Teens love and life

Tara - posted on 12/06/2011 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Do you feel that teenagers are capable of love?
Do you think that teen love interferes with their other pursuits such as sports etc.?
Do you think two young people who "fall in love" have a chance of being together forever?
Do you tell your teens or will you tell your teens they are not old enough to really know what love is?

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Amanda - posted on 12/06/2011

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1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes (my cousin just married the boy shes been with for like 12 years, since she was 15.
4. No one has the right to tell anyone they dont know what love really is.

Sylvia - posted on 12/08/2011

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1. Yes, of course.

2. Totally depends on the teens and the pursuits. And why should sports be more important than relationships? Sports? That makes no sense o_O

3. A chance? Sure. I know several couples who met in high school and are still married decades later. A sure thing? No. People grow and change a lot during adolescence and early adulthood; some young couples grow together, but a lot grow apart.

4. Absolutely not! (I don't have a teen yet; I have a 9-year-old.) Even if I believed that, which I don't, that would be the fastest way to shut down all future communication on the subject.

Becky - posted on 12/06/2011

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I think everyone is capable of love. My preschoolers know what love is! Are teenagers capable of the selfless, committed love that it takes to make a marriage or long-term relationship work? Well, that depends on the teen. Some are, some aren't. Some adults aren't either.
I think that a teen who is mature, centred and has a good sense of self will not allow being in love to interfere with other important areas of life. A teen who is insecure or immature or is looking for their significant other to fill areas that are lacking in their lives, will.
I've seen many highschool sweetheart relationships work - at least so far, so good! No, I wouldn't tell my teenagers they don't know what love is. I might tell them I didn't think they were ready for a serious committment if I felt that way, but I wouldn't tell them they weren't in love.

Denikka - posted on 12/06/2011

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This type of thing has always bothered me. I spent most of my young life (until about 18) being told that I was too young to know what love was. What a bunch of crock. Where is this *magical age* where you all of a sudden understand what love is? Love knows only itself. It doesn't care about how old the person who loves is any more than it cares about the color of their skin or their favorite food.

If you're going to tell a child that they don't know what love is or that they are incapable of love, what you are saying is that they can't love family, friends, pets, or someone in a romantic way. Which is BULL.

EVERYONE is capable of love. Different types, different extremes.

Love CAN interfere with things like hobbies. But it doesn't have to. It's only when it gets obsessive that it tends to take over.

I have heard many stories of young couples lasting forever. Even a few really cute stories of 2 kids meeting when they're 4, 5, 6yrs old, and one saying that they'll marry the other when they grow up and it actually happening.



I will NEVER NEVER NEVER tell my child they don't know what love is or that they're too young to understand or that they're too young to be capable of love. Puppy love is still love. Just because it's a different type of love doesn't mean it's any less real.

I will never deny my child the right to their emotions.

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Merry - posted on 01/06/2012

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I fell in love as a 16 year old and yes I still believe it was real love. We are now married and happily living our lives together so yes I think teens can fall in true love and marriages with your highschool bf can work.
My grandparents in law started dating at 14 and they are still together now in their 70s. My cousin is now 16 and has been with his girlfriend 3 years and their relationship looks so real and solid form my viewpoint.
So yes, I will be cautious about teen love as statistics do show it isn't usually going to last but in my experience sometimes it can be a perfect match!

Janet - posted on 01/05/2012

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Teen love may be different than what us older moms know as love but it can be just as real and wonderful. Young love may not last but I know alot of older people whose love has not lasted. My 15 yr old is in love and I'm happy for her. It may not last but only time will tell.

Becky - posted on 12/08/2011

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My parents were high school sweethearts. They supported each other though college, and both got their degrees. They married and had me & my brothers. More than 35 years later they are still together and happily married.

My brother also meet a girl in high school. They dated though college, and once they graduated in their respective fields, they got married. They have been married for 9 years and have 2 kids together.

I married my high school honey also . . . it didn't turn into the happily ever after I always imagined, but that doesn't mean I didn't love him. I know I did . . . but things change and there's only so much you can withstand before lack of trust, pain & bad memories degrade love to something else.

Tam - posted on 12/07/2011

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In short, yes to the first three and no to the last one (We're talking about my hypothetical teenager at this juncture. My kids are still under 10.)

Trial and error are essential parts of life. To tell someone that they are not old enough is fallacious. To caution someone to be open to gathering experience on the subject is more true to the whole concept of love, in my view.

I could break down the chemical effects in the brain that simulate love, and the chemicals are the same in childhood as they are in adulthood. There is not magical age that the whole experience suddenly becomes valid. It is the feelings you experience coupled with your ability to make choices that determine whether it is a possible 'forever match' versus a failed relationship. How many of us know adults that are our age or older who suffer through unhappy relationships?

Is an unhappy relationship between people over the magical age of 18 more worthy of being defined as 'love' than a happy, healthy relationship of someone who has not yet completed high school? I don't think so.

Like any new experience, as well, it can interfere somewhat with prior interests. Yet it can also strengthen them. Sometimes it can help the teen identify whether or not that interest is something they actually will pursue, for good or ill. Like any emotional decision, there's a chance of the choice being favorable or not.

Telling someone that they are incapable of feeling something that they know to exist within themselves is a terrible thing to do. However, there is a fine line - teenage love is great and a good experience. Obsession, no matter the age, is not.

Kelsey - posted on 12/07/2011

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i am 19 now and the first serious relationship i had when i was 13. it was an intimate relationship and we were together for 2 years. I personally think that it can interfere with other things such as school and sports. I ditched alot of classes and after school activities to spend my time with him and our friends. I do think that young love can turn into true love. i meet my current boyfriend and baby daddy when i was 15 and we have been together almost 4 years now and are very happy together.

when my children get to be about 10 11 i will start to talk to them more about love and commitment. you are never to young to be in love!

