Guest Blog: It’s Not a Crush. It’s Love. (So Stop Calling it Puppy Love)

By | January 16th, 2012 | 20 comments

by Melissa Kantor

When I was a senior in high school, we got to take a health class. Nowadays, that’s no big deal but back in the 1980s, sitting in a classroom talking about sex and relationships was fairly radical.

Sadly, despite my excitement about the course material, I remember practically nothing from the class. The one thing I do remember is the day we talked about love. No, we didn’t spend forty-five minutes reciting Shakespeare’s sonnets or sharing the songs we liked to cry to after getting our hearts broken.

Instead, the teacher gave us (and I am completely not kidding you here) a set of guidelines that could be used to determine if the emotion you were experiencing was real love or puppy love. These guidelines included such questions as: Does the person return my feelings? Does this person really know me? How long have I been together with this person? and How old am I? Sadly, I did not keep the answer key, but you don’t have to be a relationship expert to figure out that if you answered “No,” “Kind of,” “Twenty-four hours,” and “Fourteen,” that achy feeling in your stomach would be dismissed and you would be informed you were merely experiencing “Puppy Love.”

Every time I think back on that questionnaire, it makes me furious. I wish I could find the people who created it, grab them by their shirt collars and demand, “Why can’t you love someone you’ve only known a week?!” or “How can anyone ‘really’ know another person?” or “How dare you tell me I can’t love someone who doesn’t love me back?!”

Long after my high school boyfriend and I broke up, I still loved him (though he’d moved on within a week of our breakup), and though I fell in love with my husband when we were first dating, I’m still (after almost fifteen years of marriage) learning who he ‘really’ is.

When we call it ‘puppy’ love instead of ‘real’ love, we are telling a person that she has no right to feel what she is feeling. I have no idea why grownups do this. Have they forgotten what it feels like to fall in love? Do they really think teenagers’ emotions are somehow less intense than adults’? Do they not want to deal with the joy (or the pain) kids are feeling, so they tell them, Oh, you’re not really feeling those things…it’s just a crush.

Love, I believe, is love. You can love people who do not love you back and you can love people you do not know very well. You do not have to be eighteen or twenty-one to fall in love, and you do not need a license to do it either.

While love grows and evolves and deepens over time, while it is nurtured by common interests and and shared experiences, it can be born suddenly and inexplicably. Can it last? Am I happy? Will I get my heart broken? These are questions to which it is worth having answers. Is it puppy love? I say: don’t bother asking. There’s no such thing.

Comment on this post to be entered to win a free copy of The Darlings in Love.
Melissa Kantor is the author of The Darlings in Love, The Breakup Bible, Girlfriend Material and If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where’s My Prince? She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York. To read the first chapter of The Darlings in Love, go to www.melissakantor.com.

20 Responses to “Guest Blog: It’s Not a Crush. It’s Love. (So Stop Calling it Puppy Love)”

  • Great okija says:

    As spells can give success and happiness and do wonders for you,there are Evil people who may try to harm you with negative affects and some time s evil spells or black magic spell s may be so powerful that they may even destroy your life may also affect your love life you may try to do opposite happen and day to day your success graph may come down but again there is solution to any problem in this world this strong spell will destroy all the evil affects evil spells,any things that is done on you also if any one will try to do anything bad to you,then he will be affected and you will be safe and protected…you can contact me on this email greatokija@ yahoo.com.i do all kinds of spells BRING BACK LOST LOVERS IN 24hrs. UNFINISHED JOBS BY OTHER DOCTORS-IF NOT SATISFIED-COME TO ME. COURT CASES EVEN IF ONE IS CONVICTED(IF THERE ‘IS CHANCE OF APPEALING) DO YOU WANT CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN? Bring Back Lost Love no matter how long. Remove Bad Spells Win Any Kind Of Court Case Guaranteed Recover Stolen Property Guaranteed Attract Customers To Your Business Get Rid Of Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs Enlargement Creams For Men Marry Your Dream Lover/partner? Ensure Success In Your Business Bewitched And Skin Diseases Swollen Body, Painful Joints Get Twins As Many As You Wish Guaranteed get a promotion at work gay love also.

  • Vito 90 says:

    I had such a mad so called crush (I now know that it was much more than that or I wouldn’t be feeling what I’m feeling some 20 years later) on someone a few years older of whom I had an ever too short relationship with. The age thing meant nothing to me. The only thing that mattered was that we had something truly special. I only wish that I could go back in time and do a few things differently to assure that we’d still be together today. Knowing that such a thing is not possible, I wish that I could find the strength to contact this person to try and spark the relationship once again.

