Teen Relationship Words

As a clinical psychologist who works with teens almost every day of the week I have the unique opportunity to be in the know. I mean that I am really in the know. Your teens tell me about all of their secrets and I learn all about teen culture.

Today has been an unusually informative day. A teenage girl just gave me a tutorial on teen dating terms. She explained. I got confused. She explained further. We both laughed. And, now I have invaluable information to pass on.

This is what I learned:

1. “Hook-ups”

When teens are hooking up they are simply getting involved physically with an attempt to keep emotions at bay. This is not always an easy task.

2. “A Thing”

Teens who exclusively hook-up with one another are described as having “a thing.”

3. “Being Together”

Teens who hook up exclusively with one another and who are also emotionally involved are assumed to be “together.”


4. “Dating”

When 2 teens are emotionally and physically involved with one another and this is official meaning that they have perhaps acknowledged their relationship status on some form of social media then they are…..drum roll please….dating.

My intention here was to help you be a savvy and sophisticated parent. I hope that I haven’t made things even murkier for you. Listen, if you want to have a little fun with your teens then why not show them this glossary and get their take on it. And, if the joke is on me because I got the terms confused then I’m happy that I provided a talking opportunity and some laughs.