One subject I've generally stayed away from while discussing the teenage psyche is love. More than anything, the reason being is because most adults tend to scoff at teenagers and love.
Saying we don't understand it, or we don't know what real love is. That's not true. We are capable of knowing, understanding, and feeling love.
Yes, some teenagers don't understand what love is. But then again, some adults don't even know what love is, either.
The word love is tossed around way too casually in this day and age. A lot of people "love" every single person they have a relationship with. How is this possible — to love someone the day you start dating, or even the day you met?
It's not. Love is an aquired emotion. You can't love someone before you even know who they are. It annoys me greatly to hear some of my friends crying after a break up, saying, "I'm in love with him! What am I going to do? He was everything!" when they'd only 'dated' for a week. Then by the next day, they've fallen in love again with someone different, and completely forgotten about the supposed love of their life from the day before.
But to say that every teenager is like that is to say that every snowflake is identical. Yes, some people my age may display the behavior described above, but we don't all. Sometimes, love can be real for us. Who says we are not able to feel the true compassion that comes with love? We may be young, but that doesn't prevent us from being able to experience these emotions.
Sometimes, we don't understand why we feel the way we do, but that doesn't mean our emotions aren't real. What really bugs me, though, is when parents don't believe this. They brush off our feelings as if they don't matter.
"You don't really know what love is. Don't be so melodramatic."
That's not what we need to hear. Parents who simply dismiss their children's feelings as unimportant and irrelevant are the parents who wonder why their children grow to resent them later in life. When we're upset, understand.
Show empathy. Don't you remember what it was like to be young? To wish your parents would have understood about your young love? If your teenager comes to you upset over their heart being broken, don't brush it off as nothing. Comfort them, soothe them. That's what they need. Sometimes we may be too young to understand why love can hurt sometimes, but that doesn't mean it doesn't hurt us. So be there for us. Our love is real, too.