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ds is 14 and a half. he is a decent kid. helps around the house when asked , but sometimes with attitude. i'm sure things have change since i was 14. i heard him say to his girlfriend on the phone last night that he loved her. so what does that mean? should I be concerned? I mean, what does it mean when you are 14 and you say you love your girlfriend? his dad says that if it were that serious he wouldv'e brought her over , which he hasn't done because he says we'll embarrass him.for the record at 14 i drank every weekend and i don't think i loved anyone.........<br><br>
i think love is a very advanced emotion. but maybe i'm reading too much into this.please post any experience you have in this area. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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My 15 yr old niece tells her boyfriend that she loves him, and vice versa. I don't think that at that age they really distinguish between true love and like. It's just a way to say they care. It might also be influenced by hearing you and your SO say it to each other. They hear the adults say it, so they say it too.
 

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Yep, they seem to like to throw that phrase around willy-nilly. I've heard DB use it several times with girls he hasn't been dating that long. I agree with what khrisday says. It doesn't really concern me too much. He'll figure it out eventually.
 

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I don't know.. I loved my boyfriends at 15 and 16 and 17, and well you get it.. I don't think I loved anyone any less than I love people now.. I guess it depends on the kid.. I love a lot of people.. I also love fairly easily.. I think we do teens a disservice by not believing them when they tell us they love someone..<br><br>
less than 100 yrs ago teens were getting married to people they loved.. So why does the teen of 100 yrs ago know they love someone and it was fully accepted, but the teens of today don't get the same recognition.. They get a pat on the head..<br><br>
I wouldn't be concerned about it.. We are made to love people.. Perhaps you didn't "love" people the same way you do now. If I care about someone.. I love them.. Same people I loved before.. Same way I love the people in my life today.. I would have married any of the guys I told that I loved them.. Just cause I was younger didn't make it any less real..<br><br>
Just my perspective..<br><br>
Warm Squishy Feelings..<br><br>
Dyan
 

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My first love was around the age of 14 or 15 - we told each other we loved each other quite often. It was the way we felt at the time and I don't think it was any less genuine then when I tell my husband I love him - it's just a deeper kind of love that me and him have because it's grown and it's a more mature love.<br><br>
I don't think it's anything to worry about... of course I haven't heard my 14 year old say that to any of his girlfriends yet <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> He has however bought them jewelry...<br><br>
Kitty
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>khrisday</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My 15 yr old niece tells her boyfriend that she loves him, and vice versa. I don't think that at that age they really distinguish between true love and like.</div>
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I'm going to really beg to differ on this one...<br><br>
Just because it's not the 'let's have sex/get married/have kids' type of love doesn't mean it's not love. Every love we have in our lives is different. Consider teenage love like.. training wheels love. We learn how to have a committed relationship, it's where we cut our teeth. It's not <i>not</i> love.<br><br>
I fell in love (yes, at 27 I can say I was in love) at about 10. I saw him and the world disappeared. He lived away and I wrote him religiously. I can't tell you it was the healthiest relationship but now that I have something to compare it to, I know that I did love that kid (we ended up together when I was 14 for a year and a half). To this day if I see a picture I get all butterflies (making sure dh isn't peeking over my shoulder!) and giggly... and it was an awful relationship. LOL I talked to him a few years ago, we'd both gotten married (me twice) to other people and there was still a lot of chemistry. He still loved me, to be really blunt... and while he'll always be my first love, I was defintely not in love with him anymore.<br><br>
Anyway... love is love... I feel sad when I hear older folks (not that any of us are <i>old</i> , mind you!) dismiss what is very real and acute to our younger counterparts. I would venture that it's even more intense when you're younger because you don't have the experience of previous lovers to compare it to, or gain strength from.<br><br>
In summation...<br><br>
Please do not dismiss or minimize the feelings of your kids toward their chosen loves! Seeking to convince them that they're not in 'real love' will just convince them that you don't understand them, nor trust them to know their own feelings... break ups are as hard to get over in teen years as they are in adult ones!<br><br>
Blessings on all of our little adults in training... and on their mommies! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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That's the thing. With my brother, it's genuninely NOT love. I wouldn't be so dismissive if it was with someone he was in a relationship with or was even dating. After all I've been with my husband since I was 15 and we have been together for over 11 years now. So I'm definitely not saying you can't fall in love as a teen because I know that's absolutely not true.<br><br>
But I've heard him say it to girls he's known only briefly and once I saw him say it to a girl online that he had met an on airplane a week before. Usually once he breaks up with the girl or isn't talking to her anymore he'll admit he didn't really love her. And from what I've noticed of his friends, it seems to be a phrase that is as commonplace as hello or goodbye.
 

