Puppy love vs True love

Puppy love vs True love

Is what I feel true love or infatuation (puppy love)?

First-love-what-adults-called-puppy-love-and-what-we-thought-was-true-love

 Puppy Love

Puppy love (infatuation) is the first kind of romantic love we feel as teenagers. It is part of an immature relationship without the long term commitments that comes with mature relationships. The feelings that are commonly felt are very intense feelings of desire, passion and excitement. The focus of puppy love is on feelings – which can change quickly without explanation.

 

Characteristics of teen puppy love are:

  • You think about that person 24/7
  • You can’t get enough of seeing this person
  • You get a rush and excited feeling when you see this person.
  • You may blush, sweat or get heart palpitations upon seeing the person.
  • You ignore anything bad people say about the person, especially your family.
  • You feel sexually very attracted to the person.
  • You are constantly checking your social media for messages from the person.
  • You only focus on the good qualities of the person.
  • You are unsure of this person’s feelings for you.
  • You go out of your way to look your best for this person.
  • You might lose your appetite for a while.
  • You have been together for less than a year.
  • You give too much information about yourself too soon.

Puppy love happens when young people are newly dating. They know very little about each other and it is mostly innocent. Couples often engage in a sexual relationship too soon, because of the intense feelings – without being mature enough to make long term commitments, being in the relationship long enough (more than a year) and first getting to know the person well enough.

What is a crush And what is love?

When you have a crush, you are romantically fascinated or obsessed with another person, but he or she still seems to be at a remove from you. When you’re in love, your identity merges with someone else’s. You’d take a bullet for him or her.

Puppy love pregnancies

Below are statistics from the Alan Guttmacher Institute (2004) outlining trends in teenage dating. The statistics suggest that teens are delaying their sexual initiation, not readily acting on their puppy love.

• 46% of teens between 15-19 years of age indicated that they have had sex at least once.

In South Africa about 80 000 teen girls per year give birth to babies. About as many abortions are done per year.

Our teens engage in sexual activities from a young age, without taking the necessary precautions to guard against HIV and pregnancy. Many teens in South Africa fall pregnant because they engage in sex too quickly, during this puppy love phase. Many  fear the break-up of the relationship if they refuse a sexual intimacy. In most cases it is too early for sexual intimacy.  The couple is too young and immature; the relationship is based on feelings, not on thoughtful decisions. The relationship then falls apart, with the boy moving on, because he was never ready for the long term commitment of starting a family. The girl is left to have an abortion or to raise the baby on her own.

True love

True love is not a feeling, because feelings change. Feelings come and go. True love is a conscious, thoughtful decision and commitment. It means that you decide to love someone and you stick by it. Love grows overtime.

Real love takes time to develop and grow and doesn’t happen overnight, nor does it grow over two weeks or two months.  “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”

 

Characteristics of true love

  • You care more about your partner’s happiness than your own.
  • Your partner is also your best friend – your soul mate.
  • You are not jealous or envious at all in your relationship.
  • You are both able to forgive one another.
  • You make time for one another to spend together.
  • You are free to pursue your own dreams and goals in this relationship.
  • You encourage and support one another in everything you both do.
  • You are 100% faithful to one another.
  • You always treat each other with respect.
  • You strive to better your relationship and spend time thinking about it.
  • You each have hobbies and interests of your own, as well as stuff you enjoy doing as a couple.
  • You are able to resolve and talk through differences constructively.

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.” ~Sam Keen

Get help

For parents:

News flash: Forcing teens into dating exile by controlling all interactions they have with their significant others or Rapunzel-ing them away in a tower, secluding them from all other life forms, is counterproductive!

Undoubtedly adolescence is a time in which teens struggle with both identity and intimacy issues as their puppy love transpires into true love. Parents of adolescents are also presented with new challenges. Somehow, parents must accept the reality that their once darling little babies are now sexually mature teenagers.

Since teens who reported frequent arguments with parents concerning dating rights were more likely to initiate sexual activity, the researchers concluded that teens may have rebelled against their parents and engaged in sexual activity despite their parents’ desires.

So before you let the butterflies creep into your stomach after thinking about what thoughts could be fluttering through your love sick teen’s mind, consider having a conversation with your teen about your expectations and rules regarding dating. It is important for you to let your teen know that she must always feel respected both physically and emotionally by her significant other. Make sure that you are actively listening to your teen’s thoughts and above all else, convey to your teen that you will always be willing to lend an ear to listen to her concerns, a shoulder to cry on, and most importantly, your heart to comfort her with unconditional love.

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