Aaaaaah, young love. If you have been in love as a teenager, you’ll understand that intense craving, that blissful state where only you and they exist, and remember how heartwrenching it is to be apart for more than one day. It’s incredible. It’s overwhelming, uplifting, exciting, passionate, and at its heart, young love is simple.
Ads and I met when I was seventeen. At a nightclub. Yep, underage at a seedy suburban nightclub, dancing to Will Smith at 3am on a Friday, I met my future husband. Woooh! I remember liking that he was so tall (I still like that), finding him mysterious (ie quiet), digging his sideburns, and trusting him immediately. How is that possible? I had only met this guy 5 seconds ago, and yet I knew that I could trust him, wholeheartedly. It wasn’t love – yet – but I knew from day dot that something big could happen if I hung around.
Sounds a little crazy, but when you’re young, in the midst of that whirlwind of crazy pubescent emotion, I believe we are often better connected with the truth of another person. Before we really start to take on all the ‘adult notions’ of how a relationship should play out, there’s a gap in time, where we are free to know a person, without ever having to ‘know’ a person. And that’s where young love can blossom. It doesn’t matter so much that they make pizzas for a job, or that they live almost two hours from you, and that you hardly know anything factual about them at all. Often when we’re young we can see, and sense what another person’s intentions are more easily and connect at a deeper level. Without having to talk so much, we can just ‘get’ someone by looking at them. It’s intense, and we feel a little disconnected from the real world, like we’re floating.
So can that lusty, often overwhelming young love grow into something solid, and based in reality? And better yet, can it last? Well, as a prime example that it can, I am somewhat biased.
So what made us different than the other pink-hearted pubescent loves? How did we make it last? For one, the love that is professed, has to be real. And by that I mean not just in your head, it has to be in your heart. It can’t be the ‘idea of love’ that you are in love with. For some, being ‘in love’ can be an escape, or equal freedom. You might hang with new people, go to different places, see new things that are all so exciting and uncharted. You can easily fall in love with the new life that you’re leading, and assume that you’re actually in love with person you’re with. Check it, see where you’re at. Are you actually in love, or in love with a new version of you?
If you know you’re like, totally beyond that and are completely convicted that you are in LOOOOVVVEEE, then your next challenge could be to move beyond that honeymoon phase and into something boring adults call responsible, everyday life or a serious relationship. That’ll be things like living together, sharing funds, making big decisions about study, work, purchases and the like all together. And compromising. Doesn’t sound very exciting really does it? Ads’ and I’s first big challenge came when we decided to open a business together with a couple of friends. We soon discovered that working together all the time wasn’t a dream come true, and we argued about the ‘best’ way to run things until we were blue in the face. We had very different approaches to business, and combined with just moving in together, we had some testy times! The lesson we had to learn pretty quickly was to change what wasn’t working for the sake of our relationship.
When you face whatever challenge the next stage of your relationship brings, you start to learn the art of compromise, and standing your ground. And no doubt, you will question whether this love is worth your compromises. This is totally natural and healthy – and often your relationship will be a series of questions or decisions you ask yourself. Is this right for me? Am I where I want to be? Is this right for my partner? Are we compromising too much of ourselves? What do I/we want more of or less of? The answers you get will help navigate you on your path, whether it’s with your partner, or moving on solo.
Ultimately, the biggest test of young love is growing up. Making young love last is about staying connected with yourself as you change, and continuing to get to know your boyfriend or girlfriend as the person they grow into. Your path from young love will completely depend on whether you grow apart or together. And we can all change a lot. Who you might be in love with now, might develop into a person that you’re not that into anymore in a few years. Or, you might be lucky like me and endure the good times with the shit to end up with exactly what you always wanted. Now over thirteen years later, Ads and I are still growing together, and stronger than ever. I hung around, and something big did happen.