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I had my first boyfriend at 17, and he told me he loved me. I told him I loved him too, and I thought I did.... til I met my husband. I had NO clue what love meant. With the first boy, love meant : "I care about him and I have fun when I'm with him, and he makes me have butterflies in my tummy." With DH love meant (means) living without him is painful, and.... I can't express it. It's just so powerful. His experience of love may be like that, just that he loves her as much as he can understand what that means.
 

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My bf told me he loved me when he was 17, I was 15 and we had been going out for about a week (lol). He later told me that (duh!) he didn't mean it (neither did I when I said it back....nor did I think he was sincere), wanna know the reason he told me?<br><br>
Because in an e-mail I wrote him the night before, I signed it "Love, Kelly" and not "Luv, Kelly" and he saw this as me telling him I loved him, so he said it to me to reciprocate! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/ROTFLMAO.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rotflmao"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/biglaugh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="laugh">: LOL We still laugh about this now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/twins.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="twins">: Don't you miss high school!?!? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"><br><br>
But later on (same ages, months later), I told him I really did love him (although I now realize that it was "puppy love" and not the real thing which it is today), because that's how I thought I felt. I had never felt anything so strongly about anyone before, so it must have been love! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> He answered truthfully that he felt the same way (again, puppy love).<br><br>
I remember this vividly because it wasn't so long ago (I'm 21 now), and remember the intensity, confusion, pressure, etc...<br><br>
Have a talk with him about feelings, how he must feel strongly about her to have said that to her. Don't deny him of the way he feels about her-in his own, immature way, he does love her I'm sure, or else he's just saying it cuz a-she wants him to b-he thinks she wants him to (as was in my case) c-he's reciprocating (as was kinda my case, lol) d-he's trying to trick her e-any other wacky teen reason....my guess is it's a,b,c and/or e. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Good luck....
 

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In the romantic sense, I have been in love twice. The first time-- my first love-- was my first long-term boyfriend. We "went out" from the time I was 13 until I was 16. We cared about each other so deeply, and had such a deep spirituality to our relationship. It was an incredibly healthy experience for my first romantic love. I had tremendous growth with this boy, and I loved him no less then than I have loved anyone (my mom, my now-wife, my sisters, etc.). I am so glad that was my first experience with love. [Edited to add: after seeing the other post about time spent on the phone or online with gf, I should add that at various times my bf and I were pretty wrapped up in each other, and that I think that is fairly normal when people are falling for each other.] When we first broke up, there was a lot of pain for both of us and it was hard to see each other, so we really went our own ways (which was fine because we went to different schools, etc.). I occassionally heard little bits about how he was doing and whatever, but as the pain subsided and the feelings from when we were together faded to memory, I didn't really think about him anymore.<br><br>
I ran into this boy in my home town about six years ago (right after I began dating my now-wife). There was a deep sense of respect, honor, and connection between us still. We talked for an hour or so, and it actually was very healing to look back on who we were when we were two kids dating. Both of us have grown into two very different people, and it was clear we weren't meant to be together forever. But at the same time, it was clear that we needed to have those experiences we had with each other when we had them. They were important to both of us, and I think in some ways, they really prepared me for my marriage. I had learned a lot of relationship skills in that relationship, and I carry those still.<br><br>
I am truly in love with my wife. I adore her, but more than that, we have a deep, abiding sense of love, a love that is strong and like Persephone said, it is a feeling that is impossible to explain. I agree with dynamicdoula in that one of the major differences now is that I have the strength of previous relationships to draw from. I have been through romantic love before. That is not to say that there is nothing special with my love for my spouse than in comparison to my first boyfriend. My spouse and I have grown in our love together for many more years, had more experiences together and thus the spirituality in our relationship has a much different tone, runs more strongly. We have also made a lifetime commitment to one another, something that has both deepend our relationship and something that takes a different way of walking our paths together. In addition, I am a much different person now, have grown spiritually quite a bit for one thing, and so the love that pours out of my heart is different. Nonetheless, I am grateful for my experience as a teen.<br><br>
To go back to the original issue, though, jannan, please don't worry. There is no way to know for certain *exactly* what your son means when he says he loves his girlfriend. Perhaps they do have a deep, true love. On the other hand, perhaps like others have said, he is using the word to mean something else or using it for another reason. *Either* way, this is a very important stage in his development. He needs these types of experiences. This is how we learn about relationships, learn about the power of words and their meaning in our culture, learn about the different spectrums our feelings can fall on, learn about what it means to care deeply about another outside of one's immediate family. When we are babies, we have developmental leaps that include things like saying our first word, drinking from a cup, getting a small bit of food into our mouths. When we are teenagers, developmental leaps include first romantic relationships and saying we love someone for the first time. This is a developmental leap for your son...which is a sign he is *growing.* That is great news! Whatever he means when he says he loves his girlfriend, to be sure, he will learn a great deal from this relationship. If he talks to you about it, try not to make judgements and instead listen while he sorts and figures it all out for himself. If he doesn't talk to you about it, perhaps this is something he prefers to sort out on his own. You'll know if and when he is in over his head. You'll *really* know. And in that case, you can give him an "out" and wait to see if he takes it. If he doesn't, you'll decide whether he is in danger, and if not, hopefully you'll let him take the fall that he'll need to learn from the experience. Afterall, that is how we all learned to walk.<br><br>
I say all this knowing that it isn't easy. I hope what I have said has been comforting anyhow.<br><br>
Sierra
 

