Is Young Love Really A Lasting Experience?
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated November 30, 2019
Medically Reviewed By: Karen Devlin, LPC
We talk about young love as a beautiful thing, but many consider it something that will never last. We think of it as cute or fun while it lasts, but we assume that our children will outgrow that first relationship. But does young love automatically have to mean that the relationship won't last? Is it possible for someone who experiences young love to make things work with their partner? Well, just like with anything else, it's going to depend on the specific individuals involved.
The Truth Behind Young Love
Love is going to be different for everyone that experiences it. You likely dated more than one person in your life before you ended up with the partner you have now, but how long it took for you to find that person versus someone else you know is different. Maybe you found your special someone at 20, and your best friend didn't find the right person until they were 40. Maybe your very first relationship lasted for 50 years, and your friend took a couple tries to find that right person. It's going to depend on each of you.
But that doesn't mean that young love can't last. Who is to say that the relationship you started when you were 20 or even 18 or maybe even younger, isn't the relationship that you're meant to be in for the rest of your life? The relationship has less to do with the age you are when you enter it and more to do with the person that you and your partner are. Two 16-year-olds might end up with a better and longer lasting relationship than two 40-year-olds, depending on the specific kids and their situation.
Making it Last
The key to making your relationship last, no matter what your age, is making sure that you and your partner are compatible with one another. How well do the two of you get along? How well do you handle disagreements and arguments? Do you spend time together and talk to one another? These things are all going to play a part in whether you can make a relationship last and they're things that you can learn, even if you're not as good at them right now.
One reason that many young couples struggle is that they are still learning who they are as a person. They are finding their place within the world and who they want to be. When couples meet young, it's important to expect that there are going to become changes along the way. This doesn't need to be a bad thing. Instead, couples should focus on growing together and supporting each other along the way.
As one of the couples develops a new skill or interest, the other should work to understand what it is that the other enjoy it so much. It doesn't mean that they must like it too, but the more you understand, the closer you will stay.
Work on building up your relationship and showing your partner how much you care about them. Be open and honest with them about how you feel and what you want out of the relationship. Be accepting and loving when it comes to their hopes and dreams and even just to who they are as a person.
Keep things in common
Couples that make it for the long haul enjoy spending time with each other. This might seem like an obvious statement, but it's easier than you think to grow apart throughout a long-term relationship. When you first start dating, it's normal to do things that you don't enjoy so that you can spend time with that special person.
For example, a girl that hates football may find herself watching every game of her boyfriend's favorite team. Or, a guy that hates the mall may find himself standing outside of the dressing room holding her purse for an entire day while his girlfriend tries on clothes. You do this for each other because you want to spend time with them.
As the years go by, and possibly children enter the picture, it's easy to start spending less time together. There are career ladders to climb, kids' activities to go to, and it's easy to stay so busy that you end up feeling like you're living with a stranger.
The key to overcoming this relationship challenge is to search for things you enjoy doing together and then continue to make time for those activities. And, this also means that you can keep doing those things that you don't enjoy, just for the pleasure of spending time with your significant other.
Discover ways that the two of you can learn and grow together, creating a stronger and healthier relationship along the way. It's about maturity, but that doesn't mean you can't (or shouldn't) be having a whole lot of fun with this relationship.
Learn how to protect your relationship
To make a relationship work, you must know how to protect it. This can be even more challenging when you're at an age where friends are single and wanting you to go out. It's important to make sure that you are making decisions that your significant other is comfortable with. When you're in a relationship, it's not always about what you want.
But, couples that learn how to respect each other in the decisions they make without becoming bitter or resentful because they are missing out on something else can have great long lasting relationships. It's helpful to remember that FOMO (fear of missing out) shouldn't be something that exists within your relationship. Instead of thinking about what you aren't doing that other people your age are doing, you can focus on all the good things you are getting to enjoy from your relationship.
Understand what true love is
You and your partner will both need to be committed to making the relationship work if you're hoping to make young love last. You'll both need to be willing to put in the effort and work hard when your friends may be busy with flings or short-term relationships that they know aren't going to last. It can be difficult to be the only ones in a committed and long-term relationship when people around you seem to be just going out and having fun with no strings and no attachments. But when you think about how much your partner means to you, it can get easier.
It's important that you both understand what true love is. The young love or puppy love stage will wear off, and the exciting feeling that you had at the beginning will change into something deeper. However, when you see your friends going through the beginning exciting stages of meeting a new someone time, and time again you might start to wonder why your relationship doesn't feel the way that their relationship looks.
Real love isn't about those first exciting flutters of your stomach when you hear the mention of their name. Just because those feelings go away doesn't mean that you aren't in love with that person anymore. It just means you have transitioned to a new love stage.
The Long-Term Effects
Finding your ideal soulmate or your perfect match or whatever you want to call them when you're young has some great advantages. For one thing, you're going to have someone special that you can count on and trust right from an early age. That's going to make things easier and more special throughout your life. You're going to have someone right there next to you for an even longer period, and you're going to improve the way that your future goes. Your life has already started, and you're in the best part of it with your partner.
Of course, you'll have some people that say you're missing out on some of the fun that goes along with being young, but having someone there with you all the time means you're not suffering through the heartbreak that some of your friends do. It means that you don't ever have to be alone or feel alone. It means that you have a friend there for you all the time. And it means that you don't have to spend all that time looking for that special someone your friends are still trying to find.
You will have so many additional years to build memories together and to build a strong foundation to continue your relationship on.
Do You Need Help?
Is your relationship struggling, or are you unsure whether this relationship is meant to be? There is help there for you and your partner. You can seek out a mental health professional or psychiatrist to help you and your partner figure out what's going on in your relationship and just what it's going to mean for you. You can work on things and come to a better understanding of just what your relationship is about. Regain is one way that you can work towards that level of improvement and greatness, no matter how new your relationship.
With ReGain you log on to a website, and you get access to a range of mental health professionals that are located throughout the country. When you find someone that you're comfortable with, you can easily set up an appointment and carry it out from absolutely anywhere that you have an internet connection. Because it's online, you don't have to worry about making it to the office or planning around your work trips. You'll be able to get online from home, the hotel, your favorite coffee shop, work, or anywhere else that you want. Just like that, you'll be able to start working on your relationship for the better.