Is there teenage romance in later years
"TEEN LOVE - first love shapes a lifetime"
It is special, inexperienced and shapes us for life. A conversation about first love, how it affects our personal development and what happens when love films collide with reality.
D.he first photo together, the first “I love you”, the first compromise, the first argument. The first relationship brings a lot with it and in addition to the sweet butterflies in your stomach, the first serious commitment is also entered into. According to an American study by the Pew Research Center, 35 percent of teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 had a romantic relationship. The first love therefore falls at a time when both the body and the personality go through the most violent developments.
We spoke to the psychologist Joseph Selinger about first love - why it is important and how it has a lasting impact on us.
Mr. Selinger, what does first love mean?
First love is sacred. It means the first encounter between ideals and reality. The picture of what the relationship should be like arises even before the first love or relationship.
Where does this picture come from?
From role models: films, books, or above all from parents. In the first relationship you try to live out the norms and values as you have copied them. This is crucial for the development of maturity and personality.
When two young people meet, the expectations are already there.
What if the ideal and reality do not go together?
It can very well happen that first love is like a romantic high school comedy in which both lovers look through rose-tinted glasses. However, it is often the case that the ideals simply do not match. Then it depends on how the two partners communicate and negotiate with each other.
That sounds more like something for relationship professionals ...
Yes, but they are not yet. If you meet early, it's an immature relationship per se, as neither has much experience. With the time spent together and the positive and negative situations mastered together, this experience is gradually built up.
What happens to the ideals when the relationship fails?
First love is a short period compared to life as a whole. However, the first relationship experience has a lasting impact and helps to find out what to expect in the next relationship, what to look for and what to avoid.
What are the advantages if the first love lasts longer?
This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Two of them rush into this adventure with a lot of trust and great loyalty - with only little bias. This is often no longer the case with later relationships, as the past plays a role. As a teenager or young adult, you grow up together, you mature together. This means that the two lovers are in constant personal development, which means they also have to constantly renegotiate and get involved with each other. Through the ongoing confrontation with the other person, you learn a lot about yourself and your partner.
The first love decides about all the partners who will come in our life.
Are there any disadvantages to getting committed so early?
It is of course possible that compromises are made - such as foregoing a semester exchange in order not to have to give up the relationship. But with a young love it is often the case that such opportunities, which are also important for individual personality development, are integrated into the relationship and then a stay abroad is made. This creates a mutual commitment, which makes the relationship even more valuable and unique.
How does first love influence our personal development?
Young people are on the lookout and build their identity through their actions and trying things out. This is how you find out who you are. If a young person is already in a stable relationship, trial and error is minimized on the one hand, but other values are increased on the other. For example, they learn early on to take each other's perspective and build a culture of conflict and reconciliation. The ability to cope with problems is thus, in my opinion, better developed and the relationship gains in depth.
Joseph Selinger is the owner of the Qurateam practice family. After studying psychology at the University of Basel, he studied medicine and specialized in psychiatry.
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