Ah, Tween Love… Or Not

This article from the New York Times’ Modern Love column on writing about love caught my eye last weekend, about how our viewpoint changes as we age, a wonderful progression from our hopeful younger selves to a more reflective view when we are older.

But what of tween love? Not a topic typically written about by 12 year-old boys. I laughed, remembering a conversation the day before with my son about boys and girls dating and “being in love” in seventh grade.

“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “Give me a break. They are not in love.”

We talked about how changing hormones at their age and heightening feelings for the opposite sex can be mistaken for epic love. Wow, I was proud to be having a practical discussion about such an emotional subject with my tween.

“And who needs dates?” he continued. “I don’t need to date until I find someone who might be my life partner.”

Wait, what!? Did he just say life partner, as in forever, the person I’m going to marry?

“Uh, honey,” I stuttered, flailing for what to say, “dates can be just for fun especially when you’re young. It doesn’t have to be super serious.”  He chuffed and that was the end of the conversation.

Who knew I’d be advocating for senseless, no commitment dating to my 12 year old?

Life is weird sometimes. My guess is that we will be having a different conversation in the next three years.

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