As a teenager, I assumed every boy who smiled in my direction was in love with me. If he asked to walk me to class – in my mind - I was marriage material! I couldn’t have been further from the truth.
When you are young, there are a lot of things you think you understand. I know it’s hard to believe but you still have a lot to learn about love. You might be convinced you are in love now because every time that boy looks at you, your heart skips a beat, or when that girl walks past your desk, your palms start sweating. Those are totally natural reactions even for people my age!
I remember this boy in my Senior Four who literally rocked my world every time I saw him. He was a footballer and even though I didn’t like the game much, during practice I was always lurking behind a tree, watching him and hoping he didn’t spot me while I was at it.
To cut a long story short, he finally asked me out – I wasn’t sure if it was because he liked me or he just wanted me to stop stalking him but who cared– I was ecstatic. He sadly had to leave the school the next term but we kept writing to each other. We assured ourselves of our undying love and that we would meet again someday.
We were just being silly because for one, we hardly knew each other! I bumped into him sometime and he was happily married with a child – so much for forever. What I’m trying to say is that there is a huge difference between love and infatuation. Most of the time, we mistake infatuation for love, especially when we are young.
Infatuation is when you idealize the other person to the extent that they take over your whole world. I can show you the letters we used to write if you need proof!
So if that hot new classmate makes your stomach uncomfortable, or the pretty girl makes you stutter every time she talks to you, or you lose your appetite every time a potential mate is around, naturally you will think you are in love but it’s not like that at all.
Love is a lot stronger than that. Not that I know too much about it but I have had my fair share of infatuations so trust me a little. Also, there is a difference between loving someone and being IN love with them. For instance, you don’t love an object of desire quite the same way that you love your Mom or Dad. And you certainly don’t love another person the same way a fat kid loves cake either!
Give yourself the chance to be a teenager. If you are in a relationship, keep it light, young and fun. Your only job right now is to be a kid so enjoy it while you still can. You have the rest of your life to handle serious relationships and you’ll be better prepared!