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Does the Fire of Teenage Love Die with Maturity?

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Nothing beats the thrill of being 13 and having a crush that likes you. There you are, on the brink of puberty, experiencing the first of firsts. The act of crushing alone is enough for you. Is it the hearts and swirls you adorn around your beloved’s name or the hours of sharing the details of your profound love to your BFFs? Yours is a love unfettered by time constraints or moral compatibility.

Fast forward to 17 years later and although the thrill remains, it brings with it a spell of questions, anxieties and soul searching. What was once a seemingly easy thing to do is now laced with the wisdom of words such as “He’s not that into you” “Guard your heart” “Don’t cast your pearls before swine” and countless Google searches of whether his behavior is acceptable. After all, you no longer draw hearts and swirls…you sign checks and pay bills.

Here you are on the verge of adulthood with your life in your hands. That the genetic outcome of your children is halfway dependent on your choice of partner is a sobering thought on its own. Past all that lovey doveyit’s about the way he makes me feel” rhetoric, do you ever think how this decision will affect your future generation, your future family dynamics, your values and ideals?

Because I do.

This here is my question; does love become a practical thing as we approach 30? Or are we allowed to become 13 again, embracing the thrill of infatuation and a free-spirited approach to love. Are we obliged to think about genotypes and bank accounts in lieu of physical attraction and playfulness?

I wonder sometimes how dull it would’ve been if we did that as 13 year-olds. Eying the boy across the hall because he was the logical choice and not because we were thrilled about the uncertainty that lay ahead. Do these requirements we create as adults make things duller now? Are childhood sweethearts in a better position than us single 30-year-olds? Never having to worry about the aforementioned as they slip into a synchronized adult version of themselves?

While I have these questions, I also have some musings. Maybe it’s okay that we can be practical, that we can evaluate the trail of relationships in the past (or lack thereof) and decide on what we want. Some people call it courtship; the act of going into a relationship with the intent of long-term commitment. In this case the two parties discover from the get go that they are compatible enough to consider marriage and work together to make it work — practical love, so to speak. So even though the 13 year old thrill seeker in me would like to just go with the flow, a part of me is curious about the wiser option.

I’d like to know your thoughts. Do you believe in “practical love” or is it just a euphemism for settling for the closest catch? Are you open to the uncertain possibilities around you? This goes out to married folks as well, what words of wisdom can you impart on us singles?

Photo Credit: corbisimages.com

A creative entrepreneur with an eye for design and interest in story telling. Daisy Noelle has lived in Lagos, Lome, Los Angeles, London, Leeds and Dublin (breaking the tradition of living in a city that starts with the letter 'L'). She has an interest in the influence of culture on our lives and specifically how we define our unique Nigerian experience to the world around us. She currently lives in Lagos where she is learning about the secret of eternal optimism.

45 Comments

  1. temi

    June 26, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    I’d say that as we grow older we begin to discover ourselves which places us on the pedestal that changes or cause to evolve what it is that we really need in life. And since this need or want evolution is inevitable as we develop from teen hood to adult hood then of course the fire doesn’t die but it is what makes it burn and burn faster that changes.
    temisigns.blogspot.com

    • Daisy

      June 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      “..it is what makes it burn and burn faster that changes.”
      That’s a nice way to put it, that our growth determines the path of our love. Thanks for your comment, Temi 🙂

  2. pynk

    June 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    love? WHats that?

    • Daisy

      June 28, 2013 at 11:09 pm

      a four letter word, you should look it up 😉

  3. X-factor

    June 26, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    hmmmmm…

  4. Dumo

    June 26, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    LMAO!! So I wasn’t the only who googled a guy’s behaviour to find out if it was acceptable?? Good to know I wasn’t alone 🙂

    Regarding your question, I think this is one of those cases where each person’s definition of ‘practical love’ will vary according to his/her needs in a partner.

    I certainly don’t go gaga for guys the way I did when I was a teenager. I don’t even do it they way I did 5yrs ago. I think with maturity the kind of things that would make me go gaga over a guy have definitely changed. As a teenager I was VERY shy, so just the fact that he was a guy and he showed interest in me, gave me goose bumps. LOL!!! If he was a fine boy, then I could even go for days barely eating ‘cause my heart was filled with daydreams and thoughts about him!

    Fast forward 15+ yrs later, bobo berra be bringing somn tangible to the table. The qualities I’m attracted to have changed completely! I’m a go-getter so I’m attracted to hard working and ambitious men, but then again no matter how hard working you are we must be compatible. Plus, of course we must both be attracted to each other 🙂

    • lorenz

      June 28, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Chai! I love you already!! Marry me. You’re the hit the nail on the “headish” kinda person. Hmm!

  5. omoibo

    June 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    As we get older we loose the innocence & naivety we had when we were much younger, we become wiser & smarter! The actual feeling/ emotion of love is the same whether young or old, only difference is how we allow ourselves to feel it as we get older & our willingness to let go and enjoy the moment 🙂

    • Daisy

      June 30, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      I hear you.

