Being a teenager and in love may be one of the most controversial things thrown out there on the market of conversation. People like to comment on teenage relationships with things like “What a cute couple!” and “Ah, to be young again.” Nobody believes that it’s possible for someone to grow up and change and deal with everything teenagers deal with and still be able to feel real, true love for someone and imagine a real, true future with them. I find this fact rather entertaining, as I’ve known teenage relationships to last longer than some adult relationships.
As I’m bordering on adulthood myself, I have one truth I would like to share with the world that I sincerely believe other teenagers want people to know: It is possible to grow up and be in love at the same time, and to have that love grow up along with you. It just takes a little effort, patience and the realization that you still have a lot to learn.
It is difficult when your world, thoughts, opinions and social situations are changing to imagine any type of stability in your life. This is a problem I definitely went through while dating the same guy from the time I was in tenth grade until after I graduated high school. When you find this stability though, it becomes your rock, your hiding place, your safety net, and is sometimes the only beautiful thing in your life.
Living a life of restriction as a teenager, where everything you say and do is monitored and judged by not only your school peers, but also by your friends and family, and where your every location is dictated by either your parents’ permission or the government, it can make it seem silly that you have to try so hard to spend time with your significant other. It seems to easy for adults to do it; all they have to do is simply call each other up at any hour of the day and they can be gone for any measure of time without any concern from anyone else.
It is also difficult to form a solid relationship and maintain it when your everyday opinions and thoughts are changing, and so is what you look for in a person. Your tastes will eventually evolve from wanting someone on your arm to walk into that party with, to starting to look for a real lifelong partner, who can potentially hold your hand through all the struggles and triumphs of adult life, and maybe even build a life with that person next to you.
As you attempt to write your high school final exams, and at the same time assess whether or not the guy that you’re going to the movies with on Friday night is the right guy to have children and take on a mortgage payment with, it can make teenage love seem like a waste of time. Many adults assume that our brains are too immature, or too young to know who we should build a life with or the kind of person who will make us happy for the next seventy years.
With all of these things in my mind, I want to tell you this: To the young teen who is in love with her boyfriend (and not the crazy kind of love, but the love that has settled into a routine and is an ongoing constant), fight for this relationship to work.
Fight through all the doubt, through the trivial differences that you may have, and only leave if something is physically, emotionally or mentally hurting you as a person. Hold onto that love with everything you have. Sure, you may have nights where he disappears with his friends and you worry about him for hours and think he’s too immature for you. And sure, you may have times where you really don’t like how she’s talking to that guy, and you think that the appropriate response is to freak out at her over text message or on the phone.
But just remember, this is simply your teenage changes talking, and these too will pass.
Do not throw out a beautiful relationship over petty things.
Don’t let the trivial things of the world that are not so terrible that they cannot be worked out, be the reason that you let love get away.
Don’t let the growing pains you will experience as you find out who you are destroy what can be beautiful. If you’re 14, or 15, or 16, or even 19, this love can be real. I’m telling you it can be real.
It can be the kind of love that keeps you up at night when things aren’t going well, that puts a smile on your face like no other, and the only time you may find out that you loved them so much is when it’s gone. Don’t ever let yourself experience that. Fall in love with him or her again and again, and always know that if you work together, you can work anything out. Just like “real” adults with cars, and full time jobs, and children, and an actual house can.
Because your love is real.
You feel it just as deeply as anyone else. And it can last. It can tear you apart and ruin your day and make you feel like you can’t breathe when it’s gone, and it can lift you up a million stories and make the sun seem brighter when you have it in your hands.
Enjoy the way their skin feels against yours, use their voice as a lullaby, and their shoulder for support. This love is real, and the best way that you will survive a brand new world is with them beside you. Your best friend, and the person you’re in love with.
Give them everything, and appreciate everything they give you. Do not take for granted how amazing it is that you have found someone so special so young. You will cry, you will laugh, you will smile, and you will grow.
But you will grow with them. You don’t have to do it alone. You don’t have to tackle a brand new world by yourself.
And that’s what’s so beautiful about teenage love.
You do not have to be scared alone.
You will go together.