Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Young Love

This piece is written for my teen grandchildren--

Falling In Love

Young love; it is a powerful, emotional, almost drug-like experience. There is no wonder why it takes so many young people captive. I read an article where a young woman spoke of her infatuation for a teacher; I’ll include it because she does a far better job of explaining young love than I can.

“I had never felt anything like it before. I could not get Mr. McArthur out of my mind. I was anxious; I gnawed at the lining of my cheek until I tasted the tang of blood. School became at once terrifying and exhilarating. Would I see him in the hallway? In the cafeteria? I hoped.
But when my wishes were granted, and I got a glimpse of my man, it satisfied nothing; it only inflamed me all the more. Had he looked at me? Why had he not looked at me? When would I see him again?
At home I looked him up in the phone book; I rang him, this in a time before caller ID. He answered……”

Of course it did not realize itself, and sadly, young love never ends up with a happy ending. But the emotions are real, powerful, and literally are, a natural chemically produced high. Our brain opens up the door to serotonin and dopamine, truly a ‘love potion’ that creates intense energy, exhilaration, focused attention, and motivation. It is why, when you are newly in love, you can stay up all night, watch the sun rise, run a race, ski fast down a slope ordinarily too steep for your skill.
Love makes you bold, makes you bright, makes you run real risks, which sometimes you survive, and sometimes you don’t.
Because it is so intense, you want it to last forever, you tell your lover it will last forever, eternally; “I’d do anything for you” is said in complete honesty.
But, “scientists are discovering that the cocktail of brain chemicals that sparks romance is totally different from the blend that fosters long-term attachment.”

And, forever is a very long time for a teen.

The airways are filled with songs of broken hearts. They sell millions of albums because millions of people relate and nurse their broken dreams in the flood of music. I was listening to a couple of old Mariah Carey songs that speak too many of the issues of young love. The first song is called “If It’s Over”.

If It’s over

Wont you talk to me
This is so out of hand
Something’s gone wrong
With the life that we planned

Won’t you look at me
You’re avoiding my gaze
And it seems like you’ve changed
In so many ways

It isn’t fair
It isn’t right
If it’s really gone
Then tell me tonight
If its over
If it’s over
Let me go

Won’t you speak to me
I’m just here holding on
‘Cause baby I really don’t need to wait around
If the feelings is gone

I don’t need no apologies
‘I’m not looking for no sympathy
All I’m asking for
Is for your honesty
Won’t you give it to me
Give it to me now
It isn’t fair
It just isn’t right
‘Cause if it’s really gone
You’ve got to say the word tonight
If it’s over
If it’s over
Baby if it’s over Won’t you let me know
Baby if it’s over
Over- let me go

This is such an emotionally charged song, “what has gone wrong?”
She begins with “won’t you talk to me”, such a familiar chord that has echoed in many a heart. The truth is young people are not experienced at speaking their heart, or truly knowing their heart. It is nearly impossible for a young man to face her question when the fickle passions begin to change and the young man has no understanding why, and if he did he would have no ability to express them.

The next line is “This is so out of hand”, this is the normal course of young love, it is not restrained, nor understood, emotions rule the relationship, the blood runs hot, then cold, then hot again and at warp speed. Conversation flows for hours then comes to a halt, becomes forced and insincere. Then a day later all is fine.
Truly- “out of hand”.

The next line is “something’s gone wrong with the life that we planned.”
Young love makes many plans, dreams, covenants that it is not equipped to follow through with. Because the passions are so deep, and the feelings so strong, it seems as though it will last forever and future plans are made when present emotions change.

The next line says
“Won’t you look at me
You’re avoiding my gaze.”
The feelings of ‘why’, are so prevalent. In most cases the intention was not to hurt the other, but the young emotions are so fleeting, changeable, like the weather, what once seemed all important one day, the next day he awakens with a change of heart that he can’t understand and finds it nearly impossible to face, so he “avoids her gaze.”

The chorus states—

It isn’t fair
It isn’t right
If it’s really gone
Then tell me tonight
If its over
If it’s over
Let me go

And it isn’t fair or right, but the feelings of love and infatuation begin to fade without notice or incident and then rise again and the young man is in a state of complete uncertainty. If he lets her go, will he wish he hadn’t?, if he stays, will this diminishing state overtake him completely and end up hating her. Of course the answer is, it will die, and that is the fate of young love.

In the next lines she is pleading for him to make things clear so she can make some kind of rational decision. She wants permanence, but if that can’t be, then at least give her honesty, either love her or cut it off now, the not knowing is unendurable.
The balance of the song is this pleading to know where she stands but sadly he is in a state of confusion and drags the inevitable on and on.

On the same album there is another song that continues other aspects of the same love drama.
“And you don’t remember”, is her question; but it isn’t a matter of memory, sadly when young dreams shatter so easily. It is a tragedy and her description of how her memories confine her head, is such an honest and realistic description of how we become obsessed with thoughts of love, and when it changes, for no logical reason, it is bitter. That is why rarely friendship remains after love.

Love requires trust and when we trust and feel like the person is trustworthy we open up our soul and often in our culture, our bodies. She said she believed his lies, and often they are simply a web of lies but more often there is a strong physical attraction and it may seem and feel deeper, so flattering words and loving actions come easy. It may very well feel like it is an eternal love, or certainly one that will last for a very long time. Affection, trust, needing each other causes a very deep bond. But, the reality is, these feelings can change overnight, and again, not intentionally, it has been said this way in an article on young love—

“Why doesn’t passionate love last? How is it possible to see a person as beautiful on Monday, and 364 days later, on another Monday, to see that beauty as bland? Surely the object of your affection could not have changed that much. She still has the same shaped eyes. Her voice has always had that husky sound, but now it grates on you – she sounds like she needs an antibiotic. Or maybe you’re the one who needs an antibiotic, because the partner you once loved and cherished and saw as though saturated with starlight, now feels more like a low-level infection, tiring you, sapping all your strength.”

Here are the entire lyrics to the song---

And You Don’t Remember

Shattered dreams
Cut through my mind
Tragically our love has died
Memories confine my head
Bitterly I face the end

I gave myself to you
I let you inside
Believing your lives
And you don’t remember
Every time you told me
You were mine forever
For eternity
And you don’t remember
How you used to hold me
How we melt together
How you needed me
How we used to be in love

Stranded here
In nothingness
With only tears
And loneliness

I gave my soul to you
I let you inside
Believing your lies

I fell so deep
I was naive
To let you in
Why did I let you in
To my heart
And you don’t remember
anything you told me
you were mine forever
for eternity
I know you don’t remember
How you used to hold me
How we’d melt together
How you needed me
How we used to be
In love.

I remember all the feelings she sings about -- feeling foolish, helpless, drenched in broken dreams, feeling naïve, believing lies, stranded in nothingness.

One kiss is too many, a thousand is not enough.
During our teen years our brain is still developing, and the last to form is the part that is able to assess risks.

So, I wrote this piece so you may be informed, make wise choices, and wait for the season when something as powerful as romantic love will have a realistic and wonderful outcome. Falling in love at the right time of life is God’s design and plan for most of us, and it is good, very good. But, like many of God’s blessings, we can take them at the wrong time of life, or the wrong place or with the wrong person and turn what was meant to be a blessing and corrupt it and make it a curse.

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