As a fresh-out-of-undergrad, first year high school teacher, I spend more time with fifteen-year-olds than I do with people my own age. I’m a spectator to the unfolding intimacies in the lives of these kids and while more often than not, young love is criticized for being naïve and green, there’s definitely a lot to be said about falling in head over heels. Here’s a list of the top complaints I hear from adults about young love, what they reveal about us, and what I think we can learn from them.
1. There’s always too much PDA.
Maybe, as a culture, we’re uncomfortable with intimacy. Maybe some of us don’t think we deserve it. Maybe we spend too much time waiting for someone else to give us the things that we want. Young lovers demand attention in an unabashed way that many people could learn a thing or two from. You want to hold my hand? Hold it.
2. Young relationships are always overly dramatic.
They are. They are because every passing emotion is out on the table. It’s an emotional nakedness that maybe feels too much for a logical adult, but intimacy demands emotion. Be excited when you’re excited. Be hurt when you’re hurt. Grant yourself permission to feel the way that you do and be brave enough to share it.
3. They tend to crash and burn.
Young love is fast and furious. That’s because it’s also fearless. At fifteen, there’s no pressure coming from the future—commitment, family, kids—and no fear bubbling up from the past. Maybe when we grow up and experience more these pressures and worries and fears tend to take control of the entire process. We should try to love just to love: it’s a novel idea.
4. Young love is arbitrarily serious.
We all deserve love. This truth is indefinable by age, but maybe as we get older we question our worthiness more. There’s always a reason to be loved and no knowing where that love could come from. There’s also always something to learn from relationships. With an optimistic outlook, why not be serious?
5. They’re on again, off again.
Our generation has grown up in a fast-paced culture that demands immediacy. We don’t want to reconsider. We want things now. But, there’s something to be said about the ability to forgive and forget so thoroughly that you can fall in love all over again regardless of if it be with your significant other, yourself, or just with the infinite possibility of love.