Is it Puppy Love or the Real Thing? Will Your Relationship Last Into Adulthood?

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By Marie Miguel

Some people, movies, and tv shows perceive high school sweethearts or middle school romances as necessarily fleeting and temporary.

Sure, you might think you’re in love, but you’re so young, right? People will claim that can’t be true love, and assume true love comes from mature adults who know where they are in life, have their hormones under control, and are ready to do things before long-term plans like having kids of their own.

However, that’s not always the case.

Sure, some romances that start while you’re still incredibly young might end at some point, but some people also can end up truly happy with people they met at a young age.

There is not an end-all-be-all age requirement for when a relationship is legitimate and when it’s just a short-term bout of puppy love. Fleeting romances can happen to adults and lasting relationships can form when you’re young, even if it’s not the standard of others your age.

Although the age that the relationship starts doesn’t always matter, there are a few things that can help you tell if your relationship will last into adulthood or whether it’s just puppy love.

1. Commitment

Just like there’s no age requirement for entering a serious relationship, there’s no proper way to commit either. However, if you both had or have a tendency to fall in love with a new person every week, then it might be worth sitting down and considering if what you feel for your partner is serious.

The ability to commit can take a fling into a long-term relqationship, and lack of commitment can be a sign that the relationship won’t last.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling puppy love that’s quick to fade, but it’s also good to make sure that you’re not leading someone on to believe that you’re serious about a relationship when you’re really just feeling it for the moment.

If you or your partner frequently think about other people and dating them, then it might be best to part ways romantically.

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2. Novelty

When you’re entering middle school or high school, dating might be the new, cool thing that a lot of people are doing. Hormones are likely running rampant and you might be feeling something one day that you just won’t be feeling the next, without even knowing what it was.

It can be easy for anyone, but especially younger or more inexperienced people, to mistake excitement for something new, like the idea of dating combined with hormones, for true love.

It might be hard to tell if you’re really in love with a person or not, but it’s important to try to figure that out as soon as you can.

While it’s not always necessary to stress about the longevity of the relationship from the very beginning, eventually you could be hurting the other person by leading them on if the passion starts to fade.

If you get to a point where the novelty of having a relationship in the first place wears off and you still want to be with the person in a more comfortable, stable way, then chances are that your feelings are more than just puppy love. As BetterHelp explains, teen love can be more than just puppy love.

3. Communication

In real relationships, not everything is going to be a honeymoon phase. Sometimes partners will have disagreements about things and need time to themselves.

If you and your partner are always gushing about how much you love the other and you have gone a considerable length of time without communicating about any sort of issue in your relationship, then ask yourself if you’ve been in a relationship with them or if you’ve just been enjoying having someone to compliment you endlessly and hold your hand.

It’s okay to want that from a relationship, and in the beginning, it’s what most relationships look like. However, after some time has passed, couples will usually enter a phase in the relationship where they communicate about their wants and needs.

This doesn’t mean you have to talk out every second of your relationship with your partner, but it also doesn’t mean giving them their way every time or assuming you’re on the same page.

Communication is key in a relationship, so be sure to do it. If you’ve been communicating already about these sorts of things, then you just might be in a relationship that’s meant to last.

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.


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