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It's also possible for a friendship to move from closeness into attraction as two people realize their relationship is more than "just like" and they have become interested in one another in a romantic way. For people falling in love for the first time, it can be hard to tell the difference between the intense, new feelings of physical attraction and the deeper closeness that goes with being in love.

The third ingredient in a love relationship, commitment, is about wanting and deciding to stay together as a couple in the future — despite any changes and challenges that life brings. Sometimes couples who fall in love in high school develop committed relationships that last. Many relationships don't last, though. But it's not because teens aren't capable of deep loving.

We typically have shorter relationships as teens because adolescence is a time when we instinctively seek lots of different experiences and try out different things. It's all part of discovering who we are, what we value, and what we want out of life. Another reason we tend to have shorter relationships in our teens is because the things we want to get out of a romantic relationship change as we get a little older. In our teens — especially for guys — relationships are mainly about physical attraction.

But by the time guys reach 20 or so, they rate a person's inner qualities as most important. Teen girls emphasize closeness as most important — although they don't mind if a potential love interest is cute too! In our teens, relationships are mostly about having fun. Dating can seem like a great way to have someone to go places with and do things with. Dating can also be a way to fit in.

Is the relationship a constructive one?

If our friends are all dating someone, we might put pressure on ourselves to find a boyfriend or girlfriend too. For some people dating is even a status thing. It can almost seem like another version of cliques: The pressure to go out with the "right" person in the "right" group can make dating a lot less fun than it should be — and not so much about love! In our late teens, though, relationships are less about going out to have fun and fitting in.

a typical teenage love song // tate mcrae

Closeness, sharing, and confiding become more important to both guys and girls. By the time they reach their twenties, most girls and guys value support, closeness, and communication, as well as passion. This is the time when people start thinking about finding someone they can commit to in the long run — a love that will last.

Why Teenage Love Is The Purest, Most Honest Form Of Connection

When people first experience falling in love, it often starts as attraction. Sexual feelings can also be a part of this attraction. People at this stage might daydream about a crush or a new BF or GF.

When people are in love, 12 areas of the brain get involved in producing romantic cocktail

They may doodle the person's name or think of their special someone while a particular song is playing. It sure feels like love. But it's not love yet. It hasn't had time to grow into emotional closeness that's needed for love.

Parents' reactions to teen romance.

Because feelings of attraction and sexual interest are new, and they're directed at a person we want a relationship with, it's not surprising we confuse attraction with love. It's all so intense, exciting, and hard to sort out.

The crazy intensity of the passion and attraction phase fades a bit after a while. Like putting all our energy into winning a race, this kind of passion is exhilarating but far too extreme to keep going forever. If a relationship is destined to last, this is where closeness enters the picture.

Teenage love: what should a parent do | Complete Wellbeing

The early passionate intensity may fade, but a deep affectionate attachment takes its place. Giving, receiving, revealing, and supporting is a back-and-forth process: One person shares a detail, then the other person shares something, then the first person feels safe enough to share a little more. In this way, the relationship gradually builds into a place of openness, trust, and support where each partner knows that the other will be there when times are tough.


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Both feel liked and accepted for who they are. It's just different. In healthy, long-term relationships, couples often find that intense passion comes and goes at different times. But the closeness is always there. Sometimes, though, a couple loses the closeness. For adults, relationships can sometimes turn into what experts call "empty love.

This is not usually a problem for teens, but there are other reasons why relationships end. Love is delicate. It needs to be cared for and nurtured if it is to last through time. Just like friendships, relationships can fail if they are not given enough time and attention. This is one reason why some couples might not last — perhaps someone is so busy with school, extracurriculars, and work that he or she has less time for a relationship. From movie scenes? Are they written by your favorite author? Teenage love stories are often awkwardly, impossibly romantic.

The kind you find in sitcoms, books and blockbuster movies. Think awkward teen falling in love with a vampire who is years older than her. Best friends finally realizing they love each other and living happily ever after.

Teenage Love Advice for Romance and Early Dating

In the midst of awkward imperfection comes perfect romance. We enjoy love stories that end with hope for a better future and hope that we could also one day find a love like that — a love that reads a notebook full of their love story every day, the kind of love that changes the beast into a man, a love that can even survive carbon-freezing in a galaxy far, far away.

Sometimes love hurts, it disappoints, it is jealous, it is almost always messy. When we have a view of love that is only good and sweet and always smells good, it is easy to walk away when it gets hard.


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  • We do a disservice to teenagers when we encourage them to settle on surface-level, easy love. The kind of love you really want will be hard and difficult, but it is so worth it! That is what I want teenagers to hear. Below are images taken with permission from the journal of a High School girl. In this entry to God, she is realizing that hope, joy and purpose are not found in her boyfriend.