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Talking With Your Teen About Love: When Is It Real?

Many parents dismiss teen love as love that’s not real, but all feelings are real. Some feelings of love are infatuation, some are immature and some signal a mature love. People of all ages can feel any of the above, and teens especially need to know the difference.

Infatuation means being in love with love, when being in love is more important than loving and giving to another.

Immature love is based on fantasies and neediness, taking over one’s life and making one unable to function in other areas.

Mature love is energizing, giving one vitality in all areas of life. It is accepting, seeing another person as he or she really is and loving them anyway. Mature love is strong and can survive pain as well as triumph. It is enhanced by time and means individual growth, as well as growth as a couple. It means above all the two people are best friends, that they like as well as love each other.

Teens need to know that a mature love takes time to grow, that trust and love evolve, that mature love isn’t love at first sight, but well worth the work and the wait.

An expert in the field of adolescent behavior, Ms. McCoy has authored eleven books on the subject including the best selling “The Teenage Body Book”. Additionally she has written hundreds of articles for major national magazines. Coordinator of the Clinical Ph.D. Program at California School of Professional Psychology and Staff Counselor at the Center for Individual and Family Counseling in North Hollywood, California.

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