Ez - posted on 12/06/2011

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I don't really think we can compare love for family, pets and favourite toys to that of the romantic love being discussed in the OP.

I think our opinions on this come from personal experience. I know of only one couple in RL who have been together since high school, but they're still only very young (mid-20s) so it's hard to judge the long-term success of their relationship at this stage.

I think teenagers are capable of feeling what they think is 'love', but it is more often infatuation and/or lust. Are there exceptional teens who can genuinely engage with their partner on the level of an adult romantic relationship? I'm sure they exist, but I've never known one.

I think entering a serious relationship at any age impacts on the rest of your life, so doing so as a teenager is bound to cause issues. Especially if the teenager is not overly sensible. This is the main reason I hate the idea of my daughter having a serious relationship at a young age. I don't want her tied to anyone. I don't want her to have to compromise her wants and dreams because she's got a boy hanging around. I don't want major life choices (whether to travel, whether to move away for uni etc) to be impacted by a boy in her life. I want her to be free to say 'yes! I will go and backpack around South America' or 'yes! I will move to XYZ to do this fabulous degree' or 'yes, I will commit to this high level rep team with huge training requirements because I want to give it everything I've got'. I don't want her thinking, or being told, that she can't or shouldn't do those things because of a teenage boyfriend.

There is always a chance these relationships can work, but like I said, I haven't seen it.

I think telling a teen that they don't know their own feelings is always going to be a bad move. Dismissing it is not the answer IMO. Providing realistic explanations of what life has in store for them, and your concerns are a better option.

Denikka - posted on 12/06/2011

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So Rebecca, you don't believe that your children love you or their father? You don't believe that your children (if you have multiples) love each other? Or that they love a favorite stuffed toy? Or that they love their pets?

Just because it's a different type of love, doesn't make it any less real. It may not be the same as mature love, the lasting forever type, it may just be *puppy love* but why is that not *real*?

And if you DO believe that your children love you/their dad/each other/pets etc, why is one type of love believable to you, and not another type?

[deleted account]

Generally, no. I think most teens are capable of being addicted to "love", but I don't think they have the emotional range to truely "love" another person.

Yes.

Maybe. I have known couples who have been together since their twins. Personally, it makes me question whether they have grown as a person since they were teenagers.

I wouldn't say that, but I would tell them they are young, that their attitudes and views are likely to change as they age, and that they don't need to commit to anyone until they have figured out who they are first.



Edited to add: I think it depends a lot of what you are defining as a "teenager" -- to me, that's 11 - 16; I view 17, 18 and 19 YOs as young adults, even though I guess they are technically teens.

Stifler's - posted on 12/06/2011

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Yes.

No.

No.

No I will let them believe that how they feel is real. Because it is. I had a "boyfriend" in high school and while we look back on it as an immature relationship it was real to us and still hurts that we aren't close friends anymore. I will warn them though, that they'll look back on the stupid things they say and do when they break up and think WHY!

[deleted account]

1. Yes
2. It can
3. Yes
4. No teens yet, but no. Just because they aren't adults doesn't mean they don't know what love is. They may not be able to fully grasp all that a relationship of that type entails, but that does not negate their feelings in any way.

Johanna - posted on 12/06/2011

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1) Yes I think teenagers are very capable of love. My parents met at age 15 and 16- have been together ever since and just celebrated their 30th Anniversary. My husband and I started dating at 18 in high school and have now been together for 11 years, married for 7.
2) No. we all had other interests and did very well in school/ college/ etc. In fact I think one of the main reasons I started college was bc my husband (then bf) was going. I went on to get a masters.
3) I sure do!!
4) I don't think you can tell anyone who they can/ should love. That is not a decision made by anyone else. But I will admit aside from mine and my parents relationships I do not know many relationships that have lasted from high school. That doesn't mean they didn't love each other at the time though.

Lady Heather - posted on 12/06/2011

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1. Yes.
2. It can. Personally when I was in high school though I dated another guy in my band program and we ended up achieving greater success than we had when we were apart. Our relationship enhanced the music. That's sappy, but true.
3. Yes. My husband was in high school when we got together and I'm sure we're not splitting up ever. My brother and his wife have been together since they were 16. They are a great couple.
4. I would never presume to know the extent of another person's feelings better than they do.

Chelsey - posted on 12/06/2011

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I met my husband at 16 and we started dating when i was 17 and he was 19. I played competitive fastball and basically told him when we started dating that it was important to me and if he couldnt handle that then we couldnt date. In fact the first time he asked me out i said no because I figured that I didnt have time for a boyfriend between school, sports and work lol. He came to my games and never made any unrealistic demands on me so i finally agreed to go out with him. 10 years later we've been married for 5 years have two little girls and a baby on the
way.

I think that as long as two people don't give up things that are important to them and at they have lives beyond each other then it doesnt really matter how old they are when they meet.

September - posted on 12/06/2011

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Only speaking from my personal experience, yes I do think teenage love is possible. I meet my now husband when I was 16 and he was 17. We've been happily married for 7 years and together for 16 this month. I was very active in sports and did very well in school as did he. He actually graduated valedictorian of his senior class with a 4.0 and honors. I did not graduate as valedictorian but I did graduate with a 3.5 and honors. Do I think this is common, no but possible, yes. I see us spending the rest of our lives together. I don't plan on telling our teenagers they don’t know what love is, I plan to let them experience that one their own. I had people tell me that my relationship would never last and now I'm able to laugh in their face! :)

Sherri - posted on 12/06/2011

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Yes I do. No I don't think it needs to interfere with their other pursuits.
Yes I know a few people who met as teens and are still together 20+ yrs later.
I have no idea my kids are only 14 & 13 haven't gotten there yet.

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