Autumn Frances
June 30, 2014 5:04 pm

In today’s society, the older generation has made a habit of telling us younger people that we don’t understand the concept of love because we’re too young.

But here’s the thing: We were brought into this world based on the idea of love, and the idea that there is a connection holding us together. We are told growing up that, one day, we will meet our significant other. However, this idea should be put to rest until we have graduated high school. As a teenager, I have struggled with this logic, as have many of my friends. A message from us kids to you all would be: Why not? Why does love have to have an age? Why can’t our feelings be real? To me, it seems that we are the wild youth. Love is such a wonderful gift, it shouldn’t be reserved for certain age groups. The purest love is found by the purest of heart. So in the end, it really shouldn’t matter if you’re 16, or 33.

Here’s a question you can ask yourself: How do you know you’re in love? Are you just used to having the same person around for so long? Or do you genuinely feel a connection between the two of you? My close friend Ally has never been much of the dating type. I have watched her get hurt and stand back up again, each time stronger than before. She met this guy Anthony a few weeks ago, and from what I can tell, their feelings are just as real as anyone 10 years older than they are. A friend of mine once said, “Strange things happen, nobody really knows if it’s true love unless you are the couple. Things can happen fast, almost instantaneously. But nobody can stop you from loving someone else.” As the oldest sibling, watching my younger brother and sister in pain is very difficult. My little sister Lily just experienced her first heart break. Her boyfriend of a few months, George, just moved to North Carolina, permanently. As we are all aware, middle schoolers tend to be a bit overzealous when it comes to relationships. However, last night, we had a real heart-to-heart conversation, and hearing her explain her feelings for this boy opened me up to the thought that love comes in all different shapes, sizes, and ages. Our youth is when we learn most about what we want in life, and we start to set our expectations. From mistakes come realizations. As you get older, you learn that love should be embraced throughout your entire life. Not just reserved for a portion later on.

Finally, you have my boyfriend Evan and me. He is honestly everything I’ve ever wanted in a boyfriend. He’s kind, sweet, intelligent, athletic, and slightly creative (a little less than me, but hey, can’t win ’em all.) I’ve always wanted a relationship that feels connected to other people. By that, I mean a relationship that is connected to my family. I want to get along with his parents, and he with mine. When it comes to love, I believe it could come from anywhere. Love is indescribable, you can’t give it a title. People who believe that you have to be a certain age to find “the one,” have not been truly exposed to love’s full potential. I say all of this knowing that with age, comes experience and knowledge, and as children, we are also susceptible to heartbreak, but sometimes we just have to take risks. And we have to be allowed to take them.

Image via Shutterstock

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