Ahh young love, puppy love, it’s so cute! Isn’t it? Well no actually, it’s not. You can call me a cynic or heart-less or whatever but in fact I’m neither of those things. I’m a realist. Let’s look at today’s society: teenage pregnancy is only going up, children are giving birth. Now that is wrong. There seems to be no such thing as a childhood any more, everyone is desperate to grow up.
That’s pretty normal, wanting to grow up I mean. You think things will be easy, you’ll have more freedom, etc. As we now know as adults, that’s not true. Being an adult is just as hard, if not harder, than being a kid. But when you are young, there’s pressure to have a boyfriend or girlfriend and there’s often pressure not to be a virgin. Now, when I was in school I did have a boyfriend for about a month but now I wouldn’t call him a boyfriend, we were just friends that awkwardly hung out. The only reason he came round to see me was probably the social pressure of having a girlfriend. He always brought a friend with him when we went out, and we only went out twice and that was simply just going for a walk. We never held hands, kissed or anything like that. So we were never really in a relationship. But what do you expect? I was only about fourteen or so at the time. At around the same time, one of my friends started going out with a boy in the year above her. Of course she thought they loved each other and all that stuff so she lost her virginity to him, soon after he broke up with her. I always knew she was being stupid but my friends argued, “Oh she’s more mature, she knows what she’s doing”. No, she doesn’t. Every kid thinks they’re mature at that age, it’s a natural cockiness that comes with being young.
So in fact, I never had a proper boyfriend until a lot later in my life. I waited until I definitely knew I was in love (and not the fake kind of love I felt before). That may sound corny and old-fashioned but what’s the advantages of having a teen romance?
Let’s see: Possible pregnancy, pressure to lose your virginity, embarrassment, depression…have I missed anything? You don’t have a proper relationship at that age, really.
Although, there is a counter argument for that. I know people who have had successful, adult relationships which started when they were around fifteen years old. It may not start off mature, but it doesn’t mean it can’t bloom into a more adult relationship. There are downsides to this too though, people change. That’s a fact of life but you’re most likely to change during your teenage years. You may love to be a goth at sixteen but by the time you’re twenty you might be a hipster. You tell kids that and they go “oh no I’m going to like x thing forever”. There’s a large possibility you won’t. It’s part of growing up and people can change dramatically. You can go from the shyest guy in the school to a famous actor, it happens! The majority of relationships starting from this age will not continue in adult life. I don’t think that should necessarily put you off relationships until a certain age but personally I’m glad I never had to go through that.
I remember feeling desperately sad I wasn’t in a relationship during both my school years and college. Why did I want one so bad? Was it the social pressure (one of the many reasons I dislike Valentines)? Did I feel insecure and lonely? Maybe. The main reason, I believe, was that I wanted to feel normal. Even when I was in a sort-of-relationship with someone later on, I still didn’t feel normal. I wanted to be able to do that simplest thing that, at that time, wasn’t possible for complicated reasons I won’t go into. I just wanted to hold his hand while I walked down the street with him. It’s those sorts of feelings which depress teenagers and pressure them. Everyone at that age just wants to be seen as normal, even if they’re trying their hardest not to be normal, everyone just wants to be accepted.
Maybe love is glamorised too much in film, TV, etc. But the problem is it needs to be glamorised, we don’t exactly want to say “yay! One night stands!” All I hope is that teens can realise that just because they don’t have a boyfriend doesn’t mean it’s not the end of the world. It is hard when you’re young, you feel ugly, you’re bullied, people tell you on a daily basis how unattractive you are. People want reassurance that that’s not true so they think having a partner will help. It doesn’t, you need to be comfortable with yourself first, don’t listen to what other people say, you don’t need people showering you with compliments every which way to be considered attractive. It sounds cheesy but whoever you are, whatever you look like there will be someone out there who’s attracted to you. You just have to wait patiently and find them first.