Jann asks: Hi. Is the love of a teenager easily gone?
Hi Jann –
What an amazing question! I think it’s profound, actually. The bad news is that I can’t offer you a simple answer!
The teenage years are a period of turbulent changes and passions. Between the chemical changes occurring in the body and mind, and the giant changes going on in a teen’s life, the entire world is in flux. I feel like you could equally ask “Is love during wartime easily gone” or “Is love easily gone during an earthquake!”
So you really have two opposing forces in effect here. First, the incredible rate of change can mean that what a teenager feels one day may be totally different a week later. A favorite teacher, a favorite band, even how one feels about their parents, can shift almost overnight, and with equal intensity, so that “I love you” one day becomes “I hate you” the next, and in both cases the teen is sure they’ll feel that way forever.
But on the other hand, when one feels that intensely about someone or something, that feeling kind of burns into them permanently. Look at how much middle-aged people still love the music of their teen years, even if their musical tastes have changed to more sophisticated styles. Don’t you hear them all the time saying silly stuff like “Oh this Justin junk the kids listen to today – Bieber or Timberlake, it’s all the same. Now if you want to hear some real music, check out Mozart, or Gershwin… or better yet, this Bachman-Turner Overdrive 8-Track I’ve got! That’s the stuff!”
A woman in her 40’s may have forgotten the men she dated in her 20’s and 30’s, but she’ll still feel something for that boy she went to the prom with, who was really no match for her at all! A single man in his 50’s will say “The only girl I wish I’d stayed with was that one I dated my senior year…”
So is the love of a teenager easily gone? Maybe. But is a teenager’s passion forgotten? I don’t think so.
So I imagine my answer doesn’t help you a bit! Maybe if you told me more about your concerns, I could help you more. But for now, I’ll just compare a teenager to me, or any other dog. We can love one person one second, and love another equally the next. But when it comes to those we especially love, we’ll sniff them out in a crowd, seek them out in a park full of smells and animals, anything to find them. Because those are our passions, and rule our lives.