Your Heart

An Argument For Falling In Love When You’re “Way Too Young” To Fall In Love

By February 6, 2016 0

It was midnight on my 15th birthday the first time I knew I was in love. My high school boyfriend and I were laying on a hammock in my best friend’s backyard,  laughing and kissing and counting the stars like we were in some kind of Nicholas Sparks movie, and I knew that there was no way life could have gotten more perfect. You know that cheesy quote that everyone used to put in their AIM profiles, “love is when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is better than a dream”? Well, I finally knew what that meant.

I know what you’re thinking — what could a 15-year-old possibly know about love, and in part, I agree. What I felt then is so caticlismically different than anything I could possibly feel today, for anyone or anything. And that’s a terrible, horrible thing. I’m older, wiser and way more fucked up now than I was 10 years ago, and I now know better than to love the way I used to.

Laying in that hammock nearly 10 years ago, we were young and we were dumb and we were hopelessly intoxicated with each other in a way that as an adult, I will never feel again. Yes, things ended disastrously (but what young love doesn’t, really?), and we really, really hurt each other, but I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world — it was magic.

Being wholly and completely in love, before the world has taught you to know better, is incredible. I don’t care what anyone said then, or cares to say now. What we had was real, and it was beautiful (ok, now I’m writing like Nicholas Sparks) and it was important.

Dare I say it, but everyone should have the opportunity to fall in love when they’re “too young” to do so.

You Learn How To Care About Someone Else- Even at 15, being in a relationship is hard. Ok, not exactly marriage/kids/money problems hard, but more “what’s going to happen when he goes to college” and “whose basement are we going to make out in this weekend” hard. Still, though, there are challenges. When I was in high school, I battled a pretty serious eating disorder, and

You Get A Chance To Experiment Safely- Yup — high school me tested out some pretty crazy sex stuff. I lost my virginity when I was 15 in the most loving and perfect way possible, and it’s something that I’ll cherish for the rest of my life (teenage me was SERIOUSLY living in a Nicholas Sparks film). When I compare my experience to my friends’, so many of whom “got fucked for the first time” in the back of a red Jetta, I feel so, so grateful. Because I got to experience sex for the first time (and for years after that) with someone who really, really loved me, I was able to gain a confidence in my sexuality that comes exclusively from knowing you, and your body, are being respected.

You Learn About Yourself- People tend to get all judgmental about the idea of tying yourself so closely to another human being when you’re young. But the truth is, there is something to be said about learning who you are through the way you relate to other people. How do you show love? What hurts you? How do you argue? Are you stubborn? Are you forgiving? Are you a crazy-bitch of a girlfriend? Getting to know who you are is a huge part of growing up, and there are certain things you can’t figure out on your own.

You Love Openly And Honestly- There is no love like your first love. I repeat: there is no love like your first love. Why? Because at no other time in your life will you ever love so openly, freely and unabashedly. Your heart hasn’t been broken yet, so you don’t know how badly it can hurt, and so you’re not afraid. Your guard isn’t up because you don’t know you need to put your guard up. Your heart is open and you don’t know you have anything to lose.

He broke me into so many millions of pieces, I will never, ever let myself love that way again. Will I love again? Yes, of course. But not like that. But I’m glad I did it, just that once.