As a Young Adult writer I spend a lot of time observing the ins and outs of teenage relationships. Yes, that means I’m a stalker—in a non-threatening way of course—but still a stalker. Don’t feel bad, I even listen in on my own my adolescent kids, gleaning ideas for my novels.
I’ve noticed a reoccurring theme in the world of teenage dating—those relationships don’t last very long. Like my daughters says, ‘they’re holding hands when the first bell rings but end up hating each other by the time school’s out.’ You might be wondering how is that possible. How can someone you found so attractive one moment, suddenly be the vilest thing you ever met? When you’re young, you think it’s so complicated, but it really isn’t. Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. Love makes hate possible. And right about now maybe you’re thinking I’ve completely lost my mind, but stay with me. If you had no feelings at all about the person you were loathing, then what they said or did would have very little effect on you. That’s often why the angst of teenage love and hate don’t generally last very long. The emotions between them aren’t often much deeper than the initial sparks of interest. And this is not me making light of those turbulent years you’re going through. Connections take time to deepen and develop, so basically the longer you are together, the harder, and often uglier, the breakup will be if it happens. My advice is not to avoid those relationships all together, but take it slow. Nowhere does it say you have to kiss every toad you meet to find your prince.