They say teenagers are too young to understand love, but I guess people who say this is too old to understand teenagers. Young age doesn't debar one to fall in love. There's so little known about teenage relationships, which is quite ironic considering the numerous relationships between them and the criticality of romantic relationships in adolescents' lives. According to Raney, Most of these relationships are short-lived, but others can last for a year (56). Record studies were only carried out on platonic peers. High school students have been observed to spend more time interacting with their romantic relationships than how often they do with their parents, siblings, or even their friends. When they are not interacting with them, they spend most of the time thinking about them. Puberty is a stage where there is a great deal of pressure to conform to peer norms. Those who are not linking up feel lonely and out of step with their peers. Most tend to feel depressed and as if there is something wrong with them, but the truth is, people are all different. Some want to concentrate more on their studies or hobbies, while others are tempted by the pleasure provided by the temporary hookups.
According to Neldner, falling in love and romantic relationships is still part of many adolescents' development timetable (23). There is a plausible belief that romantic relationships play a vital role in the holistic development of an identity, the transformation of family relationships, the development of intimate bonds with peers, sexuality and pedagogic development and career formation. Falling in love takes some getting used to all those different emotions, mood swings, needs, and desires. Nonetheless, through their romantic relationships, adolescents have the potential for psychological growth as they learn about themselves and other people and gain experience managing these feelings and developing the knack of intimacy. In the process, they come across different perils and encounters.
What Does Love Do to Us
Romantic relationships lead to attachment to the significant other. As in the case of a parent infant relationship, the infant relies on the parent for security and assurance that they will always turn to the parent first on the face of a threat. There is a secure base relationship, a safe space for everyone to be themselves in the presence of the other person. In romantic relationships, this is also expected to be the case. The attachment is supposed to be reciprocated, and of course, now we have the integration of caregiving and sexual or reproductive behavioral systems.
In all of our relationships, most people teenagers included are expected to be vulnerable as only in our vulnerabilities can we get to connect. It is when we are authentic that we get to connect with people and, in the process keep them. Sincerity portrays that we are humans, not perfect, but with our imperfections, we are real. People are attracted to realness. This makes them feel space and understood. In an era where most people have been wearing masks for the longest time ever when we meet with others, it becomes more of two fronts meeting. In hindsight, we want to mean that we don't like who we are and therefore start taking up other people's characters abandoning ourselves. Romantic relationships, especially among teenagers helps us discover who we are. We get to master the nitty grittiest of our lives.
There is no standard course that romantic relationships should take, so the patterns change substantially over the development sequence. Experiences from our previous relationships affect our current relationships.
Falling in love is an emotional turmoil at any age, but the feelings are likely to be more challenging to cope with adolescents. Young love is said to be the most sophisticated kind of love. It is compared to a wild, obstinate, and uncontainable stallion. Love makes teenagers stupid. When one is advanced in years, it is easy for them to portray themselves as mature, therefore hindering them from acting crazy. When one is young, this is deactivated, and the thought of someone they love gives them a tingly feel.
Love teaches us that we can survive lost love. The loss of first love is painful heartbreak. Most people have their first love in their teenage years. When young and dumb, life's complications seem far beyond us. They are for adults only. Therefore, we fall in love with effortlessly and with ease. Being the first love, it most definitely means that there will be other narratives to follow. Once one gets over this, they can have numerous relationships (use picture 3, issue 8). Depending on how the previous relationship halted, the person might continue being a faithful lover. An unrequited paramour just to avoid being committed and yet at the same time get the fulfilments of those in a relationship some people end up being heartless lovers and others turn to violent people.
The downside of tasting love and getting to this feel-good level is that young people tend to become too exclusive when they pair up, cutting themselves off from friendship and support systems in ways that do not allow for their optimum growth. When a teenager closes development options through a partnership that unhealthy living choices result then their identity formation is highly compromised. When things go south and we are hurt, we run to our friends who we neglected. We find it hard to move on with our lives because we just don’t know how to be ourselves without our significant other. They should be encouraged to maintain their hobbies when they are in the throes of intense romance. They should also keep their support links to help them resist excessively interdependent and obsessional relationships.
Do to the obsessive and jealousy tendencies in teenage love, many of them experience mania type of love. This can lead to self-destruction especially if the love offered is not This is because most times the balance between reciprocated with the same intensity. People who experience this type of love are compelled to stay even when they should have been long gone and the effect to this is that their self-esteem is crushed.
Raney, Vanessa. "Review of Charles Burns’ Black Hole." Image Text: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies 2.1 (2005).
Chute, Hillary. "Our cancer year, and: Janet and me: an illustrated story of love and loss, and: cancer vixen: a true story, and: Mom's cancer, and: blue pills: a positive love story, and: epileptic, and: the black hole." Literature and Medicine 26.2 (2007): 413-429.
Heimermann, Mark. "Grotesque Adolescence in Charles Burns’ Black Hole." Misfit Children: An Inquiry into Childhood Belongings (2016): 89.
Neldner, Jonas. "Dis/ability and Hybridity: The Bodies of Charles Burns." Spaces Between. Springer VS, Wiesbaden, 2020. 109-124.
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