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Healthy Young Adult Relationships in the Digital Age

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At the Young Adult Transition Association (YATA) Conference this year, Brinkley and Sarah will be presenting on healthy young adult relationships and love in the digital age. After a therapeutic program, it can be hard for individuals to transition back into regular life. Going from a largely controlled and supportive environment to a less predictable and open one isn’t easy–especially for young people. people-2591533_640

This isn’t just about predictability and support, though, this is about young adults learning how to form healthy young adult relationships in treatment, but then struggling to apply it in the digital dating world.

Dating app usage has increased drastically, but it’s rarely used for actual “love”

Hook-up culture has become all the rage. Dating apps like Tinder and Bumble have become platforms less about “dating” and more about a one-night stand. Recent studies show that millennials tend to use dating apps for love only about 11 percent of the time–the other 89 percent is for entertainment, casual dating, hook-ups, or an ego boost.

It’s not just a few millennials that are using the dating apps, either. The Pew Research Center found that the number of individuals, ages 18 to 24, jumped from just 10 percent in 2013 to 27 percent in 2015. It’s now 2017 and new surveys are being conducted, but the number has undoubtedly increased.

Now it’s time for the real question: how is hook-up culture affecting millennials?

Millennials are struggling to form healthy young adult relationships

Around 90 percent of millennials use social media–and a good chunk also use dating apps. Some believe that the reason dating apps have taken the world by cyber-fire lies in the increased usage of social media and digital communication.

Social media is a place to portray your best self. It’s easier to communicate through text than it is on the phone. Essentially, you’re able to edit yourself to your liking–but that’s dangerous. Relationships become weakened when most socializing is done artificially; it’s just not the same as speaking in person. This makes it even harder to form healthy young adult relationships.

And this is why that’s such a big challenge for individuals coming out of treatment. They find that their emotional vocabulary is actually much larger and more sophisticated than their peers because of the care they’re received. While this is a wonderful thing, it also can make it difficult to connect with others meaningfully without the right guidance.

Helping youth transition from treatment at Journey Home East

In a world that perpetuates–and even celebrates–hook-up culture, we want girls coming out of treatment to stick to their values and their path. When faced with the fact that many youth their own age don’t want a relationship, we want them to not revert back to unhealthy mechanisms.

Journey Home East strives to do exactly that. A lot of what we do at Journey Home is have honest, open conversations about this type of issue. To succeed at helping them transition from treatment, we have to be a resource that they can rely on and reach out to if they’re confused.

We discuss how to safely navigate dating, love, and sex–and how to be prepared for it. We work to dispel myths and give them a clear, healthy idea of how to move forward and create healthy young adult relationships out in the real world.

Journey Home East is here to help

Journey Home East is a transitional program for young women, ages 16 to 21. Our program is specifically designed to help those who need ongoing support after successfully completing an intensive treatment program, such as a residential treatment center. We offer an inviting home setting for any young woman who needs a “soft” transition from treatment to the real world.

For more information about how Journey Home East can help, contact us today at (855) 290-9684.