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Can you find love in the 8th grade?

Mensch Answers:

Dear Bonquesia,

My answer is definitely YES, but definitely a conditional yes.

Different Kind of Love

That is, you CAN find love at your age, but it will not be (or isn't, we can say in your case) the same KIND of love you will find when you're twice as old, or four times as old. This doesn't mean it's not love, it's just a different sort of love. I'll explain...

The love you're describing, and the relationship you and Andre have, is typical and I would even say appropriate for your situation. You are living through an age when hormones are flowing through your bodies and affect your mood and feelings in wacky ways. You are maturing quickly, but in many ways you're still children.

THIS ISN'T A BAD THING! You're only young once, and you should enjoy it, and one of the ways to enjoy it is in exploring your feelings and emotions and dreams and desires with other people.

Over time, you will learn to recognize and label your feelings better, and you'll know more clearly when you're feeling love, or lust, or longing, jealousy, pity, or any of dozens of other feelings we all have at one time or another (yes, they sometimes overlap, and that's confusing, and that's another thing you'll learn to deal with).

The Confusing Kinds of Love

The confusing thing about this love is – if he loves her, why is he with his girlfriend?

So, eventually, you'll see that the love you feel for a romantic partner when you're in your later teens, then in your twenties, and later in your life, won't be the confusing kind of love you're feeling now. It'll be a whole other kind of confusion.

I'm only half joking. Love is rarely easy, but when it's good, it's the greatest feeling you can have, and sharing that with someone makes it phenomenal.

Annie She shouldn't bother. If they get together, he would treat her the way he treats his girlfriend now.

You and Andre might want to talk about your feelings in more concrete ways than just saying "I love you." Ask each other (and yourselves) WHAT you like or love about the other, and what you DON'T like. That's just as important.

Judith One thing that she should value is integrity, and neither of them is practicing integrity.

Think about the things that are important to you – the values you cherish, the personal characteristics of people you admire and respect, the things you want people to say about you – and share them with each other. This, of course, means communicating. If you've read any of my other answers on Love & Learn, you know that I champion the power of open communication channels, and that goes for every sort of relationship.

You obviously have strong feelings for Andre, and even if this relationship doesn't work out, you'll have learned something – the name of this site says it all: life is about both loving AND learning.

Enjoy your youth, and welcome to the wonderful, complicated, thrilling, confusing, rich world of human emotions!



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