One of the most beautiful things about humans is their innate ability to love. The simplicity behind caring for something so deeply that you grow a profound connection with is out of this world. This one feeling can confuse you and drive you insane all while still making you yearn to keep it in your life. 

Something even more beautiful is the many ways that love takes its form. Whether it be platonic, romantic, or affectionate towards family; everyone has someone or something that they can say they care deeply about. 

I was recently asked what the definition of love is and my mind drew a blank. It was the last question left on my midterm and I had no way of answering it. I went with the safest response and said “when you really care about something or someone.” 

So here I am three weeks later, still trying to find the perfect response. I found it ironic to have this question on a midterm for a bunch of high schoolers, because almost all of us have heard "you're too young to know what love is" at least once in our lives. 

Honestly, for much of my life, I thought this was true. I believed I had to reach a certain age to understand what this emotion was and I felt like I would never be able to truly experience it until I was an adult. 

We live in a society that tells us we are too immature, and we have reckless behavior that will prevent us from ever being in a serious relationship while we are teenagers. They say we are in that stage in our lives where we are in need of guidance, so there is no way we could possibly understand the severity of love. 

When you're young you're more likely to throw yourself into love. We're naive and our judgment is clouded by the intense feelings that come rushing in as we meet someone new. We are conditioned to brush these emotions off because they are invalid due to our lack of wisdom.  

But maybe being naive isn't as bad as society makes it out to be. 

Maybe being naive is what makes our lives so simple. 

It leaves us open to so many possibilities, and it makes us believers because we do not carry any extreme cynicism due to our lack of real world experiences. 

I disagree with society and everyone that tells us we are too young to love. In fact, one of the purest forms of love is young love because it is so new, and exciting, and you begin to grow your own concept of it as you go.  

It is the rawest and most simplest form of love there is because all you have to give is yourself. 

I honestly feel bad for adults who waited and never got to experience it when they were younger, because some of the moments I know iĺl treasure forever have come from loving my person as a teenager. 

The constant giggles, smiles plastered from ear to ear, and butterflies that fill your stomach are all moments that only someone in love at a young age can describe the intensity of. 

But I’ve come to learn that love is so much more than these moments. It's more profound and sometimes can't be measured by only the happy times you share with your person. They say loving is easy but can it really be real if there is no struggle? 

The bumps along the road are what solidify your relationship and make it stronger in the end. The way that you chose to bounce back and overcome the hardships you faced the day before is what makes you both grow as individuals within your relationship.

However, love does not need to be all about finding a person to whom you grow attached to. You don't need to hurry to find a connection with someone to experience this emotion. 

Another pressure that society puts on us is that we must find love before a certain age. They make us feel like we have not lived until we have found another person to share every moment with. The media highlights other couples, and since we are so impressionable we feel as though our relationships and lives have to mirror theirs.

Love is scary because it is unpredictable. It brings out fears that you didn't even know existed within you, and insecurities that were never there before. The more you love something, the tighter you want to hold onto it. The idea of losing someone that you poured so much of your soul and time into is terrifying, which is why waiting is understandable. 

I feel as though many people confuse love for  relationships

You can experience love without being together with someone else. 

As cheesy as it is, the most important kind of love is self love. Building yourself up, and setting standards for yourself so that you can go out into the world and demand the treatment you know you deserve is so crucial to a healthy life. 

It allows you to make healthier choices for yourself, and put you and your happiness above everyone and everything else. 

Having a foundation of self love allows for us to ground ourselves, and understand what we need in order to properly coexist with others. Self love is the gift that keeps on giving, because once you learn how to accept and care for yourself…you will be able to go out into the world and project this positive energy and pour it into others. 

I’m grateful for my person, because I've gotten to experience the purest form of love and happiness because of him.  I got to experience love both platonically and romantically with him and he’s given me the perfect response to the question that I've struggled to answer for the last few weeks now. 

Love is commitment, and being able to grow a connection that will teach you lessons that you take on with you for the rest of your life. It is a bond that is unbreakable and unlike any other because it runs deeper than just the surface.

 

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