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My oldest is 14 as well, and I just saw some letters to his "girlfriend," a few weeks ago that were all about "I love you." It is shocking, to hear your baby say that to a girl - I understand!<br><br>
I try to keep communication very open, all the while letting son know that this time in his life, he needs to be preparing to be the head of a household someday, and not focusing too much on one person.<br><br>
Fast forward a few weeks - yesterday son told me that it was over between he and Hannah. He determined that she was too negative about life, her family , her faith -and he said he sees the wisdom in just being "friends." His social calendar is full, and he and i are planning a road trip this weekend without the siblings. Suddenly, the summer is looking up!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>dynamicdoula</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In summation...<br><br>
Please do not dismiss or minimize the feelings of your kids toward their chosen loves! Seeking to convince them that they're not in 'real love' will just convince them that you don't understand them, nor trust them to know their own feelings... break ups are as hard to get over in teen years as they are in adult ones!</div>
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I totally agree with this!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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I met my hubby at 16 and we knew we loved each other...<br><br>
I think it's great he's experiencing this! Of course, it's not my kid going through it so thats easy for me to say...
 

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it was very difficult for me the first time i heard my oldest ds say he loved his gf over the phone. and when she said it back, i knew i was in trouble, lol<br><br>
it's only natural to feel as if another womyn is "taking our little man"~and it was hard for me to shake that.<br><br>
since he loved her, so did i, and i embraced her & accepted her into our home so that both of them would feel my love.<br><br>
my parents always underestimated my potential for emotion & true love. i remember feeling as if my feelings were less because i was young. i don't want my teens to feel that way~love it love~period.<br><br>
ds fell in love for the first time (only time so far) at 13.5~and i was thrilled for him. dunno if the girl's mom was as happy about it, but i know i supported their relationship & had completely open communication with them about expectations, responsibilities, and self control (ahem).<br><br>
if you distance yourself & breath a word of doubt or unsupport, you might not be able to influence as i did. hth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
keep in mind, love or not-your ds will NEVER forget this girl, the realtionship, or how you were with it. IT'LL ALWAYS BE A MEMORY-good, bad, or indifferent.
 

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i first fell in love just before i turned 14. yes, it was real love, not just like.<br><br>
i don't think anyone can -- or should -- judge love for anyone else. shouldn't we just be happy that they're happy?<br><br>
it's such a wonderful feeling. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> especially when it's so new and chaotic.
 

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Although I am basically agreeing with everyone I thought I would write my thoughts too.<br>
I fell head over heels in love when I was 16 and it was the most glorious feeling to me. We were together for nearly 2 years and went through every imaginable crisis together. To this day i think very fondly of him and I still love him (even though I am happily married to dh). He is the person I think of when I hear certain songs, smell certain things, even see a certain shade in a sunset, I will always carry that young and innocent love for him where ever I go. My family at this time was very very negative about my relationship and voiced it at every opprotunity. In the end my relationship with my mother was damaged beyond repair, all because she wouldnt accept my feeling and emotions as real and valueable. She questioned my judgement and didnt trust that I knew what I felt.<br><br>
With that, I say as the others have, embrace this time as a new step in your sons life and maturation. Let him know that you will respect his feelings regardless if you feel they are "true" or "right, because right now they are very true for him. Remember he is only 14 and there will be many girls that come into his life but the first ones always make the difference, so be supportive of him.
 

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i felt my mother was so condescending in her belief it wasn't "real" love during adolescence! little did she know what i was really up to! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> it might not be a mature or lasting love but i think that we should all be telling each other "i love you" a lot more often, and saying it shouldn't be taken to mean "you're the only one" or "we'll be together forever." that's how i would discourage reading too much into it, but we all love many, many people in our lifetime and this should be a cause of celebration, not confusion or deciding the last person wasn't 'real' love because you're not together anymore. i still love the people i loved as a child and an adolescent every bit as much, even if i haven't spoken with them in years. and i accept my husband is still in love with his old girlfriends also, and that in a better world there wouldn't need to be any "ex-" about it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
anyway when i read the OP i thought how very sweet and nice it sounded.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>4xmamamia</strong></div>
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keep in mind, love or not-your ds will NEVER forget this girl, the realtionship, or how you were with it. IT'LL ALWAYS BE A MEMORY-good, bad, or indifferent.</div>
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Oh this is so very true!
 
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