18 love lessons learned from adolescence

  1. Almost relationships“, in which you two were never official, but there was a clear attraction going on, are kind of awesome but also kind of awful. While you’re technically always in the honeymoon period, you’re also stuck in a constant state of insecurity and confusion. What are we? is a questions that’s consistently hanging on your lips, but it just feels unnerving and taboo to ask. 

  2. Your emotions today =/= your emotions tomorrow. My 7th grade boyfriend once told me that he would “walk through fire” for me, but ended up dating my then-best friend during high school. But it’s cool, we all grow and develop with time.

  3. Romantic attraction can be split into two ends of a spectrum: practicality and passion. The practical significant other is the ideal boyfriend/girlfriend/whatever material, like wow, dates with this individual would be cliché and typical, but I like safe and predictable sometimes, you know? The passionate relationship begins with that unexplainable click that is both frustrating and irrational, but it makes you feel. By no means are these two ends mutually exclusive, but most people are more one than the other.

  4. It simultaneously sucks and rocks to be vulnerable to another person. You’re opening yourself up to deeper emotions, but that also technically includes pain and heartbreak.

  5. It’s fun to fall in love with straaaaaangers.

  6. Imagining and daydreaming is a very dangerous combination, because you’ll unrealistically heighten your own expectations, and yet it’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

  7. Attraction can fade when people change, as they inevitably do. This is a perfectly logical reason to break up or move on, but not something that most people – myself included – handle particularly well. Sometimes we’re more in love with memories than people.

  8. You have to be straightforward if a relationship isn’t working. Beating around the bush or giving excuses that aren’t personal is just leading someone on. Eventually, things have to get messy. Someone just needs to say, look, you and I aren’t compatible. 

  9. Social media stalking is tragically unreliable. We use our internet presence to portray that we’re moving on and/or having a great time. Nothing good results from following along someone’s life hate-stalking them from behind a screen, and yet – another guilty pleasure of mine.

  10. If there’s no initial attraction (I don’t mean first impressions, I mean getting to know someone over, say, a week or so), there’s rarely the possibility of a successful relationship, unless, you know, five years passes and you and/or the other person undergoes a drastic change.

  11. Who you are attracted to is strongly influenced by your environment. Aka, those you crush on during high school are different from those you rush on during college.

  12. Okay, this is controversial, but my general opinion on long distance relationships is that they rarely work or satisfy both involved parties. I used to believe differently, but experience has proved me wrong. The philosophy I’ve come to embrace is that if it’s meant to be, it will happen at a better and more convenient time, even though there is technically no such thing as the “right time”. Exceptions do exists, of course, and successful LDR’s are taking place everyday, but there’s got to be 100% of that passion element I mentioned earlier, holding everything together. It’s that wild and unexplainable passion that keeps you going despite the circumstances.

  13. Writing about it all helps so much. Reading back on past entries helps even more. You preserve memories, you voice fears, and you may realize how crazy you sound or how happy you were at one point, and know that you can definitely feel that way again. This habit lets you learn something from everything. Your journal welcomes your irrational rants and will never raise an eyebrow.

  14. Friends come before relationships. But they’re not mutually exclusive. I’m just talking priorities, if it ever gets to that point. Especially at the height of college hookup culture, why prioritize “romance” over friendships, unless there’s that (again) deal-breaking factor of passion that I mentioned earlier that none of your friends seem to understand.

  15. Music is great for every stage of a relationship. The happy songs that you two enjoyed together don’t have to make you cry when it’s over. They might just induce a nostalgia trip and bring back happily preserved memories. When heartbreak strikes, it’s comforting to know that others have not only felt similar to how you feel, but that they’ve gotten up and moved on. And music that makes you cry helps with that essential emotional release.

  16. You absolutely can be friends with exes and “almosts”, but the success of that depends on both people involved. For the most part, it works well with me, unless one of us starts to feel those feelings again.

  17. Genuine guy friends – people who you will never see romantically – can be great allies.

  18. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s no point in making a list of expectations, because someone who you never expected will come along one day and shatter them all.

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