Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Young Love, Is it the real thing…

Many have argued throughout the years that young love exists and an age should never be applied to it. Any one at any age is capable of falling in love with someone else. Do you agree? Is it that simple?

It goes without saying that if someone is arguing “for” something there are at least three people arguing “against” it. An appropriate age to fall in love has been a debatable topic for as long as humans have been able to communicate. And, possibly before sophisticated communication was even invented people were debating love with rocks and hand gestures.

Today, even more than ever before, young love is not widely embraced. In yesteryear, a girl not married before she was 18 was a disgrace to her family. Today a woman not married at 30 is socially acceptable and she is haled as fiercely independent and a role model to girls everywhere.

In the Chloe Chronicles and the Rebirth the main character, Chloe Carmichael is in love with her boyfriend Christopher Thomas. They are both juniors in high school. Some would argue that what these “kids” feel is not “real love” and given the right amount of time and a little separation (say college) the two will find little to no desire to continue the relationship.

I wonder if we checked in on Cinderella and the Prince what we’d find. Is love abounding? Is Prince Charming making those googly eyes at Cinderella still? Does she get butterflies when he walks in the room? Or has time taken its toll on the relationship. Has Cinderella been privy to some of the Prince’s less charming mannerisms?

If Romeo had only received the message from Friar Laurence would he and Juliet have lived happily ever after? Well, possibly not due to the Montagues (Romeo’s crew) and Capulets (Juliet’s pep’s) engaged in a feud so ugly it would have made the West Coast, East Coast Hip Hop feud look like a pre-school rumble.

Young love has been depicted throughout literature and countless movies. Below I have listed my two favorites. They each present a different perspective on the subject. Let’s examine the two and spot these extreme variances:

1.      The Notebook – The couple, Allie and Noah, met during the summer and a romance ensues and blossoms into magic. Social cliché’s abound and young Noah succumbed to the notion that they just weren’t meant to be. Some years in the future, Noah accidently sees Allie and a feverish need propels him to move forward with a promise he made her many years earlier. Allie has an accident of her own, when she catches a glimpse of Noah in the paper. While trying on a wedding dress of all things. How scandalous! In the end, all is well with love and the world. Noah gets the girl and young love has endured, time, distance, social inequality/pressure and romantic experiences with others aside – young love still won in the end. This movie will make you believe in love and the power of persistence to win the one you want.

2.      Romeo and Juliet – “The Star Crossed Lovers” Romeo is fickle, yes, I said it. He is torn emotionally over Rosalind’s rejection and so, like any other teenage boy, sets out for the nearest party. While at this shindig he catches a glimpse of Juliet and falls madly in love with her. Crazy right! Not so, many were married after just one encounter in those days. Even crazier, Juliet was 13 years old and she reciprocated Romeo’s feelings. Big problem: they were sworn enemies. The Capulet’s, Juliet’s family, hated and feuded daily with the Montague’s, Romeo’s family. Did our lovers allow this bickering to thwart their attempt at true love? No way! They had the aid of Friar Laurence, Romeo’s confidant and he marries the two. All is well with the world you say. Say not. Miscommunication, parents who just don’t understand, too many secrets and fate itself seeming to work against them force Romeo and Juliet into two tight corners. They come out swinging…they will fight for their love. Romeo’s weapon:  a vial of poison. Juliet’s weapon: Romeo’s dagger. A tragic end to a love so great and yet unrealized.

Well kids/teens/pre-adolescents (trying to be politically correct here) sorry to break it to you but love and life are never as simple as the movies and books sometimes try to make it. Nor are they always as dramatic. The reality is love is hard work. If you are willing to put in the work you may come out with a shiny new partner for life…if not, then you’ll be okay too. The fact is there are many obstacles to true love at the “young” stage in life. Let’s examine the Pros and the Cons:

Case for Young Love:

  • It’s new, simple
  • Unique experiences that will never be forgotten are shared together
  • Uninhibited – the people involved have never been tainted by heartbreak. They are unabashed and therefore feel unrestricted in their need to please and be pleased by their mate.
  • Time is on your side…at school, at social events… Life is not there to interfere with your love; no other obligations to pull you away from the one you want exist.

Case against Young Love:

  • Parents don’t support or understand the relationship
  • Distance occurs suddenly – someone moves or goes off to college
  • Peer Pressure, feels the pressure from friends that possibly the love of your life is not in the same social circle and therefore not worthy of your affections
  • Physical attraction only - that’s all you feel for this person and after a short amount of time that attraction will fade if there is no common ground (e.g., shared interest, time together…)
  • Overly emotional - usually, not always, the couple at this stage is over dramatic, listens and involves outsiders far too often in their relationship and aren’t emotionally capable of dealing with the needs and feelings of any one other than their immediate family

So, there you have it. Have we answered the question? No, I am pretty certain we haven’t - but who can. Every situation is different and every person will deal with that situation in his or her own manner. Be true to yourself and your feelings. Don’t allow others to define you or your relationship. Communicate honestly with your one true love and don’t move so fast…keep a slow and even pace. After all, it’s not a race, slow down, smell the flowers, take a deep breath and tackle love.