“I love you”! When you hear these three words, what do you think?
Sadly, these three beautiful words have led to the ruin of so many people, adolescents included.
Love is not a game or just a feeling that erupts as butterflies in your stomach. Love is a full-time job
The characteristics of love can be classified into three main sectors;
Have you ever been in love? What did it feel like?
Nothing just indifference?
I wanted to call her/him every day
I feel sick whenever I don’t communicate with them.
It was sweet! I have never felt so much love before.
Honestly, I’m too hurt to remember.
Good riddance to bad rubbish.
Love doesn’t exist.
Whatever your take on love is, that’s fine for now. At an older age, you would realise that you need to accept responsibility for your flaws and make amends to be better.
If you were hurt and that slowly made you believe that love doesn’t exist, I understand.
The truth remains that despite your pain and fears love does exist.
At some point in your life, you would realise that denying the existence of something doesn’t make it extinct.
Love exists, we can see it in lower mammals (animals) they display a great sense of love for their offspring.
They provide food and offer security against predators.
If love can exist in lower mammals how much more in humans.
The pangs and hurts that come from a broken love can persist for life.
If you do nothing about the hurt you feel, it can stay forever.
In reality, a lot of teenagers are not ready for love but due to the FOMO(Fear of missing out), they fall into the trap.
This does not mean that love is a trap but if you aren’t prepared for it, you might be mentally trapped.
Teenagers, love and peer pressure
Teenagers are young adults- not adults and not kids either.
This stage is the point of transition hence, they tend to act stubborn to get their opinions heard.
It is no secret that most parents find it difficult to understand them.
At this stage, a teen is faced with a lot of bodily changes (puberty) and the attraction to the opposite sex is magnified at this stage.
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that most teens start building romantic relationships.
Peer pressure is not an unfamiliar subject, it is mostly listed as a major influence among youth decisions and choices.
“Cynthia is doing it, so why can’t I?”
“My best friend has a boyfriend, should I get one too?
At this age, a great number of romantic relationships have the same core foundation “Peer pressure
I’m not saying you can’t be in love as a teenager, you can but it is very rare.
To understand this section, you need to answer some questions truthfully.
Why are you dating?Are you sure it’s love? What exactly do you think love is?Are your parents aware of the relationship? Did a quarrel ever affect your academic performance?
You might have heard a lot of stories from your friend that being in a relationship is the ultimate.
How about you? What do you want?
No matter how strict our parents or guardians are, the truth is you are responsible for your life.
In your teenage years, you might not fully understand the effects of the different choices you make.
That’s because you don’t know better.
You should always remember that you alone face the effects on your decisions.
Don’t let people coerce you into things you have no proper knowledge about.
Benefits of choosing yourself in love
You teach your partner how to treat you
You maintain your focus on your dreams and careers
It’s much easier to move on
Love and mental health
Love is not just a feeling of excitement you derive when you spend time with someone.
It is a decision to choose someone, support them, embrace their flaws and celebrate their wins.
In present times, the main concept of love has lost its value.
Now, people are looking out for someone to love not.
You hear statements like “He should just love me more than anything else”
Teens from broken homes who have no understanding of what love or care feels like seek this from another individual.
I hate to sound mean but…
Your happiness comes from you and not someone else. A lover can spark excitement but for how long?
What would you do when he/she is no longer available?
Most teenagers are seeking love for the wrong reasons hence the rise in depression and heartbreak.
The secret key to excelling in your love life is to discover who you are without another’s influence.
If you don’t love yourself, how can you teach others to treat you right in a relationship?
3 steps to heal after a heartbreak
A heartbreak at a young age can lead to depression and other mental illnesses.
As a teenager(13-16), you are still trying to figure out adulthood, personal responsibility and how your body works.
All these trigger feelings and most times your confidants are your friends.
Your friends are going through the same experience therefore, they will give you the advice that they believe works for them.
As a young growing adult, you should know that what works for your friend might not work for you.
You are both different people with distinct personalities, looks, thought patterns and upbringing.
Therefore, comparing results is unhealthy.
If someone ever hurts you, get a box of tissues, watch the notebook, cry as much as you want, then complete these three steps to move on.
Nothing works better than good ole “acceptance”.
If you can learn to accept responsibility for your actions at this age, that’s a great achievement.
Most adults are unable to accept responsibility, they keep apportioning the blame to everyone but themselves.
If you got hurt, go ahead and cry, feel bad for a while but most importantly ask yourself what went wrong.
Get a book, jot down all the pros and cons, what you did or didn’t do and what you shouldn’t have done.
Learn from your mistakes and do better.
2. Forgiveness (self and others)
After accepting your faults, you need to forgive yourself.
You can’t heal when all you think about are your past mistakes.
You have your present and future to look forward to and that’s what matters.
3. Set new standards
The final step is setting boundaries and principles that would guide you in your new relationship.
Define a relationship in the early stage, don’t let anybody force you to do things that are against your belief.
If you don’t feel comfortable, leave immediately, don’t even have a rethink.
Keep your standards high and ensure that you live up to them.
Frequently asked questions
Is it okay to fall in love with someone as a teen?
What do you think? Why do you want to be in love with someone?
Have you had bad relationships in the past? Are you sure you have fully recovered?
You need to answer these questions yourself and make a decision with your future in view.
My mom says love as a teenager can never be real is that true?
Your mom is just looking out for you.
There are very few teenage loves that lead to marriage but it took a lot from them.
Love is not simply saying “I love you”, commitment, dedication and focus are also key aspects of love.
Your parents believe that your commitment and dedication should be to your career and finance.
My boyfriend wants me to have sex with him as proof of my love. Should I?
Sex is not and would never be proof of love. While sex can help build up intimacy it’s not an act that proves your love to anyone.
Love is selfless, anyone that loves you would not make you do things you don’t agree with.
Sex comes with other additions including; teenage pregnancy, sexual transmitted infections and diseases etc.
All my friends are dating, I feel left out. What should I do?
Do you want to date anyone? That’s the question you should be asking.
Prioritise yourself and your opinions, don’t be scared to make unpopular decisions.
It might be unpopular but definitely what’s right for you.
Don’t date anyone if you are not ready for the responsibilities it comes with.
Love is sacrifice, commitment and communication and your future need all the love it can get.
Do you think you can comfortably share your love between your future goals and a partner?