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Teenagers in Love: Outside Looking In

Joined: 4/26/2014
Posts: 5
My first, rather distasteful experience with teenage love took place in an overcrowded gym, surrounded by sweaty bodies, multicolored light, and deafening music. At the front of the spacious room a giant projector screen broadcasted the last few seconds of the year. The countdown reached zero, and the entire room turned into a cacophony of screams and noisemakers. I blew my noisemaker excitedly, not allowing a single drop of the irritation I was feeling to bleed through my sanguine facade.

The last few hours of 2013 had not gone well. My single friends had left the New Year’s church youth dance a good two hours ago, leaving me to stand awkwardly by the refreshment table as my not-so-single friends danced slow dance after slow dance with their significant others. I would have left, if it wasn’t for the fact that I had promised one of my friends a ride home, so I felt obligated to stay. I had come to the dance to have fun with my friends and celebrate the upcoming year. But as I sat and watched all three couples stare dreamily into each others’ eyes, I couldn’t help but feel like a barrier had been built between me and my close friends, denying me access to a world I couldn’t understand.

A few months later, however, I had come to enjoy being on the outside looking in. I was able to use my time and energy to strengthen much more important and long-lasting relationships- such as with my close friends and family- instead of stumbling around in a lovebug-induced illness only to have to suffer the emotional consequences later. I watched as all three of my friends, who had insisted that they were in love, suffered discouraging breakups within a month of the dance. I sat and listened patiently as they came to me for comfort and consultation. I continued to offer support as they pursued other relationships and interests.

The point is, we as teenagers are still trying to find our place in life. This path of self discovery includes wanting to be included and part of the group. When everyone but us appears to have someone, it is easy to feel like an outcast and not a part of the crowd. When this happens, however, we need to take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture. The teenage years are just a miniscule slice from the pie of life; they are only small portion of a whole life ahead of us. Perhaps, instead of focusing so much on developing the perfect lovelife, as us teenagers tend to do, we should focus on bettering ourselves and paying attention to those around us (not just a single person). There are going to be several opportunities in the future to experience a fairytale romance and heartbreak. That is why I am content to sit back and let myself enjoy the view from the outside looking in.

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