Do not get into a serious relationship when you’re young. Play around. Kiss more than one person. Don’t fall in love with the first and only person you’ve ever kissed. Don’t date that person for years. Don’t invest your life into that person.
Do not get into a serious relationship at age 16. Especially not at age 16. 16 is the awkward stage in life when things are confusing and frustrating. 16 is so young, even though at the time, it feels so old. 16 is when you still have braces and shop at Abercrombie & Fitch. 16 is when you don’t listen to your mom’s advice, because what does she know? 16 is when you think it’s the end of the world because the boy you have a crush on prefers texting your best friend instead of you. 16 is when you stand awkwardly at the edge of the dance floor at a Sweet 16 watching the cute girl from math class dance with that kid on the football team you can’t stand. 16 is when you still fight with your dad, because you don’t realize he’s just doing what’s best. 16 is not the time to love someone else because at 16, you don’t even love yourself. 16 sucks, which is why 16 isn’t the time to get into a serious relationship with anyone other than yourself.
Do not get into a serious relationship when you’re young. Because when you get into a relationship when you’re young, you learn how to be someone else’s girlfriend, but not how to be yourself. You aren’t your own person when you grow up as a girlfriend; you made it through the milestones of young adulthood attached to another person, and so because of this, you grow into that other person, and before long, it becomes nearly impossible to untangle yourself. You identify as a girlfriend or a boyfriend before anything else, and because of this, you forget that you are yourself first.
You learn how to love another but not how to love yourself. When you’re in a relationship first, you push aside the problems you have with yourself. You kick loving yourself under the rug, because learning to love yourself is a lot of work, especially when you’re too busy loving someone else. When you’re in a relationship first, you expect the other person to love you enough for the both of you.
Do not get into a serious relationship when you’re young — I cannot stress this enough. Learn to be yourself first. Have an identifier other than “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” Be a writer or a soccer player or an actor before wearing that boyfriend hat. Learn to take care of yourself, to make friends, to be happy on your own, to stand on your own two feet without the support of another person. Most importantly, learn to love yourself just the way you are. Loving yourself will go a long way.
But if you did get into a relationship when you were young and it didn’t work out, don’t regret the relationship. It was good, and it treated you well. You know what love is, and a lot of people your age don’t. But you can regret loving someone else before loving yourself. Regret becoming dependent before learning to be independent. You’re allowed to regret that.