VALENTINE’S DAY has come and gone. Rather than posting,  pre-holiday, I took some extra time to contemplate  about romance,  and about where it all begins:

In-love feelings are even more difficult to manage at an age when bodies and brains are still maturing and at a rate not experienced since infancy.

“Cara,” sixteen, told me that she was sure she had found the boy she was going to marry. She was angry with her parents who didn’t understand and who said they thought she was “ridiculous” and didn’t have a clue.


  Somehow she had dug up the song by DION AND THE BELMONTS, from the olden days. The lyrics go something like this:

“One day I feel so happy, next day I feel so sad.
I guess I’ll learn to take the good with the bad.
Cause each night I ask the stars up above,
Why must I be a teenager in love?”

Cara was ambivalent about all these new and wonderful feelings she was experiencing.

She beamed as she told me all about “Kevin.”  He was a soccer player on his school’s team. “Not the star,” she said, “just my star… everyone says we are such a cute couple.” She showed me his photo. Then another. He did look adorable.

I asked how long their relationship had been a thing?


“Eight months,” she said. She admitted they had had a few breaks after one fight or another.

“It’s hard to have a boyfriend sometimes…He says it’s hard to be a boyfriend.

“My friends say I don’t hang out with them anymore.

“I have to get my own work done but when Kevin calls… making him happy is all I can think about.“

She managed to laugh.

“Sometime I wish I weren’t a teenager in love… Is that normal?”

Oh Cara, I said. Falling in love does take some getting used to… no matter what your age.  Emotions, mood swings desires and needs do have a way of taking over.

What you feel for Kevin, I said, is very real and the experience of first love is a rite of passage to the woman you are becoming.


“I wish my parents realized that,” she said.

Your relationship with Kevin is a wonderful chance to learn intimacy skills…  how to respect your own boundaries after making yourself so vulnerable.

Maybe, someday Kevin will be your husband. Most likely, though, that will not happen.

It’s not impossible. We’ve all known couples who were high school sweethearts and who manage to beat the odds and live happily ever after.

Regardless, your love experience with Kevin will remain an important part of who you are and who you will become.

As a teenager, you have discovered that you can experience super-intense feelings…  romantic love… for sure. The problem is that you haven’t got all the thought processes in place that you need to control them.

No, i’m not discouraging your relationship.

I just hope that you can encourage each other’s personal dreams without losing yourself in the process… which is especially hard to do at 16.

Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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