That feeling of aliveness and completeness which is innocently exchanged between two hearts, those belly butterflies, and heart-stopping sensations that emanate a constant and blissfully addictive feeling of ‘being in love’! It is often believed that love is not an age-specific sentiment. Then why is it also assumed that teenage love is merely an infatuation and not true love?
Amidst the constant debate and adhering stigma surrounding teen love, Teenage Romance is usually set aside as puppy love. The naïve mess that the teenagers are usually believed to be in, is it safely assumed that there is a prevalent dictum confirming the falsity of love in a teenager? And if yes, then why so?
The marriage age in our society has been on a rise since past generations, and although this does not prove that teenage love cannot be real, but this doesn’t dismiss the possibility either. Despite the positive impact that a romantic relationship can have on young people’s lives, it has often not been appreciated and not been given due attention traditionally. That feeling of being in love and relationship, makes the teenagers develop strong emotions, affects their ongoing development, and impacts their future relationships. However, teenage love tends to be shorter in duration with usually less intimacy, attachment, and commitment in the practicality of world. Adolescent romantic relationships are often short-lived and seemingly unstable, failing to generate the seriousness and attention that it requires.
With a few exceptions that arise solely due to how an individual is, whether he/she is willing to transform that feeling of being in love into true love and align the surrounding circumstances accordingly, teenage romances usually tend to sway away and die a slow death of distraction, immaturity, and irrationality.
First and foremost, there has to be a distinctive difference between love and lust. Teenage romance mostly lingers between infatuation, lust, identity crush, and romantic crush. Despite the energy and excitement, there may be mere physical attraction, surface-level feeling, idolizing and admiring someone, and the beginning of romantic feeling where a person imagines the partner to be perfect. Such scenarios are destined to not last long. To go the long haul, true love demands maturity to traverse beyond the feeling of love and preparedness to go through the test of time and tide.
Whether teenage love can last long, appears to be both simple and complex at the same time. Teenage love has some specific challenges which mostly do not apply to adult relationships. At a tender stage of adolescence, the mindset is completely different. Teenagers are still in the process of self-discovery, finding a path for themselves, building their career and life. In this phase, it is usually difficult to maintain a healthy relationship that is compatible throughout the discovery and development process. It is rare that at this stage, two people can maintain that maturity and patience of finding balance and mutually growing and discovering themselves together. Even if they do so, there may be strong negative feelings of jealousness, anger, resentment, etc.
Unlike adults who are in relatively stable conditions and statuses, teenagers have constantly changing circumstances in their lives. And hence, many a time, they have to just let go of their commitments and relationships to move on to their next phases in life. Breakups are difficult, and for teenagers, there is a more intense emotional response, still, there are various reasons for teenage love to fail along the way. Sometimes, even if the feelings would have been real, they simply have to let it go because the two people do not find the same interests and goals in life, and they may not be ready to stick it together.
With the huge surge of hormones, mood swings, melancholic behavior, intense emotions, and physical desires, teenagers tend to easily get attracted instinctively to someone. The level of attraction and the reasons for fascination may vary from person to person, but when this clump of sentiments sets aside, the stronger set of emotions like that of hopelessness, lows and highs, insecurity, competition, etc. creep into the relationship. And then there are other scenarios like unreturned love where a person might have a flirtatious interaction, but the same intensity of love and feelings are not reciprocated by the intended partner. For teenagers, there are higher chances of interferences from friends and the person is more likely to be affected by their advice, as, at that stage of life, it is a general tendency to significantly care about what friends think of you.
Apart from everything else, teenage love undergoes strict scrutiny and disapproval from their parents. Parents have a genuine concern for their children and unless they are excessively prone to sabotaging their children’s interests for no reason, there are mostly fair chances that they simply desire what is best for their children. Although parents should not dismiss teenage love outrightly, but they have all the reasons to highly inspect, carefully observe, and reasonably monitor their children’s life choices in that phase. Most teenage love succumbs to this process because, at that tender stage of life, they are more likely to be irresolute and heavily lack the level of stance a person should take to remain committed to the relationship and continue it.
So, circling back to whether teenage romance is genuine, it can be said that it is definitely tangible. However, how to deal with it at that stage of life is of utmost importance. There may be a genuine feeling which is as passionately and rationally equivalent to adult love, but careful analysis is most advisable if the relationship is to be made long-lasting. Live your teenage years, be smart and not fake, and don’t get old too early!
– Jyoti Jha
Disclaimer: The ideas and views expressed by the author are her own opinions and The Literary Mirror do not hold any responsibility for any such expressions which could act in the infringement of thoughts, ideas, beliefs of any individual or community.