A “relationship” to me means something farm more complex than what two you adolescents or, even worse, two pre-teens might have. I looked up a few definitions:
re·la·tion·ship (r-lshn-shp) n.
1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other: has a close relationship with his siblings.
4. A romantic or sexual involvement.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
relationship [rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪp] n
1. the state of being connected or related
2. association by blood or marriage; kinship
3. the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etc. a business relationship
4. an emotional or sexual affair or liaison
5. (Mathematics) Logic Maths another name for relation 
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
- a relation between people; (`relationship' is often used where `relation' would serve, as in `the relationship between inflation and unemployment', but the preferred usage of `relationship' is for human relations or states of relatedness); "the relationship between mothers and their children"
- a state of connectedness between people (especially an emotional connection); "he didn't want his wife to know of the relationship"
- a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries
- kinship: (anthropology) relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption
OK, now any/all of these indicate to me something that is beyond the emotional capability of young teens. Although scientists and anthropologists are saying that our children are maturing faster than ever, I’m here to say it is not emotionally possible for children so young to develop the ties that form that kind of relationship. Perhaps some older, more mature ones might reach this, but not teeny-boppers. And a “relationship” doesn’t start and end in 3 days or even three weeks! IT AIN’T A .... R.E.L.A.T.I.O.N.S.H.I.P, PEOPLE!!!
So why am I writing about this? Well, because there are several youngsters I know on FB that are between about 11 and 17 whose “relationship status” keep changing from “in a relationship” to “single” and back again. Yes, I know they are supposed to be 14 to be on FB, but all they have to do is put in a phony age, and they are in! And I wonder whether their parents are even monitoring their accounts. A couple of them I’m pretty sure, aren’t.
These kids use the term “relationship” to mean “dating” or “going out.” And let’s be honest .... at least some of them aren’t even dating! They haven’t been on dates! I know this, because I know their parents, and there is no way they are dating at 11 or 12 or 13.
In the past I’ve let the parents know about some other concerns I had (language used, personal details being given out, comments from older people that I suspect they don’t actually know or their parents don’t), and while the parents expressed concerns about the things I mentioned, I’m pretty sure they aren’t monitoring on a regular basis. Do they know their immature teens are in “relationships”?
I realize, of course, that those “relationships” are probably just flirtations, but I remain concerned about how the kids come to use these terms so casually and how it tweaks their understanding of what a relationship really is. As easily as marriage is broken these days, how does this flippant use of the term “relationship” change how these tender, still formative young people assess the way they bond with people in the future?
I donno. Maybe I’m old and crotchety. But I worry. I worry about these children who seem to already have a warped idea about relationships. I worry about all the children who are not fortunate enough to have the kind of parents who actually are involved enough to irritate the kids.
Yeah, I’m a cranky old gal, but I love the kids and hate to see them so exposed. Please protect children. Help the become mature enough to enjoy a real relationship.