    Life is too short to let things get in the way of true love. Don’t waste 20 or more years like I did. Whether it’s puppy love or anything else non-status quo; if it feels like love, it’s love. Go for it!

  • Natalie says:

    As A teenager I totally agree what is going on right now, I’m reading peoples comments and it’s totally true. Whenever I talk about love and marrage in front of my parents my dad is always like “you have no clue what love is”. I’m the type of person who doesnt listen to what anyone says- I know when
    i feel what if feel.
    My point is, if someone is reading this article and doesnt agree- well you’re just lying to yourself, because the firsttime I fell in love was 12, 12!! I think if you’re a parent and reading this you shouldn’t put your kids down when they say “I love him/her”, because the heart feels what it feels and if it’s love-it’s love. May not be the ‘degree’ of love you have with your spouse, but they are feelng something. Hey they might be in love- but everyone could fall in love more than once-you never know

    • stevelover says:

      Thank you so much for sharing such a love tail. My experience to real love was first felt from my teen age. I met this great girl at my neighborhood and instantly got a huge crush on her. I couldnt take my mind and heart off her everyday and i was really mesmerized by her. It took me years to figure out the real meaning of real love. That real love is not always about what you feel for someone, but also what they feel for you. Yes unconditional love is different. That is authentic and general. I am talking about the love that is shared between two soul mates. This kind of love takes time and experience but not beauty or pleasure or desire, eventhough they count a little but not to the level of perpertual real Agape love. Thanks

  • Abby says:

    I absolutely LOVE this! Your so right!

  • Sabina says:

    Can somebody tell me how can I post a blog on this site????????????????????????????????????????????
    Anyone???????????????????????????????????

  • Sabina says:

    Hey, I completely agree with what u wrote. “It is not guaranteed that the person you love is going to love you back, at the right time & moment the love would come from someone else”.I do prefer knowing eachother though, well honestly speaking I’ve not experienced either love, cause right now I don’t feel like it. Just an ordinary girl living in the ordinary world, but I’ve heard and seen this a lot of time.

  • Lyssa Beth says:

    I agree. I was head over heels for a boy all through out jr. high and high school. I was with him the first half of that and then not the second half. I would date other guys but he was the ONE. I know the feelings I felt were real and LOVE. But there are degrees of love. The kind of feel for my husband now is more mature, deeper and he knows I exist 😉
    Thanks for a great article!

  • Tina says:

    I totally agree with this! It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much you ‘know’ a person. My health ed teacher keeps telling us it’s impossible- I’ve gotten into so many arguments with him and he just repeats those two things. ‘You’re all too young’ and ‘you have to know them’. (In Spanish, there is a special word for ‘knowing’ a person- it means an incomplete knowledge.)

  • Kerry says:

    When I was in high school our health ed class asked us to write an essay on whether teenagers could feel true love or not……. I got an F because my opinion was wrong, I said they could, apparently they can not. This was the day I learned that no matter how well written my essay is my opinion better not differ from my teachers, and to always write my essays the way the teacher will like them. I also was very angry that my opinion was so easily dismissed. I know many people who have gone on to have a long and happy life with their highschool sweetheart. I had a 6 year ‘crush’ on a boy who led me on and even when he knew I liked him didn’t tell me he was uninterested because he enjoyed it…… it ended with my finally telling him my feelings and having my heart crushed….. don’t tell me what I felt wasn’t love. We may love in degrees, but don’t tell a teenager, or anyone for that matter, what they are feeling isn’t love…… who is to determine that but themselves?

  • Amanda says:

    As my 4-yr old daughter was weeping, so sad over something, someone nearby said, “just wait until she has real emotions.” No matter what age, people feel and have strong emotions. I hope we can instill respect for each other in all of our kids.

  • C says:

    As an adult who still remembers what it was like to be a teen, I applaud this article. It’s a growing trend on forums these days for young adults to dismiss teens’ feelings as “just a crush” when they talk about being “in love.” Love is love. It can be irrational and blind and it doesn’t matter what the circumstances of the relationship are or if it’s reciprocated or how long it lasts. It can fade, it can change, and it can happen at any age. If someone thinks they’re in love, they are.

    The absurd notion that it’s only love once a certain age has been reached, or if you end up marrying that person is completely oblivious to the way emotions work. I remember that when I’d finally get over one of my exes as a teen or even as a fresh adult, who I had been in love with, I’d say to myself, “Oh, I guess that wasn’t love afterall…” not realizing how silly that thought was. It was love. It just wasn’t a compatible partner. The two are totally mutually exclusive.

