Author Holly Bourne dishes out her 6 top tips for relationships in your teens

'Cos she's got a new book called How Hard Can Love Be?

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Love isn't easy at the best of times. But add in the hell that is a) puberty, b) social hierarchy of secondary school, and c) high expectations that all potential love interests should chase us, shirtless, through the rain, and, well, you're set for major letdown.

In How Hard Can Love Be?, all Amber wants is a little bit of love. Her mum has never been the caring type, even before she moved to California, but Amber's hoping that spending the summer with her can change all that.

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And then there's prom king Kyle, the guy all the girls want. Can he really be interested in anti-cheerleader Amber? Even with best friends Evie and Lottie's advice, there's no escaping the fact: love is hard.

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Alongside writing brill books, Holly Bourne is a relationships advisor for TheSite.org, so she's pretty au-fait with dilemmas of the heart.

So because we're kinda obsessed with her new read right now, here's Holly's top six bits of invaluable advice for love in your teens that you need to know (seriously, we wish we'd had her around to tell us all this before now).

The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself

I'm sorry to be the one to break this to you - but you are stuck with you. You are going to follow yourself every day for the rest of your life. So it makes sense to love yourself before you get into the complicated process of loving someone else on top of that. It's such a cliche, but you have to be happy in yourself first.

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The easy bit shouldn't be hard

Do not waste your precious life wondering why the f**k someone hasn't replied to your message. If someone likes you and wants to be with you, they won't leave you guessing about it. I promise! If they're more hot and cold than a penguin in a hot tub, then they aren't that interested. Interested people act interested - especially at the beginning part. Wait for someone who doesn't give you emotional whiplash and spend all that saved time googling 'penguins in hot tubs' because there must be a video of such a thing.

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Everyone lies about how well their relationship is going

Your newsfeed full of coupled-up selfies? With added hashtags saying things like #mylove #lovemybestfriend? Worried your own relationship doesn't compare? Like everything else on social media, don't judge your behind-the-scenes against someone else's public highlights. Everyone is just lying or glossing over the bad stuff. Live-tweeting your petty arguments doesn't really buy into the whole 'aspirational lifestyle' thing so no-one does it. It also is likely to make arguments worse. Top tip: Don't live-tweet your arguments.

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Creepily staring at someone from afar but never talking to them is not likely to make them want to go out with you

Here's a crazy idea - why don't you just go talk to the person you fancy? Rather than just writing about them in your diary, or smiling at them in the school corridors once in a blue moon? Or casting a love spell over a bunsen burner? (or was that just me?) Just start a conversation with them - see if you actually like them, rather than just the idea of them. And give them a chance to know you exist and that you're awesome and can totally be trusted to use bunsen burners appropriately. 

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Things we're told are 'romantic' can actually be abusive

This is a more serious point. I've been trained to identify abusive behaviour in relationships, and it is freaking scary how often guys in films and books are seen as ROMANTIC when they're actually being PROBLEMATIC.

This includes: following you around, standing outside your house, secretly filming you, breaking into your FREAKING HOUSE and watching you sleep, getting jealous of your male friends, wanting to spend every moment with you, claiming they can't live without you, punching walls and/or other people because of the "strength of their emotions."

Repeat after me - problematic, not romantic. Problematic not romantic. I don't care if his six-pack sparkles in the daylight… problematic, not romantic.

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Friendships are the relationships that stick

You don't tend to snog your friends. Which is a real pity, as it's your friendships that tend to truly stand the test of time. Boyfriends (and same-sex couplings) come and go - but it's your mates who stay constant as you grow older. So do invest in spending time with your friends - take them on dates, make memories together, have chilled nights in. Hey - maybe even start a Spinster Club, like Evie, Amber and Lottie from my books! It's good for you, your self-esteem, your independence and even your soul.

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Holly Bourne is the bestselling author of How Hard Can Love Be? out now. Let us know if you reckon her relationship tips were kinda genius, we can have a chat about all things lurve over on Twitter @Sugarscape.

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