  6. Priscy

    June 26, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Teenage love was so much better because there was no sex involved. Sex complicates it all.

    • observer

      June 26, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      ok oh…….

    • Grayce

      June 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      in the 21st century, no teenage love without sex

  7. comment awaiting moderation

    June 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This article is dull jor,it lack the sugary coated story BN is noted for!

    • Daisy

      June 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      eh, so does your comment :p

    • Fashionista

      July 19, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Daisy, please you don’t have to reply almost every comment you know. People are allowed to have an opinion.

  8. loreben

    June 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    thanks soo much for this write up as am going personally through the same thing. I won’t go into any details but this made me realize that as people get older, they mature and the ways of conveying their emotions changes as well. This sometimes leaves some of us feeling a little confused as to if they still love us as much as they used to. I guess i’ve been reluctant to let go of the thrills of our teen years and move into the new phase of the relationship. But with God’s help and lovely articles like this, i guess one will figure this whole relationship thing out 🙂

  9. Whales

    June 26, 2013 at 3:28 pm

    There must be a balance. He must be responsible and bring something to the table but also he must give me butterflies!

  10. geemayree

    June 26, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Nicee piece. I think pratical love is the way to go. Sometimes it may hurt but in the end we need to put aside puppy love – infatuation and embrace the reality of the importance of ‘decision’ in relationships.

  11. pynk

    June 26, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Love dont pay the bills! end of discussion!

    • Bella

      June 27, 2013 at 10:41 am

      Killed!!!

    • Pressy

      June 27, 2013 at 6:10 pm

      Gbam!!!!

    • Daisy

      June 28, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Money can’t buy love 😛

    • Pd

      June 29, 2013 at 9:55 am

      At dis rate …..moni can buy my love anytime.

  12. Nkem

    June 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    yes we grow and our perception about love, how to love and how to feel changes but one thing remains the same, i speak for myself though, there must be that initial attaraction and butterflies, then the maturity now is the way i apply myself and allow it affect me; in the past i would not think on it too much, would just go with the flow but now, even after the butterflies, i would have to analyse it even deeper to then decide if i would let those emotions be seen or felt or grow any further

  13. Iyke

    June 26, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Teenage love in my opinion is the real love. I guess, it’s the stage when all the sex hormones are in full gear busting out and overflowing. lol. It is a love based on intangible things which we don’t even have an idea of. Maturity and experience changes the whole thing.
    My question now is, would you really consider what we do today as real love? I mean, all these ‘He must bring something to the table’….is that really love? When you begin to prioritize and state the kind/status of man/woman you desire in your life, then that is not love because the only reason you are with him/her is because of what ‘is on the table’ Nigeria style.
    FEAR is an option and a liar. Chics should stop all these ‘He must bring something to the table’ and focus more on the true essence of happiness, which is YOU. If you look close enough…with an eye engaged beyond a simple glance…I can assure you, you will find more than you imagined of matter…for your growing wealth of consideration…
    Focus on how you walk hand in hand with the girl you once were…knowing you have become…the woman entrusted with her love.How do you protect the wealth of her virtue and innocent…And pursue the thirst of your wonted joy…without penance. Allowing your sheltered expression to serve captured pleasure. Betraying the wrong of your shame…for the good in your game…After whatever the dark of your indulgence may provoke…bring. You still held accountable…judged and measured by time…as a woman…
    Stop focusing on HIM. Focus on YOU and you will attract the right HIM.

    • Grayce

      June 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

      u sound very shallow and immature

  14. Jo!

    June 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    @whale, butteflies abi? You will wake up!

  15. Nora

    June 26, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Loool…………….nice article…….it is also nice to know I am not d only one who checks with google to know if his behaviour is acceptable 😀

  16. J.

    June 26, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Young love is innocent, pure and oblivious to anything else but what it feels which makes it so sweet especially at that age. But life being typically a process it doesn’t end there and so we grow and change as time goes by, being shaped and moulded in a way that rids us of that innocence. Life starts to bring buggage or at the very least we start to become aware of the challenges and struggles that we were blind to. The question then becomes “Can that love stand the test of time?”
    Can that young, innocent love survive outside the bubble it once lived in? When responsibilities, pressures, obligations, sickness, children, careers, finances, in essence, when real life comes knocking will or does it have the capacity for it? Sometimes, yes and unfortunately, no in some cases.

    • Purpleicious Babe

      June 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm

      Yup… well said..

      Life is a process. I wont it call the feeling “love”, its just a feeling.. Its a nice one too *rolls eyes* sweetly. I say love is a decision, the feelings comes and goes as we all know its just attraction. Attraction can fade at anytime so for me i wont classify it as Love sha.

      Yes we grow into adults and reality kicks in….

