Is It Love?

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
how can u tell when ur in love? Advice
Love is an emotion. So if you ask someone "what makes you sad", it might be something completely different than what makes someone else sad. One person might be sad because they didn't get to see their boyfriend that day. But to another person, whose boyfriend is gone at sea for a month at a time, this might be "normal". One person might be sad because a mean person didn't talk to them ... but another person might be happy because of that!

So what YOU think is love comes down to how you were raised, what you read and watched growing up, how people have treated you. If you were love starved and grew up watching fairy tales, you might feel "in love" the very second you met a girl that looked like a princess and who smiled at you. You might at that very moment say "I love you!" and mean it.

But someone else, who was raised to feel love is a special emotion that grows over time, and that it really means two people connect strongly, respect the good AND bad about each other, and will commit to standing by each other for the rest of their lives, they may not be ready to say "I love you" until they are ready to follow it with, "I want you to marry me."

There is no universal meaning for "love". You can love a goldfish, you can love a great pizza, you can love Meg Ryan, you can love your sister, you can love your girlfriend, you can love your new child. All of these loves are valid and every single one is different.

If your real question is, "Do I love this person enough to spend the rest of my life with them," then that is the deepest love. And to answer it, you have to really know that person. You can't love their hair, or their eyes. You can't see them across the room and make the decision. You have to know their good AND bad sides. You can't just see them on off weekends when you both get away from your real lives. The person should BE your real life.

You have to be there on weekends to have fun, but also on weekdays when there are chores to do, when he's cranky in the morning, when she's bored in the afternoon. You have to understand and accept all the flaws, know they're not perfect. Pedestals do not exist in real love. Open, full honest communication does. Someone you truly love is someone you can tell anything to, who can tell you anything, who you accept WITHOUT changes and who you see completely - flaws and all.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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