Maybe this post will be a bit controversial and offend some people, and I'm sure I've blogged about similar things before, but I'm in the mood for getting this all out today and attempting to articulate myself properly.
I have a pen pal from Ohio. He's a year older than me and we've been emailing almost everyday since May this year, so about five months. I'm so pleased we've managed to keep in contact. I love emailing him because we talk about everything from our favourite milkshake flavours, to the meaning of life, to his relationship problems. Today, we got onto the topic of young love. This is something that really gets me going. I think I'm pretty cynical about love in general, especially teen love, so I was able to fire back a response to him in about a minute.
Part of what I said was:
"I think people in their teens are trying to find themselves and it's a good time to be on your own so you can work things out. You don't want to be tied down to one person. I'm not saying go off and be really promiscuous and launch yourself at every guy you see, but being young is about meeting new people and figuring out what it is you like, what it is you want from a future partner. And if, in your teens, you do find someone you want to spend a lot of time with, I bet it's not love. Yeah, it's probably really strong feelings and you think it's love because that's the most powerful feeling you've known. But I think you have to be in love twice to know what it is, so you can compare, you know?"
Then I was like, oh perhaps this could be good blogging material. Except I already said everything in that one paragraph. I've never been in love, I can tell you that now. There's a scientific study conducted by actual scientists (would you believe it?) which stated that a crush only lasts for four months, and if the feelings continue past that time period, it's love. Complete and utter rubbish. I had a huge crush on the same guy from when I was ten to fourteen years old. Forget four months, what about four years? No ten year old is in love. I liked him a lot but I was never naive enough to think it was love. Am I coming across as cynical enough yet?
I think the strongest feelings I've ever had for someone were for a guy I met online and later met up with in person earlier this year. Feel free to read the whole tale here. Like I stated in that post, I was definitely not in love. I'm not a huge fan of teen relationships and have never been in one but I've (dare I say it?) dated guys for a while. Everything I felt for those guys was eclipsed by what I felt for the internet guy, and everything I've ever felt for anyone since him has been overshadowed by my crush on him. I know, I know, it's not healthy. I was scared that nothing and no one would ever match up to him for the rest of my life.
Then I told myself to get a grip and get over myself. Yes, by the time you're sixteen, there's an 80% chance you'll have met the person you marry, but I read something really great once. Really truthful too, I think. It was something along the lines of "the person you end up marrying isn't your soul mate and it isn't because you're in love; it's whoever you happen to be with when you're thirty years old".
Why am I worrying about marriage at the age of seventeen? I don't know, but I hope true love is a real thing because I want it. Don't most people? I'm certain that I don't want to find it now though, because I don't even know who I am right now, let alone knowing what I want from someone else. Maybe that's a cliche, something that everyone says, but maybe that's because it's true. Right now, love is a bit of an elusive concept to me, a bit of a mystery, but it's also something that seems entirely desirable.