Skip Nav
12 New Books You Should Read Based on Your Zodiac Sign
touching stories
Woman's Emotional Thank You to Her Stepdad: "You Make Me Feel Like I'm Worth It"
9 Reasons Waiting to Be Intimate Can Actually Boost a New Relationship

Dear Poll: Would You Pass on Puppy Love?

There's no denying that your first relationship is equally as exciting as it is terrifying, but I don't know many people who would turn down the initial infatuation you feel when you meet someone you really like. According to Dr. Malcolm Brynin of the University of Essex, however, it's that "puppy love" that actually damages future, more mature relationships. Since intense love creatures unrealistic goals, he feels:

If you had a very passionate first relationship and allow that feeling to become your benchmark for a relationship dynamic, then it becomes inevitable that future, more adult partnerships will seem boring and a disappointment.

I happen to think we all learn something from each relationship, even those idealistic puppy love ones. But tell me, do you agree with Dr. Brynin when he says, "In an ideal world, you would wake up already in your second relationship"?


Join The Conversation
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
My first relationship taught me a lot. He taught me standards that I should have STUCK to. My first boyfriend was a wonderful guy and I will ALWAYS say that. I will always defend that it was my fault it didn't work out. I couldn't imagine being with him now though, that would be far too weird. We are two completely different people.
brielleblonde brielleblonde 8 years
im still with my first love, and people are always telling me that i need to get out and see who else is out there. i've seen the guys my friends are looking at and i'm so glad im with my bf! i've also seen people who are with their first love when their not ment to be together. one of my friends from school is with some guy and it's clearly because she's not dated enough people. he treats her and her friends like crappp
1QTPIE 1QTPIE 8 years
I should've known that my first relationship (first love) wouldn't have lasted. It was fun while it lasted and although I would love to just keep him as far away from me as possible because of all the hurt he put me through, we have a son together. I wouldn't have passed it up because it was his dumbass who made me open my eyes to figure out what I really want in life. Now I have my hubby who adores me and treats me like his Queen. I have 2 other children including my son, for a total of 3 kids. My hubby know is more of a father to my son then his sperm donor. lol... He has raised him since he was a year and a half. I am very happy where I am in life and I wouldn't change a thing. Once again "Thank you to the dumbass."
zcoral zcoral 8 years
I totally agree with this! I always wonder why my relationships aren't as passionate as the first, and I always try to tell myself that's because it was my first love, but I have never had one measure up. I guess I won't ever feel those things again?
thelorax thelorax 8 years
I agree that it's bad if you're comparing your new love to your old love, which probably occurred when your brain's logic area wasn't fully formed, so it wasn't really THAT great anyway...but I wouldn't pass up my young & stupid relationships entirely. I learned a lot from them!
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
I'm glad I experienced young love. I learned a lot of lessons that I think everyone should experience.
macchiatolove macchiatolove 8 years
I totally agree with Muirnea. My first relationship was good and bad. It taught me so much, and I wouldn't have passed on any of my relationships for that very reason. I have grown as a result of every experience.
CYL CYL 8 years
I loved my ex bf like crazy...but looking back it was definately puppy love and an immature kind of relationship..I wouldn't trade it for the world. I learned a lot from it....that helps my relationship right now.
xopiperxo xopiperxo 8 years
i'm still with my first love<3
Anne26 Anne26 8 years
Yep, I learned something from my past relationships, it helped me appreciate when I found someone good. I'm glad too. I rather meet all the bad men in the beginning and meet the good one in the end that helps me forget about all my pain I went through the previous men. It's soothing. :-)
MyOwnRules MyOwnRules 8 years
I want to clarify what I mean by my "clean slate" remark. I didn't mean you should ignore or forget the lessons you learned in past relationships simply that a person shouldn't judge the new relationship and new partner based on past relationships or partners.
MyOwnRules MyOwnRules 8 years
I both agree and disagree. I agree that if a person expects every relationship to be like their first or if they constantly compare their current relationship or partner to any previous relationship or partner, then there's no chance to learn about who they are as a person, what they want, what works and doesn't work and to really get to know their partner or to have a healthy relationship. Every relationship is like a chalkboard, every action like chalk marks on that board. A new relationship, and a new partner, both need and deserve a clean slate. However, I disagree with "In an ideal world, you would wake up already in your second relationship" because everyone needs time to process and get over a relationship. Otherwise, the new partner and new relationship will be stand-ins for the mistakes of the old one.
Juanie Juanie 8 years
