Social Question

belakyre's avatar

What makes teenagers not able to understand love?

Asked by belakyre (2123points) April 19th, 2010

I would like to ask if love can ever be known to us teenagers…I’m sure that there is a small chance we do. But is it the easy lifestyle that most of us live nowadays that make us take everything for granted and thus not able to properly appreciate until a later age? Or would it be because true sacrifice is something most people don’t really understand until they are older? Or could it be true…that people are nowadays mistaking lust for love?
(To be honest…beyond “sacrifice”, I’m not very sure what love really is).

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36 Answers

jfos's avatar

1) I think it’s possible for teenagers to understand love.

2) I think a lot of teenagers mistake lust/love.

gemiwing's avatar

Most teenagers don’t know how to differentiate sex and love. Love is work, it’s safe, calm and loving. Sex can be part of love but it doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of ‘true’ love. Plus, add hormonal shifts that could sink the titanic- makes things a bit muddy to figure out.

Sophief's avatar

I think it is a new feeling that teenagers get, when they are ‘in love’. We have all been there. But when you grow up and really fall in love, you can seperate the two.

john65pennington's avatar

There is a big difference between lust and love. since puberty is just kicking in for teenagers, every male or female adventure is really just lust. i believe that they do not fully understand what it means to love someone. they are being blind-sided by hormones and nothing else matters. its kind of like a fish frenzy.

Most all of us have been there at one time or another.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@gemiwing EXCELLENT post! I think real love also has to do with life experiences. It’s putting someone else before yourself. Love encompasses SO many things. And there’s many kinds of love. You can’t pin it down to just one kind of feeling. Take your time. You’‘ll get it. :-)

slick44's avatar

I think love, takes time. Time to learn, and to trust. Like a baby, they totaly rely on you,and trust you. I just think it taks time.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

It is entirely possible that teenagers can understand love.I have known adults that don’t have a clue.

belakyre's avatar

But then I hear some people never truly knew what love was…would it be that love is a subjective, ineffable feeling that just comes to some people at one moment…and a different moment for others…and not come at a certain age or after the whole puberty ordeal?

meagan's avatar

Love isn’t real. Lust is real. We’re all here just to repopulate the planet. Don’t try to romanticize everything. It’ll save you a lot of heartache and problems later on if you accept this.

JeffVader's avatar

As a rule, teenagers have never been able to feel love, not just those of today. All of the things you mentioned do play a part, but it basically boils down to the fact that from a developmental perspectave, their brains haven’t yet made the right connections.

gemiwing's avatar

Love isn’t a feeling. Love is work.

There are feelings we associate with love but they are not love. Love is listening to the other person, holding them when they are scared, respecting their feelings/thoughts, letting them grow, agreeing to disagree, going to the art opening even though you’d rather be at home watching tv, being there when they have a horrible day.

The feelings that we call love are usually passion, lust, jealousy, butterflies- those are feelings but add them up and they don’t equal love. You can feel emotions but they don’t equal love because love is what you do, not what you feel.

Your_Majesty's avatar

When I was a teenager I understand what love is. It just happened that many of the teenagers always take ‘love’ as an excuse to gain the ‘fun’ aspect from their relationship with someone. No one can really describe what love is since it’s subjective.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@meagan What a cynical outlook.

Sophief's avatar

@meagan Looks like you have been hurt pretty badly in the past.

belakyre's avatar

I don’t think love is entirely subjective though…cause there are people telling teenagers they haven’t grasped love. There may be a very vague definition of it…but a definition nonetheless?

Sophief's avatar

@belakyre I don’t either. It is a great feeling when your a teenager and you start to experience all these many mixed feelings. I believe it is only when you’ve loved and lost and then found love again later on, then you really know what love is. You’ll understand what I mean in years to come.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

I see it as a matter of probability. Most people eventually figure out what love is to a greater or lesser extent. If we arbitrarily say the youngest a person can be neurologically mature enough to understand love is 15 (for example), then there are on average 70 years in which you can learn what it is. The chances of meeting the person who will teach you when you are 15 is extremely low though, so most people have to wait longer. For me, it was around the time of my 18th, so I certainly believe it is possible to know what love is as a teenager.

slick44's avatar

Maybe love is just comfort renamed.

j0ey's avatar

You know what….I think teenagers can understand, and feel love even stronger than adults in some respects. For the following reasons:

1. The first time you fall in love you don’t have any walls built up around you to protect yourself. You trust your partner more, and you let yourself fall for them harder. You don’t know what heartbreak really is, you don’t know how much it hurts, so you don’t hold back, AND you don’t play as many games to “keep on top” in the relationship.

2. You have less responsibility in life, therefore you can let your heart lead the way, and your brain doesn’t have to logically way up why, or why not you should be with someone. With the exception of physical attraction, teenagers fall for the person….The “is he going to be a good provider” bullshit hasn’t kicked in yet.

3. When you are with someone as a teenager, and you are experiencing those feelings for the first time, it completely consumes you. That person means absolutely everything to you, the “adult notion” that time heals all, doesn’t occur to you yet, because you haven’t had time yet. Your partner breaking up with you is probably the first adult issue you have had to deal with, you have no experience to draw from to help you through your feelings. I think we can all agree, that first heartbreak hurts the most. You feel like you are going to die, and you don’t see how you will ever love anyone ever again.

