The Truth About Puppy-Love Relationships


Summer 2024

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You may have heard the term puppy-love before, especially in reference to teenagers’ relationships. Generally speaking, puppy-love is simply a crush that is mostly based on someone’s looks. It is also something that will fade with time, or when a person finds someone new to direct their affections towards. 

Calling something a puppy-love relationship usually means that this is a relationship in its beginning stages. You’re still getting to know one another and as such, still have what is mostly a crush on the other person until you can form a deeper connection with them. This isn’t a problem, and many relationships start out this way.

Furthermore, some aspects of the puppy-love relationship are things that you should still incorporate into your relationship in the long-term. Going out on romantic dates or making thoughtful gestures are still an important part of a relationship at any stage. It’s important not to forget to also prioritize each other within your relationship and keeping some of the puppy-love feelings alive in your relationship is actually a good thing.

What to watch out for though is if your relationship never moves past this stage. Usually, this kind of relationship is skin-deep. This kind of attraction doesn’t go beyond surface level and is not sustainable in the long-term. This is because, if the subject of someone’s puppy-love affection is away from them for too long, they generally lose interest.

This kind of relationship is also often characterized by a couple hiding away from certain conversations and not being fully open and honest with each other. Your view of your partner is usually also based on an idealized version of them rather than seeing them for who they really are. It is important to remember that people are three dimensional and no one is perfect. Allowing your partner to be imperfect around you, and them allowing the same for you is a good thing. This is a sign of growth within your relationship that should be nurtured.

The same goes for practicing clear, open communication with your partner. You’re going to disagree on things, and you need to feel comfortable discussing your disagreements with your partner. You’re also going to need to discuss things with your partner that you would be way too uncomfortable discussing with someone that you simply have a crush on. Being in a puppy-love relationship doesn’t allow you to be vulnerable and open with your partner as you are both too busy trying to show only your best sides to each other. 

Keep in mind as well, that the puppy-love stage always ends. The puppy-love stage can last anywhere from two months to two years. But it always ends. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in this stage in your relationship that when the rose-colored glasses eventually come off, you are left disinterested or unhappy. 

While you’re in the initial stages of dating, try to understand what both you and your partner’s goals are for this relationship. This is so you can begin to understand how each person works best within the relationship as well as identify each other’s needs within the relationship. Enjoy the beginning-stage butterflies while refusing to only present yourself as an ideal person. This isn’t a job interview, if you’re trying to impress the person that much, then there’s a bigger problem here. 

Actual love involves a deeper connection between partners and takes time to build. This means that the puppy-love stage in your relationship should be just that: a stage. If you are finding way down the line that your relationship is still at this stage, then perhaps it’s well past time for you to sit down with your partner and have an in-depth conversation. It is alright to allow yourself to be vulnerable within your relationship. Doing so will help build a deeper connection with your partner as well as help your relationship to actually last.

Lauren Schwartz | Staff Writer

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