Like many things in life there are good and bad sides to having the puppy love or not having it.Sometimes I wish I had never gone out with my first boyfriend because he was a complete prick and ruined my self-confidence and any sense of self-worth I had. Naturally I was complicit in this because I let him do that to me for so long and I was eventually proven right that he had been unfaithful to me with his ex and my so-called best (ex) friend. We fought a lot and I became a very insecure and unpleasant person. However, if I hadn't gone through that, how would I have known to appreciate what I have in my second relationship now? My boyfriend is amazing, and yes we have our moments, but he is the best thing that has ever happened to me and I know how to thoroughly appreciate him. The only things is that initially my insecurities were an issue because I didn't believe I was good enough for him, and I also sometimes pick fights because I feel I constantly have to fight for my relationship like I did with my first. But these issues pass, so ultimately the puppy love thing should never be a regret because every hard thing in life makes you better person and teaches you a lesson, you just have to recognise the lesson.
calli-gurl calli-gurl 8 years
lol. i was seven when i had my first crush. we would hold hands in class and walk together and all. its been so many years and i still remember him. :)
MissJules5x MissJules5x 8 years
i think theres nothing wrong with "first loves" everyone has one whether its your first relationship or your fifth there will always be someone thats special to you, whether it lasts a day or forever. The problem with "first loves" is that after the breakup people tend to hold onto the relationship and compare relationships to that one which isn't realistic. For a long time i did that and i was always disappointed. it took many years and many bad relationships to finally find a wonderful guy that i love that is right for me. while its okay to hold onto characteristics that you like, its not realistic to make everyone measure up to your expectations that resulted from your first love because it will always be different.
queenlizzie queenlizzie 8 years
I wish I would've skipped that first relationship. It's been 13 years and I'm still a little broken. Too much passion, too young to know what to do with it. Part of me wishes I would've met him later in life. Of course I learned things from that first relationship, but I don't know that it was worth it.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
There's nothing wrong with puppy love (we all have to go through it and learn from it, after all, and it has its great moments!), but in my experience and observation, it's so irrational and often unhealthy that it really isn't a good measure of future relationships. But I also think that most of us realize that.
Myst Myst 8 years
To be honest, the relationship that I'm in know, is what I'd consider puppy love lol. It's odd, I'm 26 but this is the first time I've actually been in love. I've had relationships in the past and I cared deeply about them and I also played the field but my feelings then and now are on two different spectrum. I think "puppy love" is a good set and a way to establish what you want and don't want in a relationship. However it shouldn't be used as a guide for all future relationships.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 8 years
I definitely disagree, my first relationship was a great experience and I learned so much from my mistakes that it make my current relationship that much better (i.e less insecure, more attentive, less dramatic - yada yada). I think you definitely need this experience to be a better partner.
clarabelle98 clarabelle98 8 years
In my opinion, you HAVE to go through the intense & sometimes painful relationships to help you learn what you really need. My first relationship, while not a benchmark, taught me a LOT about ME and as a result has enabled me to have a very successful, happy marriage. Of course, it doesn't hurt that I'm still very good friends with the object of that first relationship. LOL He's my husbands best friend!
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
I don't agree. I wouldn't pass up my first relationship and go right to the second. My first relationship taught me so much! It taught me what I want, how to deal with things, what I don't want, etc. How else are you going to learn and grow? My first relationship was very passionate, in a good and bad way. So, I can see how it might be easy to think that a mature adult relationship is boring compared to the passion in a first one...but I don't think all the love and care of a mature adult relationship is boring compared to the hate and hurt of my first one, passionate or not. You have to learn what you want somehow...and who wants a perfect life where you already know what you want and how to get it and your just happy all the time? That would be boring.
bbkf bbkf 8 years
I was with my first love for 4 years. I learned a lot about myself and relationships during that time; I would never forgo that .
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Aren't most first relationships not that great? I don't know, I had passion with mine but the first few guys I dated were real jerks. I think my relationships have gotten better and better until I found the love of my life. Puppy love is all hormones, anyway.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Eh it was significant obviously but honestly until this post I haven't thought about him in years. Ha.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
My second relationship was terrible so I would never wish for that. My first real bf was a great guy but I view him as practice for the real thing. Of course we thought we were in love when we were 17 and all that good stuff. We learned a lot from each other about what we want and don't want in the future. I think puppy love is a learning experience. I don't see how it can ruin your future relationships. We all grow and mature and change our expectations along the way. I guess I didn't have a very passionate puppy love experience.
Matching Tattoo Ideas
Marriage Advice From Divorced People
Dad Texting Daughter Every Morning After Her Breakup
Songs to Send to Someone You Love
From Our Partners
Latest Love
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds