Puppy love or blind affection describes what young couples feel in the beginning of their relationships. They are all googly eyed and can’t get enough of each other. They constantly call each other and still get butterflies when they spend time together. They see no wrong in the other person and walk around like they are on cloud nine. I remember when me and my current boyfriend would get teased by our friends in the beginning of our relationship because our puppy love was beyond evident. The more seasoned couples would say, “look at these two with that new new (referring to new love).” We would laugh and say they were just hating because they wanted what we had, but now as I look back I understand what they were saying.  While puppy love is a very beautiful thing, it doesn’t last long and isn’t what determines if the relationship will go the distance. For me, the puppy love phase usually lasts for the first year, after that the real relationship begins.

Love isn’t all roses and real relationships take work to last. In healthy relationships people argue at times, spend time away from each other because still having a life separate from your mate is important and you discover the flaws of your significant other. In the beginning of a relationship, everyone presents their best selves. As we all know, no one can keep this act up but for so long. It can be anything from going to someone’s home for the first time and realizing that they are not as tidy as you thought, discovering that they eat with their mouths open, finding out they are a momma’s boy or daddy’s girl, or that they have an unhealthy obsession with playing video games and the list can go on and on. Once these things are revealed you then have to ask yourself if these are flaws you can tolerate or if it’s time to head for the door.

Too many people base how they believe relationships should be on the puppy love phase. Once it is over they think the relationship just wasn’t meant to be. All it means is that in life we never stop growing or learning about each other. The key to healthy and long lasting relationships is finding that person that you feel comfortable being your COMPLETE self with and that you can grow with.

Don’t get me wrong, you can still have those puppy love feelings even if you have been with someone for 20 years. I believe your mate should always be able to give you butterflies or make you feel like you are floating on cloud nine. The difference with real love is that it is tested. When things are rough that is when a couple truly sees how strong and deep their love for one another is. If you can’t get through the storms together than the sunny days aren’t as sweet. They mean less than when you can say, “After everything we’ve been though I still love you more and more every day.”

When I walk the streets of Brooklyn and see teen couples smiling and holding hands I smile and think to myself, “look at this young love.”  Being in that world wind of infatuation and curiosity in the beginning of a relationship is great, but what really matters is how the two of you interact once cupid’s arrow moves on to strike another couple with a dose of puppy love.

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