Is Teen Love Real And Can It Last?
Many adults brush off teen relationships, believing that they’re inconsequential or unable to stand the test of time. In reality, romantic connections between teenagers can be formative, instructive, fulfilling, and valuable whether or not they last over the long term - and some may. Let’s examine some of the different factors involved in being a teen in a romantic relationship and look at ways you can get support.
Is teen love real?
Definitely, answering this question is not truly possible. Relationships can be complicated, and feelings and their meanings are generally subjective. For instance, those who consider the only “real love” to be the kind that leads to marriage have a very narrow definition. In their view, most teen love today would not be “real”. However, those who have a broader definition of love that encompasses all types of meaningful experiences would be more likely to agree that teenage love can absolutely be “real”.
Love versus lust
It’s not uncommon for teenagers and adults alike to have confusion around love versus lust sometimes. Lust typically refers more to physical attraction, and it can be fleeting. Love typically refers to a more emotional connection that is characterized by a deep care for another person. Especially as a teenager, experiencing all different types of connections can be beneficial. That said, learning to recognize different types can help you manage your expectations for where you want the connection to go.
Can teen love last?
Teen love can last; just ask the high school sweethearts out there that are still married decades later. When it comes to marriages in particular, there are clear statistics available. According to a report from the CDC, marriages that occur at the age of 18 years or younger have a 10% probability of breaking up after just one year, and that likelihood increases to 29% after five years. In comparison, 6% of those who get married between the ages 20–25 get a divorce after one year of living together, and 17% end their marriages after five years.
The same report also states that the average “steady romantic relationship” in high school typically lasts six months for 16-year-olds and about a year for 17 and 18-year-olds. So while there are certain trends that indicate a low probability that teen love will last forever, that doesn’t mean it can’t last for a time that’s helpful and joyful for the people involved. Plus, most teenagers aren’t looking for a life partner at this age. That means that, to an adolescent, “a love that lasts” may simply refer to one that offers joy and learning experiences for whatever duration feels right to the partners in it.
Tips for more successful teen relationships
However long you envision your relationship lasting as a teenager, you probably want it to be healthy and enjoyable—a basic definition of “success” when it comes to interpersonal connections. Since teen dating and relationships generally have a different context than adult relationships, there are some tips you can keep in mind to increase the likelihood of having a “successful” relationship at this time in your life—whatever that looks like for you.
Prioritize getting to know yourself
Try to avoid the tendency some have to mold themselves to their current partner in an effort to please them. In the long run, a relationship where one or both partners isn’t being their authentic self is unlikely to last or be healthy or truly fulfilling. Do your best to get to know who you are and what you want in potential partners as you meet and connect with different people. That way, you can set yourself up for increasingly healthy and meaningful relationships over time.
Consider what’s best for you
When teenagers start relationships while they’re in high school, they’re going to face a challenging decision when graduation comes around. Many adolescents choose to leave town for college, job opportunities, or travel after this point, which can separate couples. Even if you’ll be staying in the same place as your partner or moving to the same new area, it’s worth considering if remaining in this relationship is what’s best for you.
Young adulthood can be a time of exciting new opportunities and the chance to meet all kinds of people. Whether you choose to stay with your high school partner or to end things before you both move on, remember: The goal at this age doesn’t have to be settling into a lifelong relationship as soon as possible. You’re allowed to take as much time as you need to weigh your options and make the decision that’s right for you and your current and future happiness, regardless of how that may affect your current relationship status.
Keep a balanced social life
It’s common for both teenagers and adults to want to spend all their time with their significant other when the relationship is new. This early phase can be exciting and full of fun and joy, so leaning into it can be a great life experience. However, it’s generally wise to maintain balance in your social life as best you can when in a relationship. Keeping up with friends, family, and hobbies while you’re dating someone can help ensure you’re building a full life for yourself independent of your relationship. Plus, if this relationship ends, it’ll be easier for you to get the support you may need from friends and loved ones if you’ve been maintaining your connections with them all along. Research supports this general concept.
Talk about love in therapy
One study found that teens with strong friendships were less likely to internalize the stress of isolation and social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another found that strong friendships can help teenagers cope with stressful life events.
When it comes to teen relationships, there are multiple ways that a therapist can support you. They can offer guidance in figuring out who you are so that you can be authentic and form true intimacy in your connections with others. They can help you recover from hurtful relationships or unrequited crushes, and they can assist you in building skills that can help you form healthy relationships such as communication and conflict resolution.
Some teenagers may find meeting with a therapist in-person to be stressful or intimidating. If you’d feel more comfortable speaking with someone from the comfort of your own home, online therapy is an option. Research suggests that it can offer similar benefits to in-office sessions, so you can feel confident in your choice either way if you decide to pursue this type of support. With your parent’s consent, you can get matched with a licensed therapist who you can meet with via phone, video call, and/or online chat through a virtual therapy service like TeenCounseling. They can help you navigate the often complicated world of relationships during your teen years.
Does high school love last?
High school relationships can last, but they're not always common. According to CDC study, relationships starting at a younger age have higher breakup rates, but some high school sweethearts stay together long-term. The maturity level and goals of the individuals often help determine the relationship's success.
Why do teenagers fall in love so fast?
Teenagers can experience intense emotions due to hormonal changes and brain development. For this reason, they may be more passionate and impulsive, which may lead to what seems like falling in love quickly. Influences from social media and peers can also influence how teenagers perceive romantic relationships.
Is it normal for a 15-year-old to fall in love?
Yes, it's normal for a 15-year-old to experience feelings of love. During the teenage years, individuals may develop deeper emotional connections, which are a natural part of development and learning about romantic relationships.
What age does true love start?
There's no specific age when true love starts. Love is a complex emotion that can happen at different times in life for different people. True love may be more about emotional maturity and life experience than a specific age.
At what age do girls start liking boys?
Girls may start showing interest in boys at various ages, typically during pre-adolescence or early adolescence (around 10-13 years old). Their interest in boys can evolve and change as they grow older and experience different stages of psychological development.
How do you know that a boy loves you secretly?
A boy might love you secretly if he shows different signs, such as a consistent interest in your life or remembering details about you. He might also try to spend more time with you and display nervousness or extra effort in his appearance around you. Subtle gestures and indirect communication may also come into play.
Who usually falls in love first?
There's no definitive answer to who falls in love first since it can vary by individual and relationship. Studies show varied results, with some suggesting men might fall in love or express it sooner, while others indicate it's an individual matter and not necessarily tied to gender.
What does love feel like?
Love can feel like a deep sense of connection and affection toward someone. It often involves caring deeply about the other person, wanting to spend time with them, and experiencing a special bond. Physically, it can develop as butterflies in the stomach, a racing heart, or a sense of calmness when spending time with a loved one.
Is it okay to have a boyfriend at the age of 15?
Having a boyfriend at 15 is a personal decision and can be okay if you feel emotionally ready. It may be important to ensure the relationship is healthy, respectful, and consensual. Communicating with parents or guardians can also be key in learning about a relationship's emotional and social responsibilities.
How do you know someone is falling in love with you?
You can often tell someone is falling in love with you by their actions and behaviors. For example, they may go out of their way to help you and show a strong interest in your life. Emotional signs may include discussing personal thoughts or feelings and expressing a desire for a future together.
- Previous Article
- Next Article