There’s no doubt that young teens and even pre-teens can feel that they’re in love. It’s definitely possible to feel attracted to and affectionate toward another person, even at a young age. No one but you can define the feelings that you have, be it love or something else. The capacity to love is something that all human beings, regardless of age, can experience.
There are a lot of different kinds of love—romantic, parental, platonic. Mostly, love is feeling emotionally attached to another person and having that feeling returned. You want to be close to and share things with that person. You want to understand him or her and have that person understand you. You want to care for him or her and have that person care for you. Romantic love usually comes with a strong physical or sexual attraction. You want to hold, touch and sometimes become sexual with that person.
Lust tends to be physical attraction that may or may not be shared by the other person. Lust can sometimes turn into love. Often, when two people are first getting together, they have a really strong physical connection. When two people fall in love, a deeper, more intimate emotional connection forms.
When you’re falling in love, it’s often tough to tell the difference between the two, especially if it’s the first time you’ve experienced such intense emotions. This is where it can be helpful to talk to a trusted adult about these kinds of feelings. Ask this person what he or she thinks the difference is or how this person knew the difference when he or she felt each one. You don’t necessarily have to talk about your own feelings to learn about other people’s life experiences.
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