My sixteen-year-old cousin recently told me that she is in love with her fifteen-year-old boyfriend. My response: “Are you crazy?!” With every discussion ending with her simply declaring, “I just do,” I eventually reached the conclusion that my teenage cousin probably didn’t love the boy she was dating; she simply liked the idea of being in love.
While many people are terrified of those three simple words, teenagers today seem to throw them around very carelessly. If a teen says, “I love you” after only dating a person for three weeks, then chances are, their love isn’t the real deal. So are your feelings for your significant other really love? Or are they just the result of hormones and a crush? The questions below should help you determine whether or not your teen love is the real thing:
What do you like about your significant other?
Make a list of the good and bad that your boyfriend or girlfriend has to offer. Maybe they have a sparkling smile or listen to you when you are sad. Looking over this list after you’re finished writing it should help you to see if your feelings are superficial or if you actually connect with the other person on an emotional level.
What angers or upsets you about them?
If there are little things now that bother or annoy you, focus on them. The little things have a tendency to add up to bigger things and cannot always be fixed. Thinking honestly about whether you can truly tolerate these small annoyances for a long period of time should help to open your eyes as to your true feelings.
How does your significant other feel?
“It takes two to tango,” as they say, and it takes hard work from both parties to make a relationship work over the long term. If your boyfriend or girlfriend is not on the same page as you, true love will be difficult- and probably impossible- to accomplish.
What are your dreams and aspirations?
Your dreams are important. If your boyfriend wants to work on his family farm for the rest of his life and you want to live in a big city and pursue an acting career, there will definitely be trouble later on. Never, ever let another individual stop you from living your dreams.
What are their dreams and aspirations?
Your significant other will have hopes and dreams, too, so be sure that you agree with what they want to do with their life. It’s crucial that after hearing your significant other’s hopes and dreams, you can still see yourself being a part of their future. Looking realistically at the future is important for every couple who thinks they’re in love.
Do you trust the other person?
Trust is a huge factor in every relationship. If you have any inclination that your significant other is untrustworthy, then it will be extremely difficult for you to truly love them. A relationship that lacks trust is a relationship that is doomed to fail.
Do you have the same beliefs?
Beliefs are a beautiful thing, but if your significant other does not respect your views, then your beliefs could become a huge sticking point for years to come. So whether it’s your morals, religion, or political views, it’s very important that your boyfriend or girlfriend respect your opinions. They don’t necessarily have to share your same beliefs, but they must, at the very least, be willing to “agree to disagree.”
Would you introduce them to your parents?
Your parents want what is best for you, obviously, so whether you want to admit it or not, it’s important that they approve of your significant other. You may not think that their opinion matters, but if they disapprove of your girlfriend or boyfriend, they do have the power to forbid you from seeing them, something that could destroy any teenage relationship. To prevent this from happening, be sure your significant other is someone who your parents would approve of.
Young love can be trilling, but every relationship should be well thought out. As for my young cousin? Well, there are some lessons that people need to learn on their own, so all I could do was offer her my advice: Young love can feel like the most important thing right now, but true love is worth the wait in the end.
Surviving the teenage years can be extremely difficult, and if things have gotten out of control in your life, there’s no shame in admitting that you need the help of an expert. The qualified staff at certain boarding schools are an excellent resource for helping you and your family through the trying teenage years. Specializing in treating troubled and at-risk teens, some boarding schools approach education with a balance of discipline and love, and their methods have helped countless teens transform into intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually healthy young adults.