Stop Telling Your Kids Not to Love!

“You don’t really love her… you are too young to know what love really is…”

These words have rung through my head for years. Sage advice from both my parents when I first started dating as a young kid. These words have had a lasting impact on the kind of man I have been to my past relationships over the past ten years.

The first love of my life, we will call her Jane. Jane became a part of my life when I was in middle school and I was head over heals in love. We were only fourteen at the time, but I knew I love her. Over the course of three years our relationship grew and I knew I loved Jane. Then one day my parents told me, “you don’t know what love is…”. Those words of advice sent me into a dark spiral of rejecting and receiving love.

To me love was:

  • Holding someone close.
  • Enjoying the warm body as the curled up close to you.
  • Missing the person when they are away.
  • Holding their chin up when they were feeling down.
  • and in the words of Reese Witherspoon in Sweet Home Alabama “So I can kiss you whenever I want”

Love was simple, a choice, action that leads to deep desire and emotion… something that I still feel is true today.

But, what my parents had said became etched into my brain. I became detached. Hiding from all emotion and vulnerability. I left love behind telling myself it was ok, I wasn’t ready for love, and at the end of the day “we need to see new people”.

For the ten years that followed, I have pushed all love away. From family, friends, lovers, and anyone who tried to get significantly closer to me. All because my idea and identity of what love had been destroyed

My warning and advice to any parents is this, let you children love at any age. Sure they will get hurt, they will fall down, but they will get back up. Let them show their emotion and share their love with the world. One day, when the right person comes along, they will be able to give love freely. Then receive love that is meaningful.

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