We live in a generation that doesn’t accept young love. We harass teenagers for “falling in love” because “they don’t know what love is.” It’s as if love isn’t a feeling, but rather a task only adults can take on. We force kids from a young age to say “I love you” to family members and family friends that they’ve only just met, but when it is said to someone outside of that group that they know, suddenly “love” isn’t the right word. Could this be the reason for the “hookup” culture? Is this the reason why people are starting to get married at an older age? Is this why love has just become a joke? What is the definition of love?
I see it all the time in the movies, where a teenager starts to fall in love with another teenager and the entire time they are criticized for using the word “love”. They are too “young” to use the word love and know what that means. Even I was told as a teenager that I was too young to know what love was. But maybe I did.
What people never say is when it is an appropriate age to be married and use the word “love”. Why is it society’s job to tell me who I can say I love and what age I can start saying the word to people I approve of? Why is it society’s job to approve of the age that I marry? Now, in my twenties, I am being told that I am too young to get married, that I must go out, live life, and discover other people. I hear all the time that I will regret getting married at a young age, simply because I don’t know what it takes to be married and what it’s like to really be in love.
We were told to only have sex with someone we love and truly care about, but since we aren’t allowed to use the word love, could this be a part of the “hookup” culture? Forming relationships is a no-go because we are too young for that, but I say oh well. Whether young love these days is all about hook-ups or the real deal, everyone has to find it out on his/her own journey. Sure, decision making might not be the strong point in teenagers, but that’s okay, in order to learn what love is, we all need to make a mistake, or two, or twenty- however many it takes for us to learn what we truly feel is the best fit for us, what, or who, we truly love.
Love may not always be a simple feeling or emotion. Love is like a force of nature, always growing, always changing. Love is as free as the wind blows and as solid as the cliffs of Norway. Love is as tangible as a rain cloud and as picky as a toddler. Love is beautiful, but it is painful too; not all the time but when it is, it’s as intense as the storm winds over the Tropics.
Love can mean oceans for people, or love can be as barren as the untouched sands of the Outback. Some people fall in love again and again and again day after day while others may never feel its swiftness brush their cheekbones.
Love can come and go as freely as it pleases whether it stays for good, or only lasts as long as the wind blows. Whether love enters a life for a moment, or for a lifetime, it can happen, for real. Love can play games, and tricks from time to time but it’s not all the same. Not all young love is a joke, and not all forbidden love is meant to meet.
Fairytale loves can happen, but they aren’t always how it works. Love can be a sip of coffee next to a stranger in a strange city or waking up to a best friend on a Saturday morning. Family bonds are held together by their own stretches of love and they can last throughout the tides of time. Every wave of love is its own species, and it’s meant to be felt no matter how deep it may be, or even unwanted. Love is love, that is all.
Collaboration with Shyanne Kollefrath.
Featured Image via Pexels.