One of life’s many debates is whether young love can weather life’s fantastical ups and cruel downs. Can young lovers really mature together?
Sure, there are movies, articles, songs, books, and poems dedicated to young love, but what about real life? Tales of high school sweethearts growing old together mostly come from a time of long ago before corrupt values, modern technology, fast-paced lifestyles, and fickle mentalities descended upon us.
In today’s day and age where the more sexual partners you have, the cooler you are, and divorce rates have more than doubled, can young love really survive? These are very trying times and certainly a test of both your resolves.
How do you grow and mature together? How do you continuously support each other despite changing mindsets and goals? How do you align your hopes and dreams and work towards them together, without letting these very dreams tear you apart?
When you first met your partner, you were young, wild, and carefree. High school was a blur, and all you can remember about it are pep rallies, football games, and making out behind the bleachers. Met in college? It’s the same thing.
How to mature together, even if your relationship started early
Are you worried that your young love will hold you back, or are you concerned that you will not let your partner grow and mature for fear of losing them? Thankfully, there’s an answer to everything, including how to age gracefully with your young love by your side. Here are 10 tips on how to make it happen.
#1 Learn from your mistakes. The thing about falling in love at a young age is that both of you have no idea what you’re doing. When you first got together, you probably didn’t realize that it would last as long as it did. That’s the downside to young love. You go in with no experience, and end up making all the mistakes that you can possibly make with this one person.
It’s like the blind leading the blind, but that’s actually where the fun lies. Because you’re both noobs at relationships, you can learn from your mistakes. Challenge yourselves to learn and grow from everything that you failed at. You’ll be old pros in no time. [Read: The 10 types of love you’ll experience in your lifetime]
#2 Make it a point to forgive. Learning from your mistakes brings me to my next point, and that is forgiveness. Do not underestimate the importance of letting things go, as they lend a hand in helping you reach maturity. Remember that your partner is just as inexperienced as you are, so don’t ever tire of busting out the forgiveness card. Forgiving makes it simpler to move on from one issue, and onward to the next. [Read: 17 aww-so-sweet ways to say you’re sorry]
#3 Be clear about what’s important. It may be hard for a couple of youngsters to decide just what they want to do for the rest of their lives, but there’s no harm in determining what makes you happy. Be clear with your partner on what’s important to you.
Do you want a family one day? Do you want to win a Nobel Peace Prize? Do you want to be the first woman on the moon? No matter what, make sure that you’re both very aware of each other’s goals because it will make it easier to align them with one another’s. [Read: 10 worst mistakes couples make in a relationship]
#4 Have your own friends. One of the toughest parts about being with your high school or college love is that you probably share the same group of friends. There’s nothing wrong with an overlap, but it’s very important for both of you to have your own social circle. Not only will mixing with new people give you the chance to expand your horizons, it will also give you the chance to see and do new things without your partner.
For example, instead of heading out for drinks at the same old bar with your partner and shared friends, you can head to an art gallery with your colleagues. No matter what, always remember that there’s nothing wrong with having your own group of friends that your partner doesn’t necessarily have to be close to.
#5 Travel together. Another brilliant way to grow and mature together is to go off on adventures. Travel together, and do it often, without hesitation. Life’s all about making memories, and who better to build some with than with your first love?
Take advantage of your youth, and opt out of exploring conventional locations. Steer clear of luxury resorts, and backpack instead. You’re sure to learn a thing or two about each other when you’re slumming it in the backstreets of Cambodia. [Read: 8 tips to have a great time when you travel together]
#6 Don’t let inexperience get in the way. Another way to grow and mature together is to never let your lack of relationship know-how become a point of contention. Don’t blame one another for the mistakes made, and for not knowing how to fix a relationship problem. Garner and apply advice taken from those who have more experience, and by working on your issues on your own, you’re sure to grow and mature together. [Read: 8 little habits that bring couples closer]
#7 The grass isn’t always greener. Always remember that the grass may not be greener on the other side. Just like any relationship, there will be times when you want to up and leave. You will probably wonder what it’s like being with someone else, and you may even regret sticking to just one person.
Sure, there’s a whole world of potential partners out there, but remember that something that bloomed out of innocence and uncomplicated love shouldn’t be thrown away. Fix it, and be sure to do a good job.
#8 Experiment sexually. One reason why young lovers call it quits early on is because they are curious about what lies beyond their world of the same old sexual escapades. There’s no harm in experimenting sexually with your partner. Use each other’s bodies as a canvas, and paint a picture of love and passion.
Figure out your likes and dislikes, and don’t be afraid to attempt new things. If both of you are comfortable with it, consider inviting a third party into your romps. You can also agree to an open relationship for a year or two to expand your sexual horizons. Be clear on the rules, and never hurt one another. Most of all, no matter what, never have an affair. [Read: 50 kinky sexy ideas that young lovers should definitely try]
#9 Set small goals. This piece of advice applies to everyone, not just to young lovers who want to grow and mature in their relationship. There’s nothing wrong with looking at the end goal and striving to get there, but be sure not to lose your foothold when traipsing on life’s stepping stones.
Instead of working towards one big goal, break it up into little goals and accomplish each one as a couple. Practice makes perfect, and the more little goals you accomplish with your partner, the easier it will get further down the road. [Read: 12 small changes that can greatly improve your relationship]
#10 Value one another. Another tip to grow and mature together if you started your relationship young is to always remember how much you mean to each other. Don’t just value your partner, but also everything he or she holds dear. [Read: 9 relationship stages all couples go through]
From your lover’s hobbies to family members, appreciate all that they have and are willing to do for you. Recognize that no matter how smooth sailing life is, sacrifice was involved. You of all people know just what it took to get there, so cherish them always.
At the end of the day, so long as you appreciate, respect, and love your partner, it doesn’t matter if you started your relationship young. Growing into the person you were meant to be is not easy. It takes plenty of life lessons, failures, and struggles to get there, but with the right person by your side, anything is possible.
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Born in Singapore and raised in Malaysia to multi-racial parents, Lianne is a self-proclaimed travel and food junkie. Having traveled extensively around the wor...