About us and why being young and in love is not so great

I’m Jane. He’s Jack. Are they our real names? Well, I’ll put it to you this way: does a beaver cheat when he’s playing poker? Erm, the answer is no. Beaver’s are widely renowned for their outstanding poker etiquette.

We’re not with the CIA. We’re not even all that interesting. We just both have jobs that require us to retain some semblance of dignity. So while I am not sharing my identity with you, I will share everything else with you (except my cheeseburger, get your own).

We met when I was sixteen years old. I actually kind of stole him from a close friend which probably puts me on a par with Stalin but it was more complicated than that. I’m not going to expand on that because it would require a deep and meaningful self-examination of my conscience, and it’s past 8.

He lived about 150 miles away which made the first two years very difficult. At that age, you should be out with your friends making terrible decisions that you will later regret. Instead, I was inside glued to my phone wondering why he hadn’t text back yet, who he was with, and how fresh-faced and talented that young actress Lindsay Lohan seemed. If you’re 16 years old and reading this, and you also happen to be in a relationship, there’s two possibilities: One: You’re me in the past. If this is the case, will you for the love of God get off your ass and do some exercise? At 26, your knees creak when you move. That’s not good. Also, when your friend ‘Paul’ challenges you to a drunken race down a mountain, decline. You end up shattering your ankle and it never heals properly.

The other possibility (which is probably more plausible) is that you’re not me in the past but you in the present. If that is the case, then here is my advice to you: relax. You’re only 16. I spent the remainder of my teenage years in a ball of stress because I convinced myself that the relationship was going to end and I would be in some Adele-like situation, oozing bitterness and anger over a failed relationship, except without the talent. I look back now and all I can think is ‘man, you were SIXTEEN. You should have been trading Pokemon cards with your friends.’ Can I do that now?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that I met Jack. I obviously love him if we’ve been together for ten years. But we both agree that we got far too serious far too young. After ten years, our conversations usually revolve around whether the rubbish is being collected on Wednesday or Thursday or whether we should switch back to whole-fat milk ย because *someone* is getting ย little tubby around the middle. There’s nothing wrong with that really. Actually, I prefer the stability of this to the absolute horror that was the first year of our relationship (more on that later).

In conclusion, being young and in a relationship is fun if you don’t take it so seriously. But what’s the one thing you take more seriously than anything else when you’re a teenager? Not school or social responsibility, oh no, but LOVE. And if you’ve ever heard of Patsy Cline, you’ll know that love can make you pretty crazy. Prett-ay, prett-ay, prett-ay crazy. (Little Larry David reference for you there.) So just keep calm and be prepared to rant to the next generation about how crap their music is and how inappropriate their clothing is. Focus on you. And I should probably add….school. They made me say it, I swear.


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