  17. Dedun

    June 26, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    if I’m right, you defined practical love as “courtship” …I agree. Entering relationships because he or she gives u butterflies is for the young lads. If you want a planned future and you know exactly what you want out of a relationship, then you have to tell the person you are interested in about your motives for a relationship. If in a case where you both have agreed to serious commitments, then talking about marriage even when the relationship is young won’t be awkward between you both. That’s what separates adults from children (age not considered here) ..Regardless, u’ll still av d so called butterflies in ur tummy and all dt.

    while i was a teenager, i knew what i wanted. if i didnt see myself with a guy that liked me, i would say no or just push them away. people said i was dumping boys anyhow (i dont understand this statement though)but that’s wat comes with knowing what want.

    anyways so to ur questions, yes teenage love dies with maturity…. except in a situation where Oga at the top has destined ur teenage crush to be ur future partner…then all the serenren would rekindle itself.

  18. Me

    June 26, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    There is real, selfless love and it has found ME!

    • sussie

      June 29, 2013 at 10:41 am

      true that and in spite of having gone 20 months in it,it still feels like yesterday.

  19. Aghogho Sam

    June 28, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Love without thrills or fantasies is incomplete, likewise Love without proper reasoning is foolish. Both need to go hand in hand, but in equal balance (please don’t ask for ratios or percentages). If love were a ship, the thrills will be the wind, while reasoning will be the sails: both are needed for the “love ship” to reach it’s destination.
    I don’t agree that love should be categorized as “teenage” (with thrills) or “practical” , these two attributes complement each other, when true love is involved. Anything skewed to either sides is not love , but mere infatuation or just anxiety about the future.

    However, in Lagos, where one must shine his/her eye, people tend to be more practical with love…lol

    • Daisy

      July 3, 2013 at 1:53 pm

      “I don’t agree that love should be categorized as “teenage” (with thrills) or “practical” , these two attributes complement each other, when true love is involved. Anything skewed to either sides is not love , but mere infatuation or just anxiety about the future.”
      You make a good point. Perhaps I should clarify myself. When I refer to “teenage” love I am talking more about chance encounters (pre-Facebook, google era) In this case, you know nothing about the person. I likened it to having a crush in high school because it often feels that way, if but for a moment. Each relationship starts with some form of infatuation and matures but the question is which is the better choice? To go with the flow or decide from the get go the nature of the relationship. Of course there’s no straight answer to this but thanks for your 2 cents!! 😉

  20. Daisy

    June 28, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    “Fast forward 15+ yrs later, bobo berra be bringing somn tangible to the table.”
    lol!

  21. lorenz

    June 28, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    Real love is illogical, impractical and naive. Teenage love does not die with maturity. Its just that there are not many people who you could let down your guard with. Adults are capable of loving like teenagers, we just need that special person- that illogical reason; and maybe, just maybe we would let ourselves go.
    I’m a big believer in love; but how often do people who make us break all our rules come around? Rarely.

  22. Kbaby

    June 29, 2013 at 12:48 am

    Tnks BN for dis article. Exactly wot am going thru right now. Teen love is NO LOVE bcos both teenagers are nt mature enuf to knw what love is all abt or particularly wot they want frm relatnship. While some do it for d sake of me too am dating dt girl/guy. Av been in a relationship for almost 9yrs n today its a grt mistake av made cos my level of exposure, understnding, moral n religious belief can neva be compared to 9yrs ago. I see a lot of tins now dt i dont see then, my eyes re wide open dt my intelligence supercede that of a man who is not wise enuf. If i was ask to choose my kind of man now abeg i will open my eyes well. Teenagers shld be advise to av fully attain some level in life b4 talking abt love.

    • Daisy

      July 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks for your input!

  23. reggy

    July 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    my 1st crush,gush!coudnt sleep atal,was 12+ but the beautiful thing is that i still feel the same way for him and am 24 now and he is 27 and we are still together maybe cus i stl act like 13 viewing my relationship with a childlike mind or should i say he’s just my SOUL MATE #love struck#

  24. Keke-na-Pepe

    July 3, 2013 at 4:34 am

    As my uncle will say, “romance without finance is a nuisance” hoo haa!!!

  25. MumsAloud

    July 10, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Teenage love is unperturbed about the cares of this world. All the money your mama/papa gives to you is given to the guy in the form of gift or treats. As we get older we become selfish and self centred – the ladies start to worry about her looks (just to make sure the boy is not attracted by someone else) and the bobo is worrying about buying a big house for his family or struggling to get a job promotion so he can make more money. So romance has its time and season – fast forward 50 more years when all the cares of the world starts fading, the lucky few who have endured finds love again (did I hear someone say I wish!!). Ok I wish ooo!! But its not impossible na

  26. Idu

    July 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Personally…. I feel it depends on the persons involved, my friends were dating when we were a lot younger like 17 and we all laughed and called it puppy love guess what! They are married now with a kid and I can bet you they are so happy together . For me I got over my crushes cause they felt like having new dolls to play with and as they get old the love for the doll dwindled……

  27. people

    August 7, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Love is love and one. But adults love is more guided.

  28. Pretty

    August 7, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    To me love at 13 is innocent its all about the infuation phase. But once we hit 30 it changes, we must have gone through heart breaks and look at boys in a different perspective. Our experiences change what we want in a man.

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