Let’s talk about love. It has always been a fascinating concept to me, especially when observing teens my own age or younger. When I see two 16-year olds holding hands or mixed up in any typical “couple-ish” behavior, it’s hard for me to take them seriously. To me it seems like they are trying to imitate adults.
It’s a confusing time when you’re a teenager. All of those raging hormones rushing through us, flesh, blood, our bodies seemingly changing overnight. I once read that teenage brains are wired to make us feel like everything that is happening will be forever. So many couples I encounter are under the impression that their love will last forever, that a true fairytale ending will come their way. They start picturing their future together, when they will move in together, planning out when to get married, how many kids they want… And all that just seems absurd to me. How can two teenagers expect so much when the chances of the relationship even getting that far are so little? It appears so irrational to me to even think that far ahead my age because in my eyes it is already preprogrammed to fail. We are all still trying to find ourselves, we are all developing. Some of us don’t even know what we want from life, maybe our expectations and aspirations differ from those of the one we love. If we change as a person, we can’t expect the other to follow suit.
In this day and age a vast majority of millennials tend to have a live in the moment mentality. No wonder our generation has been dubbed “the hookup culture”. This is very much something I have experienced first hand and to be completely honest, I don’t mind. Us being able to communicate more openly about previous taboo-topics such as sex, is a very important step into societal development. I’d like to think that if anything, we are moving towards a more open and sex-positive environment. So to even be able to honestly admit that right now, you don’t want a relationship, but to simply take care of your physical needs is not something one should be shamed for. I think that casual dating can also contribute to ones feeling of establishing some sort of independence. It can be freeing knowing that there are no expectations beyond.
Nowadays everyone is in such a rush to grow up fast and to experience various firsts before a certain age. Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have let that pressure get to me. Like so many others of my generation, I couldn’t wait to get it all over with, just for the satisfaction of telling my friends that I did. I was told that high school was the time to experience everything. Some of those experiences, regardless if good or bad, I can never take back or change. And sadly, I do regret my lack of resistance towards peer pressure and social norms. If you’re ready, you’re ready, but I was moving way too fast for all of the wrong reasons. I do hope that in the future, I take my time and live by my own rules.