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I cant be too sure what i thought of love until

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I can't be too sure what I thought of love until middle school. Middle school is when most children being to develop romantic feelings and ideas about love. I had my fair share of crushes, but I did not participate in the one or two week relationships that everyone else seemed to be having. I wasn't interested in infatuation. Even then I was looking for something more
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substantial. My first relationship began when I was 16. I was so excited to finally have a boyfriend that I put up with pretty much every selfish and jerk thing he did. And I thought the times that he was sweet made up for it. It wasn't until three years later, when we got to college and, coincidentally, things got really bad, that I realized that it wasn't love. The change in environment and perspective was eye-opening. I began to understand that love was a give and a take and not just a constant giving. Now, several years and experiences later, I have a much better understanding of what love should look like. I am still learning the best way to act in romantic relationships and how to make sure I am in a healthy, equal relationship. But most of my development of the definition is complete. I cannot contribute the development of my idea of love to physical or cognitive development because it happened so late in my adolescence, basically into early adulthood. The only development I was still going through was the last stages of rational thought. The ability to reason continues to develop into the early twenties, thought I'm not sure how much bearing that would have on ideas about love. I will say most of my changes in ideas were due to my experiences. Every boy that I liked and all the ones my friends interacted with, somehow strengthened or changed my ideas about love. I didn't have any epiphanies on my own about how love works. I don't think cognitive changes had much to do with it. I think the boys I have dated and been interested in and what they have done to me have all had an influence on how I experience love now. I think emotional changes do play a part in how we think about love, but I think those emotional changes can also be influenced by our relationships so it comes full circle. An
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