  • Ella Press says:

    This is genius! I hate it when adult frown upon us, teens in love, and tell us we’ll grow up and change our minds soon. Have they forgotten what it’s like to be 18 and in love?
    People love in their own ways!

    (BTW, I’m an int’l blogger, it’s ok if I can’t enter the giveaway, I just wanted to comment;)
    xo, Ella @ The Clock Monkey

  • Maddie says:

    I think this is a great perspective on love. 😀
    I’m fifteen and I’ve never felt a relationship type of love before, not even a lot of admiration for another person, but I believe in true love and soul mates. 😀

  • Chrissie says:

    THANK YOU for putting this out there! My husband and I, who are still *madly* in love, met when we were about to turn 14 and 15 years old. We both knew we were in love within about 3 months, but people constantly discounted our feelings because of our age. We have now been together for 17 1/2 years, married for 10 1/2 years, and have 2 children together… but people still feel the need to comment on the fact that we got married “so young” (nearly 21 and 22). When the teens at my library complain that they get the “puppy love” speech from their parents, I often tell them that only time will tell whether their love will *last* — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t love they are feeling!

    • Great okija says:

      As spells can give success and happiness and do wonders for you,there are Evil people who may try to harm you with negative affects and some time s evil spells or black magic spell s may be so powerful that they may even destroy your life may also affect your love life you may try to do opposite happen and day to day your success graph may come down but again there is solution to any problem in this world this strong spell will destroy all the evil affects evil spells,any things that is done on you also if any one will try to do anything bad to you,then he will be affected and you will be safe and protected…you can contact me on this email greatokija@ yahoo.com.i do all kinds of spells BRING BACK LOST LOVERS IN 24hrs. UNFINISHED JOBS BY OTHER DOCTORS-IF NOT SATISFIED-COME TO ME. COURT CASES EVEN IF ONE IS CONVICTED(IF THERE ‘IS CHANCE OF APPEALING) DO YOU WANT CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN? Bring Back Lost Love no matter how long. Remove Bad Spells Win Any Kind Of Court Case Guaranteed Recover Stolen Property Guaranteed Attract Customers To Your Business Get Rid Of Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs Enlargement Creams For Men Marry Your Dream Lover/partner? Ensure Success In Your Business Bewitched And Skin Diseases Swollen Body, Painful Joints Get Twins As Many As You Wish Guaranteed get a promotion at work gay love also.

  • My BIGGEST pet peeve is people questioning love strictly on age. I met my first love when I was 15. I’m now 34 and I can tell you that was LOVE, real love, pure love. And if I hadn’t let the words of others get in the way of it, I truly believe it would have been life long love. But I listened when others told me you’re too young, you NEED to experience life etc. I am married with a terrific family now so it’s hard to say I would change it all but in a way I totally would. That love, without all the other baggage was something unlike any other relationship I ever had. I try to do my part to encourage young couples that age is really irrelevant. Some of the happiest couples I know were high school sweet hearts. So NEVER tell a teenager they don’t know what love is.

    • Great okija says:

      As spells can give success and happiness and do wonders for you,there are Evil people who may try to harm you with negative affects and some time s evil spells or black magic spell s may be so powerful that they may even destroy your life may also affect your love life you may try to do opposite happen and day to day your success graph may come down but again there is solution to any problem in this world this strong spell will destroy all the evil affects evil spells,any things that is done on you also if any one will try to do anything bad to you,then he will be affected and you will be safe and protected…you can contact me on this email greatokija@ yahoo.com.i do all kinds of spells BRING BACK LOST LOVERS IN 24hrs. UNFINISHED JOBS BY OTHER DOCTORS-IF NOT SATISFIED-COME TO ME. COURT CASES EVEN IF ONE IS CONVICTED(IF THERE ‘IS CHANCE OF APPEALING) DO YOU WANT CHILDREN OF YOUR OWN? Bring Back Lost Love no matter how long. Remove Bad Spells Win Any Kind Of Court Case Guaranteed Recover Stolen Property Guaranteed Attract Customers To Your Business Get Rid Of Alcohol, Smoking and Drugs Enlargement Creams For Men Marry Your Dream Lover/partner? Ensure Success In Your Business Bewitched And Skin Diseases Swollen Body, Painful Joints Get Twins As Many As You Wish Guaranteed get a promotion at work gay love also.

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