Perhaps one of the most prevalent dilemmas among any teenager is being faced with the decision as to whether the feeling he or she has is love or not. There are numerous elements that come into play in a teenager’s mind when faced with this issue of love which has its own inevitable effects. Part of this may be because these teenagers would want to find a partner so that they would not be left out among peers. In a text taken from a Stern (2011), he explained that for one to have that feeling of belongingness among peers, like the “Othering” of a tribe, one would usually look for a close-knit group that would protect him or her in exchange of protection. This can be related to the dilemma being discussed as it exposes that a close knit group could easily be an individual, for example is an attention seeking person. In order to understand this dilemma even further, one must dig down to the root of it which is love. According to Merriam Webster (n.d.) love is a surreal feeling of having an abstrusely deep and passionate affection towards another individual. Furthermore, according to Raggio (2010) in the imputation of the term love and other relating denominations such as romance, infatuation and affection, one must expect a tremendous amount complication. Nevertheless, there are still some psychologists who attempted to interpret this issue head on whether directly or indirectly and among them is Maslow.
A well renowned American psychologist, Abraham Maslow designed a five stage model of basic needs of human beings. Among these stages, he ranked love and belongingness third. Maslow (1943) also explained that people are inclined to earn specific desideratum; whether knowingly or unknowingly. The idea of Maslow in this context is that unwearyingly, love has become inevitable as it is among the most essential human needs. Saul McLeod (2007) sought to verify Maslow’s idea by stating that the latter meant to include friendship, intimacy, affection and love received from people one loves. These factors stated by McLeod only further explains what causes love to disseminate among people. Now with teenagers, these ideas and factors become a little bit more complicated.
According to Psychologist Carl Piccard (2012) for teenagers, ”teen love” was usually infatuation which is totally contrasting to the feeling of love practiced by adults; which for the latter had more “taste” as compared to younger people because it was a deeper relationship and more professional. This only shows that teenage “love” is truly a risk because one would never know if he/she is ready unless he/she would jump down the deep abyss of what one calls a relationship. In an article by Ireland, (2013) she elaborated that some teens fall in love young and are influenced by the media and other social experiences; whereas some are still immature, young and still exploring their own development. When one observes how the media portrays love, in an objective point of view most would actually encourage this to its audience.
It is not entirely a bad thing, however love must not be a forced feeling or else it could have unwanted repercussions.
Going back to Ireland’s (2013) idea, she further explained that when teens are the ones experiencing love, collateral effects may arise which make the feeling of pressure, and neglect on other responsibilities. In an article by Meghan W. (2013) she researched on the situations which make a teenager depressed. Among the top ten she concluded with, Romantic Problems is ranked third just below academic stress and social anxiety. She clarified that this included break ups and unrequited love. In her article, Johnson (2010) wrote that relationships harvested from infatuation deteriorate quickly due to the stress of finding out that one’s partner isn’t what he or she expected to be. When the relationship is over, getting over it does not take as much too and it is easy to move on to another. From a data collected from Gaille (2014) he interpreted that only about 2% of current marriages are from high school couples. So just from this data and the previous points, it’s very easy to make a solemn conclusion.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13 4-7 New International Version). That is love, and it will come to those who are willing to wait. To have a feeling of being left out or the “Mothering” is something that one must not reason out to experience this “love”. After all, according to Johnson, (2010) real love increases little by little as one grows closer to his or her partner. Feelings of love increase directly to the time spent with the partner, and after a break up, it becomes very difficult to recover. Love at an early age can be exciting, breath taking, surreal and very unpredictable however one must understand that love takes time. When it is harvested before it is ripe, it becomes very difficult and complicated. So if one were a teenager who feels as if he or she has fallen in love, think again as falling in love may have unimaginable and painful endings. In the end, the best thing to do is to follow one’s heart and that is the simple answer to the dilemma of love.
Stern (2011) Othering 101: What is Othering?
Love (n.d.) Merriam-Webster 2014 version.
Retrieved from: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/love
Ken Raggio (2010) Love: The Bond of Perfection.
Retrieved from: http://kenraggio.com/KR-Love-And-Attachment.html
Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370-96
Saul McLeod (2007) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Retrieved from: http://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
Carl Pickhardt (2012) First Love.
Kay Ireland (2013) Teenage Love Problems & Relationships
Meghan W. (2013) 10 things that may cause teenage depression
Michelle Johnson (2010) How to identify if it is love or infatuation
Brandon Gaille (2014) 20 High School Sweethearts Statistics
Photo is taken from google images
New International Version (NIV)
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