Changes in Perception in Love of People from Childhood until Adulthood: Analytical Essay

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This research paper is all about the changes in perception in love of people from childhood until adulthood. It discusses the growth of how love was look at depending on factors. The purpose of this is to explore the extent, how love is changing? And what affects people in perceiving it? Additionally, the paper explores other phenomena related to love as these could possibly affect why certain group think of love in specific way. As though people perceive love differently because of our own experiences that dictate the truth.

Key words: Love, Growth, Adulthood, Freedom, Happiness

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Just like rocks lying underneath a blue sea, love is metamorphic. It changes as it flows and grow.

Love, ever since, has been a question of what is. This inexplicable matter was given light over time, because of men – the measure of all things, dictating the truth. Human with the ability to perceive truth and impose it using mind subjectivity, according to Protagoras, had created various answers to that broad subject.

Ajmal and Kobab (2012) stated that, love is a universal phenomenon. Everyone goes through this strong positive emotion of affection and attachment, just differs in attitudes and experiences radically[footnoteRef:1]. [1: Ajmal, M. A., & Kobab, S. (2012). Perception of love in young adults. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 10(1), 43-48.]

These differences are mainly because of age, thinking, and situations people have been in. Obviously, children are not exposed much in circumstances about love, all they think about what it is, is family lending them care and giving whatever it is they need. Or friends who join them in playing, the companion. That’s how shallow their understanding in this is, merely because maturity isn’t kicking in already. They don’t experience things much yet.

However, for adolescents, they start exploring and knowing things in deeper aspect with sense. Although still somehow shallow, they have further perspectives of the matter more than just the family, friends, care and companion. With romantic relationships emerging in this stage, they think about love as constant communication, trust for your loved ones, attraction that drives you to be more into them and compatibility that you believe that fits you together.

These were mistakenly understood as love, of people at this age, when in fact these show infatuation. Being infatuated is being marked by a foolish or extravagant love or admiration.[footnoteRef:2] [2: Infatuation. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster online: http://www.merriam]

For instance, they often think that constantly communicating makes everything between relationships work, and losing it will cause problems, so they tend to give time and effort for the people they love amidst other responsibilities they have to prioritize more like school works and other things related to studies.

On the other hand, it is different within mid-life or adulthood. Since people at this age have completely encountered things there is to encounter about love, they have the deeper understanding of it. They already know how this works and they have the maturity to understand the emotions they are feeling and how to manage and control it. They don’t just think of it as something temporary but something permanent to treasure in life. They knew further about love through experiences they underwent.

This development of perceptions just shows that love from the beginning isn’t the same love you think of as one grew older. Their thinking about it changes and gains depth as time passes by because of rough and circles of experiences and circumstances that happened in the journey of knowing and unlocking what love really is in their lives.

In a journal article written by Kate Burke entitled “How our idea of love changes as we get older”, she mentioned about the important qualities the younger and older groups look for in a love. This contains the difference of how the two groups perceive love and the particular growth happening within a mindset of a growing human.

  1. Honesty was the most highly rated relationship success factor in the older adult group, but was not identified by the younger adult group. Older adults defined honesty as being ‘able to confide in one another in a truthful way’. Honesty is an interesting concept as it involves self-disclosure and risks putting an individual in a vulnerable position, and yet the ability to disclose honestly in a mindful, trusting and sensitive fashion can facilitate a deeper level of intimacy in the relationship. Furthermore, self-acceptance increases with age and with age, people have a stronger sense of their true self. It is possible that the older adult group were able to draw on their broad experience and have come to recognize honesty as critical to the long-term success of romantic relationships. In contrast, younger participants valued trust and communication as fundamental drivers of relationship success. Younger adults defined trust as being ‘able to rely on and be supportive of one another’ and ‘to be faithful to one another.
  2. Interestingly, older adults also selected religion as one of the key elements of successful romantic relationships. They believed that sharing religious beliefs and attending church together provided a foundation for a successful relationship. This element was not identified as important by the younger adult group.
  3. Socializing was also highlighted as an important factor by the older adults. During the group session, older adults highlighted that socializing encapsulated going out as a couple, but also individually. However, younger adults emphasized the importance of attraction and compatibility more.[footnoteRef:3] [3: Burke, K. (2013). Column: How our idea of love changes as we get older., 1, 1. Retrieved February 3, 2019, from]

Sub-topic 1 (Growth of love: The flow from distortion to mindset maturity)

As we physically grow older, our thoughts grow with us. We mature and perceive things we discover and experience, clearer and deeper. Just as with love. From the restricted and limited thoughts we had about the subject from when we are children, after few years of development, we start exploring the way of knowing love, leading to infatuation and sometimes, even misconceptions. We experience heartbreaks at this point in time that cause fear on loving, later on.

