I somehow always found myself as the person who was fascinated by the idea of love. Whether it is the love that I saw in my parents relationship or from TV shows, I fell in love with the concept of love. From a young age the TV shows and movies that I would so fondly watch would be involving, if not centered around, a young teen/tween who had some sort of crush or relationship in her life. These shows never depicted the parents of the young teen/tween disregarding their child’s love for their significant other simply based on their age. Yet, that was what happened for myself and many others.
I had my first real relationship when I was 16. The guy I was in a relationship with was 18 and was a year ahead of me in school. Our relationship was pretty serious and the feelings we had for each other grew immensely over the months. We broke up after a little more than 6 months. I was comforted by many of the people who loved me with phrases similar to ‘you’re young’ and ‘this will be nothing in the future’. This was a shock to me, as I no longer felt like I related to the character in the TV shows and movies that I watched for my feelings were being diminished. I know those who said these words were only trying to help, but in the moment it did not feel like that.
Eventually, I ended up in another relationship, one I am still in after over 13 months. The feelings that I have for this man are of such that words do not do them justice. He was my rock when I was going through rough patches in life and has continued to be my best friend through it all. However, we still have people telling us that it will not last or that we will eventually break up, simply because we are young.
While young relationships may not last, young relationships are not a guaranteed failure. According to an article published online 14% of marriages are from a relationship formed while in school. So why do we often discredit people in our lives that appear to be in love with someone, simply based on their age?
I am not stating that a 12 year old knows that they are in love and should be able to get married right then and there. However, if my boyfriend and I were both 17 when we started dating and are now legal adults (both 18) why is it that people do not trust us enough to know that we are really in love and compatible for each other? We are both trusted to vote in presidential elections, yet not know our own feelings? While neither of us want to get married at this instance, there are couples out there our age that do. So why should we, as a society, discredit their love? Love is love. Whether you are 16 or 68, you are just as likely to fall in love with someone. If you just so happen to meet the person that you are compatible with and want to spend the rest of your life with them, then you should be able to without the hesitation of society.
So here’s to young love. And here’s to young love -- not stupid young love.