Dr. Laura’s answer to a caller who was heart-broken over break up with a guy:

Why are you dating at all? You are a hypersensitive 17-year-old teenager who should be getting involved in sports, drama, and things like that. Take some time to mature, learn about yourself, grow to be a woman who knows what she wants. If you date, you will end up hurting yourself. Don’t hurt yourself.

When I was 17, I did not heed advice like that.

At 17, you think you know everything. You think parents and adults don’t understand you. You think you are not like other 17-year-olds who are immature. You think you are uncommonly wise for a 17-year-old, and you know what you are doing.

You think having a boyfriend is fun. You think it helps you be a better person. You think you’ve finally found true love. You think it makes life meaningful. You think everyone else’s relationships are shallow, but yours is different.
Donny Osmond’s song “Puppy Love” expresses this delusion of a teenager in love:

And they called it puppy love
Oh, I guess they’ll never know
How a young heart really feels
And why I love her so

And they called it puppy love
Just because we’re in our teens
Tell them all, please tell them it isn’t fair
To take away my only dream

I’ve been there. I thought that “love” at 17 was the real thing.

The problem with being a teenager is you don’t know that you don’t know. When people tell you that, you can’t see it because you are too immature to see it.

Now looking back, I see the wisdom of Dr. Laura.

I should not have dated at 17. I should have put my energies into other activities instead of fretting about if “he” was going to call. I should have gone out with different friends instead of looking for an exclusive “boyfriend.” I wasted a lot of time.
I did hurt myself.

4 Responses to “Don’t hurt yourself”

  1. emme Says:

    oh WOW. SO TRUE!

    PSH. there is no love in high school.

  2. Joyful Says:

    just a lot of infatuation and fuzzy feelings….

  3. Nat Says:

    … and sometimes that ignorance doesn’t change much even when you find yourself in college.

  4. Joyful Says:

    …and when you are an adult, you are ignorant about a whole lot of other things…

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