Misunderstanding love and its demands is part of growing that will eventually lead to knowing love, if solved successfully. First, they focus on the challenges and potential failures of love, and consider love and sacrifice as a personal loss, rather than seeing loving in its totality, with its sacrifices and fulfillments.

Moreover, our priority on self-gain and self-protection distorts our view of love, emphasizing its “dangers” and building a defense against its demands. Sadly, most people are undecided about whether or not they want to explore, they resist the natural absorption into a life of love and all it entails. They elect to stay in a more childish position, hoping to avoid the obligations of love.[footnoteRef:4] [4: Love and spiritual growth. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2019, from]

But that’s just how it goes. We learn things the hardest way, and difficulties would take us to the right way of knowing truth. We misunderstood love but with the determination of pursuing it through your own growth, truth will be unveiled.

When we are in touch with our heart, we naturally feel drawn by the dreams, desires, and obligations of love. We hear the call of love—home calling us back home—and we want to respond to it. To love and give is a joy so natural to the human heart because loving is the only thing that actually produces real, lasting fulfillment. (4) Natural, speedy growth comes with challenges, inspirations, revelations, setbacks, learning curves — all kinds of things — and it is full of life. If you look at any of those who have embraced a life of love, you see this. It is not stagnant, and it is not overly painful. It is delightful, beautifully deepening, challenging, and in accordance with self-growth.

Without the growth in mindset, love would not last, just like without love and its experiences, people will not grow as stable as they should be.

Sub-topic 2 (Struggles of love: The process of loving as adults)

The process of growth and maturity in humans is called ‘adulthood’. One becomes an adult when they experience physical and emotional changes. In psychology, the ability to respond to the environment in a proper way is maturity.

From teenager to adulthood is one of the most complicated and confusing process an adolescent can experience. Yet, it is an important and exciting phase of life. Where you can explore things and live independently.

Being an adult you can learn new things, learn deeper knowledge about everything and time for ‘to fell in love’. In this stage, you are prone to fell in love. Also, you’ll know the deeper meaning of love through your experiences.

When you reached adulthood you’ll experience different circumstances in love. Having a deeper understanding about love since you’re mature enough.

Falling in love can be addictive. Also, love is unconditional.

Love is one of the most deep emotion known to human beings. There are different kinds of love but most people seek for romantic relationship. Everybody know that love has a happy ending. Love always has good times. When you met and love someone he’s the one, that was it.[footnoteRef:5] [5: PsychologyToday.(2019).Relationships.Retrievedfrom]

The love that is willing to devote time, attention, committed and understanding results to a strong relationship. There’s no individual who were perfect fit for each other but the desire to truly understand each other, you will become that compatible pair.

One thing that remains true, there will always obstacles in love. Overcoming temptations, fear, misunderstandings, assumption, disapproving parents and even in maturity. Still, there’s a failed relationship happen for many reasons and the failure of a relationship is often a source to suffer pain and sadness.

As an adult love is not just a matter of feeling. It’s the matter of circumstances, how to overcome it. Many adults keep telling that timing is everything but circumstances encompass timing and personal development to make relationships flourish.

There are times in life that being in love is regardless. The circumstances have to be right and properly solved. When you’re mature enough to manage commitment and stable enough to have the freedom to devote your time, attention and efforts.

Sub-topic 3 (Unchained: The freedom to adventures of love)

Maturity and freedom are part of love. Knowing and exploring love is part of freedom.[footnoteRef:6] Therefore, what is freedom? [6: Wikipedia.(2018,December).Maturity(psychological).Retrievedfrom]

Same questions were asked, it gets hundred of different answers because everyone understands this phenomenon in their own way.

Individuals born totally free and have the right to live freely. It was an innate right of human, freedom. People live on their own choice naturally and will not be dictated by others. Freedom can’t be touched or seen by everyone. However, freedom does not have a definite meaning.

