No, I Am Not Too Young to Know Love

By Catherine

“You don’t know what love is because you’re too young.”

I hear this phrase on TV all the time. I hear it from the people around me, from adults who tell me, but is this really true and is this really valid?

I find that this statement contains two separate arguments.

I love my parents to the very core of the Earth. My parents who love me back no matter what mistakes I make and give me a reason to try my hardest. I love my friends who support me through life. My friends who know when to make me laugh. My friends who also know how to press the right buttons and annoy me. I love my laptop. My super slow laptop. My laptop that glitches and crashes out of nowhere but still helps me get my homework done and draft my thoughts and feelings onto a blank document that is the equivalent of my mind.

I’m well aware that thousands of tabs of fanfiction and a stack of romance novels do not make me an expert in love. I never said I was an expert, I don’t think I’ll ever be an expert in familial or romantic love. Instead of telling me that I haven’t gained a certain knowledge, tell me that it’s possible. It’s rare, but it’s possible. I’ve seen it with my parents. No matter how many times they fight, they stay together, because love is having the determination to deal with the struggles that come with a relationship. Love is caring, feeling, and understanding. Love is staying even when it gets rough and hard.

I know that I don’t need a boyfriend to know what to do with my life. I know that the love I have for myself and my family comes before any guy who hands me a bouquet of red roses. I know that feelings are confusing and annoying and full of twists. Before, I tended to love the people who didn’t love me back, like my long list of “ex-best friends” who weren’t really there when I needed them.

When adults say I don’t know what love is I feel like I’m less of a human being. It’s as if I’m a petulant child who is supposed to get used to the word “no” or “never”. Even though age is just a number, not everyone really believes that. It’s possible to start a business at fourteen, it’s possible to get a black belt by the age of ten, so why do people say that it is impossible for “someone my age” to know what love is? We know what love is; we just have to clean off all the dust that covers it. The media portrays love as magic, pain, sparks, and a happily ever after. Some people don’t know what emotions they are feeling. They just know that they are feeling something.

The dictionary defines it as: an intense feeling of deep affection.

What are we supposed to define love as? Is it a phrase that we’re only supposed to use to the smallest extent? The one word that means so much, but if used at the wrong time within a relationship, it could ruin everything? But if we say it too little, does it cause tension? Is love supposed to be a word that we suddenly understand when we graduate high school or college? When our age builds up, is our understanding of love supposed to naturally grow?

Isn’t love….just love?

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