what is love if it's not young?

1 September 2019

(Musings caused by this podcast - Love Stories with Stanley Tucci by Dolly Alderton)

Adults always refer to young love as being fierce and intense. I think I understand it in a way, as it is the first time you have experienced such intense feelings so of course your first love is overwhelming and all consuming. It is also a time before you have experienced heart break, so you love unguardedly and proudly. Then again, I don't entirely understand the concept of young love and how it differs to adult love, I don't understand what it is to be in love in adulthood.

(disclaimer - 'libby, you're overthinking this!' , I know, but it's a musings post. I keep hearing things about young love, of first love, but why is the romantic love we experience in our youth such a distinguished thing! I don't know, and I know I want to accept more and understand less but I am discarding that mantra for the sake of this post. Also, I love love. I am a hopeless romantic, of course I'm going to think about what is so distinctive about young love and what adult love may entail)

Sometimes I wonder whether I find the differences in love so difficult to grasp because in my first proper relationship we went from the confusion of teenage years to the beginning of adulthood together, and with that the love I felt matured with me, but not entirely. They say young love is pure, and it undenialy began that way; the excitement at having sleepovers, the initial unsuritiy of sexual boundaries and the questions our hands held as they moved from beyond our faces was exhilirating - but is that a component of young love? Or simply the effects of loving someone? Or perhaps the feelings are still there, but just less intense, and the questions are briefer. Is the excitement from a sleepover lessed by the fact it is expected and no longer such a scandalous concept?

I can't imagine what it means to be in a loving adult relationship. The purity is diminshed by the confidence you express lust with as you get older, but then what fuels the excitement in an adult, loving relationship? What does it mean for the scandal to be diminished? I think that maybe, the exhiliration that comes from hiding the invisible marks of kisses changes into a simple glow, a happiness is left behind rather than the electrified feeling of need to conceal anything that can give away that more than just a kiss happened. This isn't to say I think adult love is void of excitement, more that I think I will miss the innocence of young love. I have some understanding of adult loving relationships, but will I sometimes feel unable to contain my love and display it through tight squeezes - was that young love me or just me?

In the podcast they both agree that the euphoria that comes with your first love isn't experienced again and I find that sad in a way. I know it is normal, and that love is exciting no matter what your age, and in fact it is slightly relieving to know that I won't face that intensity again. It is sad though that the more you love as you get older the less innocent and pure it becomes, because a small part of you will always be guarded in a way as you unknowingly begin to protect yourself a little more. I guess that is a good thing, but a shame that we can't always live in that unknowing bubble of purity and excitement. There is also the concern of the future in adult relationships, a worry our young selves never had to face. Perhaps my confusion stems from the fact I don't want to have such concerns, that I want to love freely and easily and think that can't be done without the naivety and purity my young self had? I don't know. I know love isn't that big a thing, and that love is love, I just don't fully understand why young love is such a distinguished thing, so seperate from adulthood. One day I will though. (or maybe not, maybe I'll never be in romantic love again - yikes !)


  1. I like your mantra of accepting more and understanding less, I need to practice that. I understand the sadness that the idealised portrayal of young love can never be experienced again, but then i've never been in love so maybe I'll never even be able to experience it the first time!!!! wow thats a sad thought...i wish i was a bit more of a hopeless romantic lol, teach me please xo

    1. being a hopeless romantic isn't all it's cracked out to be, it's filled with unfulfilled hopes and expectations far too high I am afraid


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