"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." -Maya Angelou
Many people claim that love knows no bounds, yet age, specifically the teenage years, seems to have become the exception to that rule.
Two thirty year olds can go out on a date and be married twelve months later without society blinking its eyelashes. A twenty seven year old can seriously date a twenty five year old without anyone taking a second look. But two seventeen year olds who have been dating for twenty four months are incapable of being in love, with hormones and inexperience being the most commonly cited barriers to love in high school.
"It's not real love, it's just a hormone-induced crush"
The years between fourteen and eighteen are typically characterized by one word, puberty. And the driving force behind those life changing years are hormones. Girls cry and eat uncontrollably. Boys voices drop and their libido sky rockets. Sure hormones change the way a person functions, but is it so detrimental to the psyche that it prevents them from functioning logically? If that is the case, why does no one question the validity of love coming from a woman experiencing menopause and it's equal rush of hormones? Hormones do not prevent love. In fact, if you can find someone who can handle your hormone induced, teary eyed, ice-cream filled roller coaster, you have found someone who truly loves you.
"I know you think you love him, but you just don't know what love is."
Age can not prevent one from being in love. An infant clings to its mother before it can even comprehend the meaning of the word. It has literally no life experience, yet it exhibits all signs of love towards its mother. While watching a toddler toddle, one is likely to agree that they are the closest humanity will ever come to dogs in their exuberance and love of the world. And no one would argue that, despite the angst some display, most teenagers love their parents and their siblings. So teens are wholly capable of loving their parents, yet they are wholly incapable of loving someone they chose to bring into their lives. How can the experience of age make a person more capable of love when every age leading up to and equaling the teen years exhibits that love.
Adults argue that teens today are selfish and immature, while they themselves are wholly mature and developed. At what point do we go from irresponsible to mature adults? Now, not all teenage relationships are fueled by real love. There are relationships where popularity, attraction, and sex form an unsteady foundation. After all, teens gained the sex-filled, selfish stereotype for a reason. But the existence of those relationships should not invalidate the ones in which real, self-giving love is involved. So next time you ask a teen about their relationship, I suggest you listen to their answer