like “The Bachelorette”, which this year shows a lack of trust. What kind of Role Models are these on tv for our kids?

  15. Lacie says:

    I just finished watching the episode about Sami. I cried through out the entire episode. I went through a time when I was a teen that I did not want to be alone and did not want to be without a guy in my life. This happened when my Dad and I had a really bad falling out. Luckily I never got to the point that Sami did because I was surrounded by so many friends. I hope she is doing much better now. I also have to say that I am very glad that she did not want to have the part about her breasts deleted from the show. I have always had two different size breast. Since October I have lost over 50 pounds from just strictly diet and exercise and the different size of my breast is even more noticeable now. I have wanted to have this fixed since I was 13 or 14 years old. I am now 26 and with 3 kids, and still want to have this problem fixed but know that it is financially not an option for me. While watching the show today I was very relived to learn that this was an issue for other women not just me. This is something that I have never talked with any one about, except for my husband. I am hoping that finally knowing that this is not just something wrong with me will help me to feel more comfortable around my husband in an intimate setting, and also help me with my self esteem issue do to the way I look. So, thank you for not deleting that part from the show. Thank you Sami!

  16. John says:

    My wife and I are at odds with our 16 year old stepdaughter. She has been dating a boy for over ten months now and they have been in so much trouble the last school year for kissing and hugging on school grounds that they both were suspended for a week from school. My stepdaughter and this fella are obsessed with each other. They stay on their laptops during the weekend from 3 to 6 hours straight ! They constantly text when we are out trying to be a family and they plan to move out together when they are 18. Neither one of them has any plans on what to do after graduation other than be together in an apartment of their own. No college plans, nothing. My stepdaughter keeps to herself 90% of the time at home, locking herself in her room and my wife says this is ok since that is how she acted as a teen. They are both good kids and have great potential but I think they need to chill a bit on all the love poems and computer time. Am I out of line ? I hate fighting with my wife on this and I want to give up.

  17. Michelle says:

    Dr. Phil and Sami,

    I went through the same thing Sami went through when I was 14. He was my first real boyfriend and to be honest I didn’t want to date him at first but he told me if I didn’t we couldn’t be friends. I quickly fell into the trap of being obsessed with him, I wanted to do everything to make him happy. He abused me physically and emotionally every day and I thought it was all my fault I thought I had to be doing something wrong in order for him to treat me that way. It got so bad he tried to kill me one day by strangling me to the point where I blacked out. I still blamed myself for that! sometimes I have that horrible little voice in the back of my head saying that it was my fault even though I know it wasn’t. He said so many mean things to me just to make me feel like I would spend my life alone if I didn’t stay with him. I had another emotionally abusive relationship after my first relationship but I quickly realized what was going on and I left. I’m 24 now and I’m in a relationship with an amazing man who treats me with the respect I deserve. I’m so happy now, it took a long time to get here and I had to learn a lot of lessons along the way but it is possible Sami please don’t give up on true happiness don’t let your abusive ex take that away from you!

  18. Thanks for this show. My 17 1/2 year old daughter is also obssessed with a 19 year old boy. I am not sure what to do, but within a week of ‘going with her” he was talking about watching their grandchildren playing in the front yard…he gave her diamond earrings within two weeks of them going out and I could go on and on….I just don’t know what to do…I finally put my foot down and told her she was not allowed to see him and of course she went behind my back…he is so obssessed with her that he told her to forget her family, forget her friends – it is the two of them and no one else…I am so scared…I don’t know what to do…she is leaving in a week to return to the states to attend college. She’ll be living with her grandfather and her older brother on the West Coast as I live in Europe…the boy will not return to the East Coast until later in the fall. Some said I should keep her with me as a continent is a lot father away than a few states. But I felt she needed to rejoin her friends…go to college, and obtain a job. I am praying that the time away from him and the return to her old friends will show her that there is a life away from his control. I am still so very scared…she has givien up all her dreams…what can I do…

  19. Tara says:

    I think that Sami is exaggerating her story, and trying to make you feel sorry for her. She is whining, and going WAY overboard. You can tell that a lot of what she is saying is the truth stretched. Ive had a girl live with me who is EXACTLY like her. Its so obvious she wanted you to pay for her Breast Augmentation. I cant believe Dr Phil is this blind. Shoulda kicked her off stage 45 minutes prior.

  20. Leslie Deer says:

    my 12 year old daughter is obssessed with her 14 year old friend.. he is not her boyfriend cause I don’t allow them to date but she thinks so… anyways I have found out she has had oral sex and sex with him, he has admitted to hitting her and said he’s worried about her breaking up with him. She also has took an over dose of pills claiming it was a headache but I dont believe that for a second. I am not with my kids right now I am trying to get back on my feet and they have been staying with family..I feel like this is all my fault for not being there and the constant drama in their life because of their unstable life.I want to stop this because I was a teen mom and they know how important it is to me they wait til they are older.

  21. Weird how you find interesting, helpful articles like this on the internet. I read ALL of the comments, and this experiences just make me cry and wow…hopefully I’ll learn from these experiences and never run away from my mom…
    And I am definitely spending more time with my dad for sure!!
    ~A Young Semi-Fatherless Teen

  22. My daughter needs to talk to me a lot every day after school about what she has dealt with during the school day. I am extremely proud of her handling the most destructive peer pressure,and her willingness to let go of the “friends” who try hard to change her, sexualize her, and bully her. I am proud of her for recognizing bad behavior and for trying to protect the kids who have disabilities and are taunted.

  23. Kayla says:

    My grandmother intervened in a relationship that was toxic to both me and her. My boyfriend became obsessive and i thought it was normal but it wasn’t! She made us break up and he called me 42 times in one night cussing me out and crying. It went straight to voicemail. If my grandmother hadn’t have broke us up, i would still be with this guy.. but since she has, i’ve learned a lot more about how love should be. I’ve also learned that as a teenager, I still don’t know what love is; I’m just happy for someone else’s company. I could never thank her enough for opening my eyes.

  24. Mark says:

    I believe if a parent implements a strong foundation at the beginning for their child or children to love themselves by first showing love upon them, then the likely hood of them even becoming obsessed with someone is nil. However, a healthy outpouring and examples of love need to be at their disposal. It becomes more difficult to stop them at a certain age if they have not been raised differently.

  25. Teresa says:

    I’m in this situation now with my daughter (wanting to date someone that we don’t approve of) and I’m torn on what to do. I tried to tell her she was not allowed to date but their emotional relationship grew even stronger through text and phone. Now she is in high school and “in love”. Seems trying to prevent them from dating has only made them grow closer. This is one of the hardest parenting decisions that I’ve had to face so far. What to do???

  26. Crystal says:

    I am going through this as well with my 17 yr old daughter who is now a recent teen mom before this guy in her life came along she was playing sports trying out for pagents, working and going to school etc. Both her dad and I are still together and have been trying to help her but thanks to Louisiana law these kids are considered adults at this age and their is nothing we can do law enforcements will not allow these children a fighting chance to try a become successful in life. She will not come home where it’s safe and stabled for both her and the baby. This young man comes from a broken home and was adopted at age 7 along with his younger brother which was at the time was 6 yrs old by the older sister of his younger brother because the two of them share the same father but himself on the other end doesn’t know his birth father but does still have contact with his birth mother he wants her to be with him at all times as she to so as well,and again the Louisiana law has simply taken away our parental rights at this age and it’s nothing we can do but watch another teen become another statistics and a parents rights robbed away because at this age the law has control over our children.

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