Teenage love maybe less complicated, it may not entail sacrifice, it may not require work…..But I think the intensity of those feelings makes up for all of that. I think we learn what love the feeling is in our teens, and we learn what love the commitment is when we are adults. Two different lessons, one is no more important than the other.

liminal's avatar

In my mind it isn’t a matter of being able to understand love because obviously, if a teenager is well adjusted, they not only understand love, they have been surrounded by it their whole life. They even have an idea of how love can fail, needs constant tending, and is a dynamic ever evolving engagement with self and other.

I think that in adolescents the teenager meets with another face of love, namely romantic. The journey then becomes about learning how to integrate the complexities of romantic love with the ways of love they have already learned.

There is no end to love. There is no end to learning about and experiencing love. Those of us who understand that love is a dynamic, never ending journey, know that love flourishes with time, patience, transparency, and experience. The longer one remains open to this journey the more one understands.

edit: Understanding hormones and lust can probably be understood by reading a good biology book ;-)

xRIPxTHEREVx's avatar

our ignorance

Val123's avatar

Because it takes about 10 seconds to “fall in love,” but about 10 years to know whether or not you’re really DO love a person.

meagan's avatar

@Dibley Its the truth. Do you think we crawled out of the ocean because everything “made love” with each other?

Sophief's avatar

@meagan So nobody loves anybody, is that what you are saying?

meagan's avatar

@Dibley Love isn’t real. Its all just pheromones and what not. However, what I think doesn’t particularly matter. Its not an arguing point.. lol

mowens's avatar

It is simply lack of experience. As a teenager, I had no common frame of reference to relate to what I was feeling. All I had was my intellect, and vocabulary. I took what I was experiencing as love. I didn’t have proof, just a theory that happend to fit the facts.

mowens's avatar

@meagan are you saying people shouldn’t bother trying to fall in love, because it makes them feel good?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I didn’t understand love until I was in my late 30s. @gemiwing gets it right. As a teenager, I was a nerdy social outcast watching from the sidelines and the whole thing looked ridiculous to me (sour grapes?).

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I think we do understand love, but others just feel the good feeling and then they think its love when it isn’t. They rush things too quick!!!!,

P.S. a teenager who’s never been in a relationship before:)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Love is real, when two people connect it’s really something special. It can’t be forced, it must be given willingly, and it should be an equal and two way street. Lust is an overwhelming quest for something that only seems real, but it isn’t.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I’ll take sweeping generalizations for $500 Alex

Hmmm… What is, they’re still young and just starting to learn about life?

Teenagers: Respect yourself first, then go look for love.
Concentrate on school first.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@meagan So just because the brain is made up of neurons, which are at a basic level made up of phosopholipids, water and proteins, does that mean thinking isn’t real? Just because gold is made up of quarks and electrons like any other substance, is it of no value?

Pheromones may play a part (they are by no means the last say), but breaking a concept down to its most fundamental elements does not remove meaning or any degree of reality from them.

mYcHeMiCaLrOmAnCe's avatar

sure we can understand love. we do. not all of us, but there are some of us who can understand it. and feel it. ‘cause love is everything, and it doesn’t matter if you’re 12, 14, 18, 36 or even 100
everyone can understand love, if they want to

MercurySunrise's avatar

Adults think its impossible, they say that our hormone ridden bodies and our young, stupid minds cannot comprehend being in love, but most of the people who say this fell in love at 40 or have never been in love, for real anyway. I will take this from experience that there is no limit for love, and just because we might be 4 years away from adulthood or however much, does not mean that we are not as deep and comprehensive of about 30% of anyone over 21 years. In conclusion, it is not that teenagers cannot understand love, but that usually older and more “Mature” people don’t understand how they can understand. And there are many teenagers who can’t understand or will never fall in love. But this is the same for adults. And there are many teenagers who fall in love with their friends, or people they very casually talk to. Love isn’t based on the illusion of attraction, and even if a teenager has sex with somebody, does not mean they will instantly fall in love after that.
Teenagers are equal as adults when it comes to love. Just because we are younger, doesn’t mean our judgment is clouded by the stupidity you immediately assume onto us.

StevieRae40's avatar

I agree with MercrySunrise. I am fifteen years old and have been with my boyfriend for almost four years. Just before the summer we broke up because there wasn’t enough effort on both parts. He dated two girls in that three monther period and when the second cheated on him he was really hurt. He wanted to get back together with me. I told him that I wasn’t a rebound and this was his last chance. In four days it will be the 4 month anniversary of our first kiss. We have never been together in bed and yet we are still together. Why? Because coming from families with 2 parents who have been together for our whole lives we understand what love is. We know that we have to make and effort and care for each other more than we care for ourselves. Just because someone is young does not mean that they do not understand love. I know people who are in their fifties and sixties who have had two marriges and have had their second ones recently. I also know people who are older and not yet married or in a relationship. It is possible to understand what love is even when you are young.

Jay484's avatar

@StevieRae40 you are right… they were not the same as when i dated you…. and to answer the question it is possible for teenangers to understand true love they just need to look at people and not want to use them for there own pleasure but see them as some one they might want to spend there life with

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