Even more belittled by many parents is a teenager's (or preteen's) love for a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Adults refer to these relationships with demeaning language, calling them "just puppy love," and these romantic bonds are not taken seriously.
Numbers culled from various dating sites have consistently shown both sexes prefer to date down the age spectrum rather than up. ), is one of the largest websites and apps designed to help users find their mates, but it works in an unconventional way.
Users allow the app to access their Facebook profile, and people are then are paired based on interests.
They may even try to comfort teenagers with lighthearted lessons: a surprising number of men and women wrote to me to bitterly complain about parents who joked years ago, "Don't worry! While most men and women find satisfying partners after first love breakups, there are adults who spend their married years aware that "something is missing." They continue to think about their lost first loves.