And They Call It Puppy Love…

© PENELOPE PEZ

Most of us have certainly heard the term ‘Puppy Love’ before. Puppy love is love associated with teenagers and young people; it is new love – a love based on mindless affection and blind devotion, much like the love of a puppy to its master, which is where the term originates.

But how healthy is puppy love?

Unlike what many may assume, puppy love is not associated with age. It does not only happen the first or second time one has a crush. It does not end with the onset of one’s thirties. Puppy love is actually a phase. It is that ‘honeymoon’ burst of fresh feeling, lust, and giddy happiness which is prevalent in all new couples. Usually after a while this wears off, which contrary to what you might think, is not a bad thing at all.

After the illusion that your partner is perfect fades off, you start to face real life together; a blend of everyday problems and minor clashes, which show up both your own and your partner’s TRUE nature, as well as (most importantly) the way you are willing to compromise and prioritise your significant other. Don’t get me wrong, the butterflies in your stomach, the lust and the affection are still there (hopefully), however you start seeing your partner’s REAL self, as opposed to his ‘best’  which,  let’s face it, everyone tries to be at the beginning of a relationship, but no one can keep it up forever.

And that is actually when the real relationship kicks in. When you start reflecting on all the other person’s faults, insecurities and irritating habits, they have to face yours too, and you both have to decide whether the game is worth the candle, or not.

On the other hand, certain individuals never grow out of puppy love. This is a real problem if you ask me – instead of accepting someone for who he/she really is, a picture of perfection is continuously imposed on this partner – it can be both tiring and fairly boring… the constant text messaging, the pestering phone calls at all hours of the day and night, not to mention constant coddling and nurturing.

It can also sound alarm bells pointing to  a refusal to accept reality and not being able to cope with life’s difficulties and tough situations with you. Such a person might be incapable of seeing his/her partner is genuinely sad or depressed, but only continues to see the happily-ever-after version.

A person who persists in loving someone blindly may not realize when s/he is getting duped or cheated on by a partner. As they say ‘If you marry on the strength of puppy love, you might end up leading a dog’s life.’

The way I see it, puppy love focuses more on the feeling of being in love for love’s sake. This is perhaps a component in every relationship, especially at the beginning, however when the real person behind the initial image of the ideal partner is revealed and you still love him/her, still feel excited at the thought of meeting every day, still desiring to spend more time together, even though sometimes you argue and life is not perfect, then that is TRUE love – the real deal.