We’ve all either shamefully been in or distressingly watched early teenage relationships. The ones where the two people are constantly hanging all over each other, breaking up and getting back together all during study hall, and telling each other “I love you” every waking second of the day. These kinds of couples exist in the society we live in today more than ever before.
This “love” that these middle school children claim to be feeling is really an infatuation. It’s the first time a person of the opposite gender, without any familial relation, really showed any interest in them and that’s very exciting. However, to put the label of ” in love” on these puberty-ridden rugrats is just incorrect.
The “middle school relationships” I’m describing are valuable in many ways. You learn life lessons about the other sex, how to cooperate with someone you’re in a partnership with and the physical side of a romance. I’m sure these young kids love their boyfriends/girlfriends as people but I highly doubt that most of them are in love, at least not the “in love” that I believe in.
Infatuation and lust are so often confused with being in love. While being infatuated with someone or caught up in the lust of a romantic situation can be amazing and beautiful, there is no feeling on this earth that can compare to falling in love.
Being in love is such an obscure concept that I truly believe that most of us cannot feel it until we reach a certain age. Being in love implies a sense of maturity. I’ve loved a lot of people in my life but I’ve only been in love once.
I knew I was in love when his happiness came before my own. I wanted to spend all of my money on dates and little surprises for him. I freed up all of my time so that I could soak in his presence as often as possible.
I knew I was in love when things that were important to him became important to me. I let all of my walls down and let him know me on a level that no one had ever seen before. I knew I l was in love with him because I was going to sporting events for the first time in my life. I told him every secret that I had sworn would never leave my lips. He wanted to see me at worst and tell me that I was perfect and beautiful anyway.
I knew I was in love when every text message whether it was “hey beautiful” or “okay” made my heart jump at the sight of his name. I dolled myself up every time I knew we were going to see each other. I cringed at the thought of another girl in his arms.
I knew I was in love when sometimes after he’d kiss me goodbye and tell me he loved me, I would cry tears of joy because I didn’t know this feeling of ecstasy existed.
I knew I was in love because I stayed in the relationship for two years with 12 hours and 500 miles between us. I wanted to spend time with his family and friends; I wanted to know about every facet of his life. I made him a part of my family and my friends. I was proud to be his other half.
I knew I was in love when he wanted to end it and I screamed and cried until I was left with a broken heart and a sprained wrist. I knew I was in love when I spent three days straight on my couch without eating or sleeping, completely consumed by his ludicrous decision to leave me.
I know I was in love because even though we’re not together anymore, I want to see him happy, even if I’m not the one binging a smile to his face. I know I was in love with him because he holds an incredibly special place in my heart that can never be filled. I’ll never be in love with someone the same way I was in love with him. There will be similar aspects to future loves, but never identical to the feelings I had for him.
Being able to let go of a person in a mature and graceful manner is being in love with someone. If your heart feels warm because they are either smiling at a funny video or smiling because they are happy in their life that doesn’t include you, you have experienced what it truly means to be in love.