Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ah, young love

It wasn't all that long ago that I was a teenager. Some parts of those years I can remember as clearly as if they happened yesterday; passing notes between classes, having ridiculous crushes on upperclassmen, football games, dances, four-hour phone conversations (on home phones because back then no one had cell phones). Other parts, though, are like this distant hazy memory that I can only grasp pieces of. I remember having relationships with boys, but not the way they seem to happen today.

Today's teen romances are like soap operas. I like you, I love you, I hate you, I love him, I love you both, I hate him, I'm sorry, I love you, I don't know if I love you, on and on and on. All withing one week, no less. (If you think I'm being dramatic, obviously you have no teenagers in your immediate family.)

Although that part of my younger life is a tad fuzzy, I do remember myself and my peers having relationships for at least three or four months at a time. Nowadays these kids play musical boyfriend, breaking up and finding new "love" within a matter of days. That's another aspect of today's youth that frustrates me. They date someone for two days and suddenly they're in love. They've found their soul mate. Are you kidding me? As someone who's always around teenagers, I often get asked for advice on relationships. I want to shake them and say, "You have no idea what love is! It takes more than a week to fall in love with someone, because you can't possibly know someone well enough to love them in seven days." And for the love of God, can we PLEASE stop having sex at fourteen and fifteen? It's like this generation is a whole new 60s hippie phase, just on a much more irresponsible level.

Another idea that is so hard for teens to grasp is that they will change in coming years. To tell a young adult that the person they'll be in five years will be so much different than the person they are today is like talking to a brick wall. I know it's a hard concept to grasp, but it's so true. Interests change, horizons are broadened. These kids meet someone in high school and think they'll be compatible forever. Granted, it is possible. I have a handful of friends who started dating in high school and are still together to this day. It's very rare though.

I guess I worry so much about the youth of today now because in twelve years I'll have two teenage daughters. The idea is terrifying. I shudder to think of teenage romance involving my baby girls. I guess I could always send them to an all-girls boarding school....

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