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What are the major advantages of falling in love at a more mature age compared to...

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shankailayan | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:26 AM via web

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What are the major advantages of falling in love at a more mature age compared to falling in love as a teenager?  

I'm doing an essay on Young love vs. Mature love and favouring mature love but having troubles finding points

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 7, 2010 at 6:43 AM (Answer #2)

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I fell in love as a teenager and am about to celebrate my twentieth wedding anniversary, so I don't believe that mature love is necessarily better.  But for the sake of argument, here are some points to help you.

  • More mature people are, by definition, more mature.  That means they are less selfish and less likely to act recklessly.  If you are trying to pick someone to live the rest of your life with, it is best not to act recklessly.  It is also good to be unselfish in love.  If you are a selfish person, you are more likely to pick someone who gives you what you want rather than what is good for you.
  • Older people know more about "who they are."  I am not the same person I was when I was 17 and met my wife.  This is sort of dangerous to a relationship because there is the possibility that the two people will grow apart as they change.
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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 7, 2010 at 7:30 AM (Answer #3)

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First off; Kudos to the previous editor on his long term relationship and commitment.

Having fallen in love at 15 and married at 16, I have a very different point of view than the previous editor.  However, I would like to add that the when one falls in love when one is a teenager the emotions and depth of the emotions involved in the feeling overshadows all else.  Teen love is often based on hormones and physical attraction.  The experiences muddle the reality of the expansion of the events that unfold in people's lives. 

As a teen I actually thought one could live off of love.  We married and had to get jobs.  With limited funds and the demands of struggling to make ends meet as well as our immaturity at resolving problems, love gave way to arguments and dis-satisfaction at the outcome of our present and future.  We had married with little understanding that the economic factors, lack of education and resources, and lack of maturity at handling our problems could ever serve to create a wedge between us.

When a person gets involved in a relationship at a later age, he or she has an understanding of the dynamics of the world.  As one matures the things that he/she is looking for in a mate changes.  Once the relationship develops there is hope that the people's maturity level has resulted in them having the skills to work through their problems.  However, there are still many people who marry after they have matured and still make the same mistakes as they would have as teens.  Over all though, I think the level of maturity helps the person to make a choice based on shared interests and ideals.  These can be very important when establishing a lifetime commitment with another person.

 

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:21 AM (Answer #4)

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This answer will differ from others, since people have different experiences and personalities. Therefore, the question is very personalized. In my opinion, most people will say that falling in love at a older age is better, because the older a person is, the more mature that person is as well. This should be the case, but I should say that I've met some immature older people and some mature younger people. So, take the above statement with a grain of salt. Also, older people are typically more stable with finances and they just have more life experience to make better decisions. Younger people, on the other hand, have limited experience and because of this they tend to not know what they really want and have bouts of fickleness.  Finally, older people have been tested by life, something that younger people lack.

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krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:29 AM (Answer #5)

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I personally do not think that people of higher age falling in love have any distinct advantage or disadvantage over people falling in love at younger age, unless the love we talking about supposed to be a preliminary step for getting married. In case of getting married it is best to get married when one is neither too young or too old. However, as an aid in writing an essay favouring mature love I am giving below some possible advantage of falling in love at a mature age rather than at younger age.

  • Mature people are more likely to judge correctly the qualities and nature of persons they meet. Also they are clearer in their mind about their own preferences and needs. Because of this they are more likely to fall in love with persons that are more compatible with them.
  • Mature people, because of their greater knowledge, experience, and resources are more likely to act in ways that will win them love of the person they love.
  • Mature people are more likely to understand their own emotions better. This helps them to avoid mistaking passing attraction and infatuation with true love.
  • Love also means caring and serving the loved ones. Mature persons are likely to have better capacity to do this because of their greater experience and material resources.
  • Mature people are less likely to face financial and other constraints that restrict their ability to move forward from stage of love to marriage and starting family.
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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 7, 2010 at 8:50 AM (Answer #6)

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Since this question was first placed under the Literature group, reference may, perhaps, be made to some of the great works that teach us about young love v. older love.  Of course, the classic story of the foibles of youth in love is William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," in which impetuosity and poor judgment leads to tragedy.  "Wuthering Heights," also, touches upon the idee fixe of the young lover who allows little reason into his relationship with his beloved.

On the other hand, a novel such as "Jane Eyre" portrays a girl who, although she is in love, has had enough experience with life to understand the value of all facets of love--emotional, spiritual, psychological--that she refuses to be the mistress of Mr. Rochester.  Later, her mature decision pays off for Jane as, after Rochester has suffered tragedy, he, too, learns what is truly valuable in life and love; they are married as loving equals.  Having both struggled through dark times, they know how to love.

