Growing up, you might think your first love will be the person you spend the rest of your life with. But let’s be real, the majority of us break it off, move on and find our soul mates (many) years later. This isn’t High School Musical after all and you aren’t Troy/Gabriella. I didn’t get into a relationship in high school (because high school boys are dumb) but I did see some guys during that time. However, my first real relationship wasn’t until college.
I’ve seen a lot of my friends go through relationships, some good and some absolutely terrible. The worst thing we all did growing up was thinking our first young love was “the one” or that the relationship set the bar for others.
Here are 8 reasons why young love is dumb, why your first significant other probably won’t be the person you marry and why it’s okay.
- Lack of experience. Relationships are all about give and take, learning how to mesh with another person. Whether you have something in common or you’re both just attracted to each other, there are a few reasons you might decide to get into a relationship. But young love is awkward. You might be stumbling through your first kiss, first time having sex and the first time saying “I love you.” If you’re not comfortable with someone and rush through these moments, you could get into an unhealthy relationship or get the wrong ideas about how relationships should be. I worked with the first guy I ever started talking to and he would always ask me to bring him food and drinks at work, even on my days off. It got into my head that I needed to buy things/cook for guys in order for them to like me. My first relationship was extremely unhealthy too, both mentally and physically. My SO tried to joke about my weight (a subject I wasn’t comfortable with at that time) and we rushed into talking about living together and marriage. In the end we didn’t mesh well and I spent a year being single before getting into another relationship.
- DRAMA. If you went to school growing up then you surely heard or were part of drama at some point. Whether it’s rumors of cheating, someone trying to talk to your SO or just a made-up rumor, drama is a bitch. If you are constantly worrying about what your SO is up to and constantly question where they are, then you might want to try being single for a while. Trying to have a serious relationship at such a young age creates a breeding ground for drama and believe me, during puberty that’s the last thing you want.
- College. One of the biggest influences in breaking up is college. Typically, you and your SO wouldn’t be going to the same college (unless you’re attached at the hip). Once you’re off on your own you get to see so many more people than the same 150 boys that were in your grade. This leads me to the next point….
- Cheating. I absolutely despise cheating and I think that anyone who cheats is scum. I would rather get a breakup text, email or Facebook message than find out someone cheated on me. Personally, I think that if someone cheats then it means you shouldn’t be in a relationship. A lot of cheating occurs when a couple goes to different schools or one goes off to college and the other is stuck in their hometown. It’s sad but it happens and if you’re young you think your SO would never do that to you because they love you. But love can suck sometimes and if your SO cheats on you then you should dump them. If they’re willing to cheat on you when you’re young, what will stop them from cheating on you when you’re older? I’ll be honest and admit I’ve been the other woman and the feeling sucks. I wasn’t aware the guy I was seeing had a girlfriend and when I initially found out I had an “I don’t care” attitude about the situation. After awhile though I started to feel like an asshole. It’s a shitty feeling to know that you might be the reason someone’s heart get’s broken.
- Your preferences fluctuate. As you explore your sexuality growing up, your preferences can change. You might be into men during high school and start dating women in college. You could go back to dating men or decide that you don’t know what you want. That’s okay. You don’t have to have everything figured out when you’re young. Most adults are just wandering through life and going with the flow because we have no idea what we are doing (in case you didn’t already know). So try to be open to your feelings and don’t think that your first love will be your only one.
- Your ideas change. I’m not just talking about your sexual preferences. Your ideas on politics, school, religion and even health will change as you grow up. As you learn new things and begin learning on your own you will develop your own ideas and belief sets. When you’re young your SO might have some of the same beliefs and this could be one of the reasons you started talking. However, the older you get and the more you develop your individual belief sets and the harder it becomes to find someone that meshes well with you. You and your “first love” might drift apart because you don’t agree on things anymore. Don’t feel bad if this happens. It’s a part of life.
- Maturity. Let’s get really honest for a second: BOYS ARE IMMATURE. The reason I never got into a relationship in high school is because boys don’t mature much during that time and I couldn’t stand how annoying they were. I’ve always been attracted to older men and I attribute some of that to how mature they are. Men in general can be immature at times but once guys pass the “immature 24/7” point in life is when I can tolerate them. Trying to be in a relationship when you’re young means it’s nearly impossible to avoid immature boys. (Just another reason why young love sucks).
- Being alone. One of the biggest reasons I see people going back to their “first/young love” and an unhealthy relationship is difficulty being single. If you’re not comfortable being alone and don’t know what you want in life, then how can you expect a relationship to work? You need to spend time with yourself, discover your goals and interests before bringing someone else into your life. At a young age, you probably don’t have many goals or life plans so don’t be afraid to be single and enjoy the time in your life where you can explore your options.
If you happen to be one of the few people that actually stays with your first young love for the rest of your life, congratulations. I’m not being sarcastic either. I couldn’t imagine finding the love of my life at a young age or at an age of inexperience. I think each relationship I’ve been in has taught me how to grow with someone and with each breakup I learn why that person and I weren’t meant to be.
I’m lucky to be in a healthy relationship now with someone who talks to me about things rather than fight. I’m comfortable around him and I feel like we could discuss anything. He doesn’t degrade me or make me wonder if he’s being unfaithful. I think one of the reasons this relationship works so well is because we took it very slow. We talked for nearly a year before acknowledging that we were boyfriend and girlfriend and spent a lot of time getting to know each other. We would sit for hours on end talking, sometimes even all night.
There are a bunch of reasons why relationships don’t work out but let me just say: never settle. If you’re unhappy, unsure or uncomfortable, then leave. Don’t feel obligated to stick by someone’s side just because they were your first love at a young age. Young love is dumb and the only thing it can teach you is how to raise your standards and expectations. What’s did your first relationship teach you?
*Feature photo originally posted on Instagram by @the.d.a