Our View From Here

Perspectives of Five Women

Young Love

on February 18, 2011
Kids love

I was reluctant to do a post this week around the theme of love. I mean, yeah, it ties into Valentine’s Day, but what do I know about love? I am not currently in a relationship, nor have I been in one in a long time. I have not experienced romantic love as an adult, so what do I have to say about it?  Then I thought about it a bit more and realized that I did have something to say.

I was in love once. I was 15 and I was head over heels about this guy. We started “going out” (whatever that means) in late 9th grade and stayed together until I moved across country 16 months later. This was 1994, so long distance relationships when your parents controlled the phone and we didn’t have email yet would have been difficult.  We kept in touch for years, even spent some time together in early college.

Now, I know some of you are probably thinking that I couldn’t have been in love – I was only 15, I was too young.  I was told that several times.  But I whole-heartedly disagree. While what I felt may not have been a forever love, a deep, adult love, please don’t discount what we felt as anything less.  We truly trusted each other, felt comfortable with each other, and were always there to support each other. As a teenager, that’s kind of a big deal.  Sure, we did our share of sappy teenage things, but the feelings that were behind it were as true as any love.

And now a cute story about young love that happened to me not long ago.  I was working with a 12-year-old student of mine who was struggling with a math assignment.  We were working through it and were just about finished. The boy looked up at me and shifted back and forth in his seat.  I asked him if something was wrong.  He paused a moment, then looked at me and asked, “Do you think it’s okay for someone my age to go out with someone?” He looked at me expectantly, hoping I would give the answer he wanted to hear.

I told him that sure, if he liked someone and they liked him, then he could go out with someone.  I also told him that going out at his age might look different than it might in high school – likely they might go to a movie together or hang out at the mall, probably with their parents driving both ways – but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be special.  He gave me a huge grin and went back to his work.  Later that day, I saw him grinning and running down the hall just after the class he had with the girl in question. It totally made my day.

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