Indeed, literature, the human experience, teaches the reader much about life and love.  There is no substitute for some living and maturation, for some struggle through hardship; these are what improve the perspective of the lovers, providing them a maturity and objectivity that will serve them when the couple must go down the proverbial "rocky road."

Along with the emotional and psychological foundation that couples need, a financial foundation is definitely a plus. Often a young couple may be just beginning jobs or careers and are not making the salary that they will later.  Financial security is a huge factor in the divorce rate as money arguments/struggles are the number one cause of discord in marriages.

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lrwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 7, 2010 at 12:30 PM (Answer #7)

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I think that as people age and mature they become more aware of who they are and what they want from life and relationships. As teenagers we generally are not as aware, therefore some couples who fall in love  at a young age may drift apart as they grow and mature.

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ask996 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted January 7, 2010 at 4:22 PM (Answer #8)

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One aspect to consider about those who fall in love as teenagers is their growth and maturity. It does not take a mature individual to fall in love, but it does take maturity to stay in love. Teenagers still have much growing to do, and if they fall in love, the teenagers run the risk of growing in different directions with different life goals. Those who are mature enough to communicate with each other about life goals and dreams will find it easier to grow in the same direction or at least directions that are mutually compatible.

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scarletpimpernel | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 7, 2010 at 5:27 PM (Answer #9)

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Interesting topic--here's my personal experience with young and "mature" love.  When I was a freshman in college, I met a guy, thought he was wonderful, and was prepared to marry him.  We got engaged our senior year, but two months after graduation, he decided that he was just not ready for marriage, and we parted ways.  At the time, of course, I was devastated, thought that I would never find love again--and all that!  However, after about a year, I started to gain perspective and realized that I was infatuated with my previous fiance but doubted that I ever really loved him.  So, sometimes--not always--but sometimes, young people have difficulty distinguishing love from infatuation, lust, etc. (that's not to say that older people can't have the same problem).

Having said that, after the breakup, I went years teaching in foreign countries, establishing myself as a teacher in the States, traveling, and doing a lot of things that I really enjoyed.  I was quite content or thought that I was until I met my husband.  We met when we were 34 and knew almost immediately that we were compatible and designed for one another.  It has been easier being more mature and getting married because both of us have chosen and established ourselves in our careers; so many of the practical issues that younger lovers must hash out haven't been a struggle.  Probably the most significant difference that I can see between my relationship with my husband and my relationship when I was younger (besides my husband being the right person for me!) is that neither of us has regrets or feels that we've missed out on places we wanted to go or things that we wanted to do.

Other than than, I think that there are advantages and disadvantages to both types of love, and since humans are ever-changing, the relationships between them are too.

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hannahshychuk | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted January 11, 2010 at 3:44 PM (Answer #10)

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It's not really so much a matter of "love" per se, but rather a matter of being capable of having a mature relationship. What you need to establish is that "young love" = "immature relationship" and that "mature love" = "mature relationship."

Love, whatever you are defining the term as, is both a catalyst for a relationship and a sustaining force. However, the relationship itself is of primary importance if your concern is which (young v. mature) is the best basis for a long term, sustainable and mutually beneficial relationship.

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kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted January 12, 2010 at 4:27 PM (Answer #11)

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Love at a 'mature age' - is hard to define. Is it twenties? Thirties? Older? What makes mature love more difficult are the social obligations one has as one gets older. Teenage love is easier as there is more freedom to be self-absorbed without the need to live as an adult. This perhaps explains why 3 had such a difficult time sustaining a relationship purely on love, as there were teenage feelings but adult responsibilities. Social freedom brings freedon to love freely. I know several people who are grandparents, mortgage-free and embarking on those exciting affairs we remember as teenage love. I thought I was in love at 17 but I knew by 30 that I needed to like the person too, and have a similar mind set on children, lifestyle etc, etc. When young, or very mature, we have the most freedom to choose and to act as our desires dictate.

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charcunning | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

Posted January 17, 2010 at 9:28 AM (Answer #12)

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Here are a few reasons why "mature love" is best that you can use:

  1. When people are older, they are more financially stable. When a couple is faced with financial difficulty, they are more likely to end up divorced.
  2. When people have had several past relationships they are able to learn from their mistakes and learn how to do relationships better the next time.
  3. When people are adults, they know that words and actions can be hurtful, so they are better able to control the overwhelming emotions that sometimes accompany being in a relationship.

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