In my days as a high school principal, I had to work to keep up with the ever-evolving linguistic codes of the teenage language system. I can get you up to speed with a crash course in the language of teenage romance.
"We are talking." This means that I think he is "hot" (which you parents will understand as "cool") and he feels likewise. We are talking on the phone, but mainly texting and talking (writing) on each other's wall ( semi-public page) in Facebook or MySpace (on-line social utility).
"We are in a relationship."
We are past the talking phase and ready to DTR (declare the relationship). This can be done in a variety of ways, but must certainly be done on Facebook or MySpace.
DTR is the 21st century equivalent to:
"Going out" (90's)
"Going together" (70's and 80's)
"Going steady" (60's and 70's)
"Getting pinned" (50's and 60's)
Getting pinned or going steady usually involved jewelry, such as a steady bracelet or a senior ring on a chain, and a letter jacket. Such apparel to openly advertise the relationship is no longer necessary. Now, with social utilities such as Facebook and MySpace, one can DTR to the world through cyberspace.
This could mean that we have yet to officially define the relationship. It could also mean that we like each other, but are not yet ready to DTR. It could mean that we are on a break or in a fight.
It is also much simpler for today's teenagers to break up.
One simply changes their Facebook profile from "In a relationship with __________" to "single" and they are back on the market. No jewelry or clothing to return.
Of course, it is also advisable to remove the couples' pictures from your Facebook account. You might also choose to remove the once "hot" boy from your Facebook friend list to prevent Facebook stalking. Facebook stalking is relatively harmless, since at one time you gave this person access to your Facebook as a "friend", but now that your relationship is on the skids, you don't want him in your business. He might still try to text you, but you don't have to text back, or you can block his texts altogether, but then he will tell everyone that you are a "bad texter" which really hurts. It is the ultimate insult.
Ok, parents. This will get you started. Hopefully, I've been able to help at least one of you avoid the humiliation of asking about your daughter's steady boyfriend, or, worst yet, her new "beau".