Sometimes I’ll listen to my friends talk about their teenagers “in love” and hear them refer to their feelings condescendingly as “puppy love.” They don’t take their children’s relationships seriously. But why do we discredit the love that teenagers feel for each other? Is it really just “puppy love”? And what’s wrong with puppy love? I, for one, think puppies may have a lot to teach us about love.
When we’re young we love without expectations. Teenagers aren’t concerned about adult issues like: Does he make enough money? Does she come from a good family? Can he provide for me? Would she make a good mother? Will he sweep me off my feet, ride up on a white horse, save me from all my problems, complete me, make me whole and make all my dreams come true AND pay the rent? Teenagers love without Ego… “Young, Free and in Love” may be much closer to the truth of authentic love than we realize.
Which begs the question: Is it possible that we’re “smarter” in love when we’re teenagers?
As we grow older (and supposedly wiser) we often put up walls based on our previous relationships. If we’ve been disappointed in love – and let’s admit it, we all have been — we often put up emotional walls to protect us from getting hurt again. Walls intended to protect us, but inadvertently end up hurting us by keeping people “out” and disabling our ability to experience intimacy. We act like PTSD babies exclaiming, “I’ll NEVER let anyone treat me like that again.” Often going to extremes to ensure our emotional safety. Which in turn, ends up stifling our physical, emotional and spiritual growth.
When we’re young and unscathed, our hearts are open and pure. We love with our hearts, not our minds, putting ourselves out on the line with nothing to lose and everything to gain. We’re romantic, vulnerable and unafraid of intimacy. I used to write poetry for my boyfriend in high school. Then one day, writing romantic poetry “seemed” silly and immature. So I stopped.
And remember “mixed tapes”? How many adults still make mixed tapes for their loved ones? Okay, maybe not “mixed tapes” these days, but romantic playlists for our iPods. Are they really considered corny after the age of 17? Or are we just afraid to express ourselves with such vulnerability later in life? If you still make them—bravo to you! And if you’re single, call me!
When we were teenagers we didn’t choose our partners based on what kind of job they had. We didn’t worry about how much money they make or if they’ll be a good father/husband/wife/mother. We just loved the person for who they were without expectations – other than if they’ll sit with us at lunch. Or take us to the prom. And not date our step-sister… Or our best friend… (No, that did not happen to me. I have a friend…) Love was simple. And sweet. What a concept!
Yes, it’s true, we could do without the teenage angst: “I can’t live without you! If you leave me I’ll DIE.” But at least the angst is honest. Heartbreak is heartbreak. Love is love — no matter what age you happen to be. Teenagers just don’t hold back in “expressing” their love.
I guess my point is: Wouldn’t it be nice to go back to just loving each other for who we are authentically? Bring down the walls, lose the expectations and be wild and free— just like when we were kids. Bring back the puppy love. Who doesn’t love a puppy? Love without EGO. I have a feeling our relationships would improve ten-fold as we learn to express ourSELVES authentically from a place of pure puppy love. Can you love this way? I think you can. Count me in!
With Love, For the highest good…
xo, Christy Jacobs