SUMMARY: I discuss two separate questions. First, how old must someone be to feel love? Second, how mature should someone be to handle love? I address the first question — which is a factual question — through science. I address the second question — which is a matter of opinion or judgement — through five measures or standards for maturity.
(About a 12 minute read)
After I had reached puberty, a number of adults — including my mother and some of my teachers — cautioned me and others my age that we were “too young to love”. No explanation was ever given for why we were too young for romantic love. It was just so. Lucky for me, I bought into the idea.
I say I was lucky because during high school I became deeply infatuated with a girl in my class. Had I not bought into the notion I was too young to love, I might have fancied myself in love with her — which would not only have been factually untrue, but I can only image the trouble it would have caused me at the time to think I was in love with her.
Yet, the question of whether I was too young to love is ambiguous. It can be interpreted in at least two ways. First, was I too young to feel love (had I actually felt it)? Second, was I too young to cope with love?