Freedom is to make sure to have respect and not only to live freely. When people enjoying their freedom it not means that the rights of others are disregarded and live on the way they wanted and feel right. Therefore, individuals must consider the rights and feelings of people around them when living their freedom.

When love is present and there is lack of freedom then that is not love. Love only happens when there is presence of freedom. In that way, there’s love. Love is freedom. Love experiences freedom. Love gives you strength. Love gives you freedom.

Growing and freedom is part of love. Part of knowing and exploring love is having freedom. Love is being free. People love to be free. People should have the freedom to love openly. That you’re free to show yourself. People have the freedom to choose. What you want, live where you want, eat what you want, learn what you want. Yet, the love there can never be possess.[footnoteRef:7] [7: Stosny,S.(2010,September13).Freedomtolove:Retrievedfrom]

A man is free to love only to the extent that aren’t forced by guilt, shame or fear of abandonment. When someone needs you and more likely to abuse you than to give you support and love freely. Feel bad in any way for any reason, it’s because needs aren’t met. Mistreating others, violating values, feeling bad because not doing what they want. Then it doesn’t show love, it signifies demand. The understanding of need falsely explains negative experiences.

They should weigh whatever the bad may it may do to others. People must be tactful and careful to what they say as not to hurt other people’s feelings. As a child, his parents loved and cared for him freely. Being captive, no one enjoys it. Being lockup in a dungeon, no one wants it. To the prisoner who’s discharged in prison is freedom. To the teens, hanging out with their friends means freedom.

Understanding the importance or worth of nature and the environment is also a freedom. Different things on behalf of many diverse individuals.

Love can’t stand alone. Freedom can’t stand alone. Freedom and love can stand and be simultaneous. Love is giving freedom to others. Give the person total freedom and let shackles vanish.

Sub-topic 4 (Happiness that comes after the knowing love)

As people grew older, their understanding about love becomes deeper. They knew how love works and that love fills happiness in their hearts. How love really works and matter. Individuals’ happiness in life is being in love and being loved back.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary, happiness is a state of well-being and contentment and a pleasurable or satisfying experience that every person aspires to have. It comes in various forms and from different reasons. Sometimes because of possession of material things you like to have, contentment in life, and even love despite hindrances encountered.[footnoteRef:8] [8: Happiness. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster online:]

After the long process of knowing what it is, from the beginning – childhood up until the almost end of understanding it – adulthood, along with the experiences are lessons people learn that serve as guidelines in loving. And with those learning acquired, understanding love and its nature deeply, are the reason of reaching the state of happiness.

People could possibly learned that to love is to be free, love comes with growing, and maturity of adulthood brings acceptance of changes in love, making them realize the right things to possess for a person to love and be loved fully, that lasts. That’s where happiness will kick in after.

Most happiness experience comes from the feeling of love. Where love is enough to provide happiness. Unlike for example, on your childhood love, you can’t fully show it, understand it or it does not work where material things exist on that. There’s different ways that may define love but no matter which definition it is, you have the opportunity to seek love and happiness.

Among all these, whichever way you find happiness, it is always accompanied by love, for happiness is ultimately the love of life, the celebration of living. The mark of happiness is that you were able to know what loving is, first.[footnoteRef:9] [9: Love and spiritual growth. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2019, from]

There are those who possess everything they claim to have wanted but still aren’t happy. They think they can be happy yet indifferent, happy while independent. The truth is the opposite: happiness requires gratitude and an acknowledgment of interdependence with that which is around you. More wealth doesn’t make you happier; deeper and better relations do.

The places of happiness are infinite, the sources and learning never-ending. And you inhabit those places not because they have been pursued but because you have opened your heart and have allowed them in. You are now trusted to bring love with happiness to others.[footnoteRef:10] [10: Dobrin, A. (2012). Love and happiness: True happiness is the gentle pulling away from yourself. Psychology Today. Retrieved February 3, 2019, from]

It is therefore concluded that love is perceived differently by people basing from the thinking they possess. Everybody has different experiences that may affect how one sees love. It may depend to factors such as growing stage from childhood to adulthood, being free at a certain point and obtaining the level of happiness.

Sharing love is probably the most valuable and meaningful experience a person can ever have. Since the beginning, we were born at this place to give or to show love to each other. We can develop it by several factors to attain the truth – the truthfulness about love. Some consider it as a hindrance but as people grew older it may serve as guidelines to act appropriately in such phenomena.

Finally, the researchers believe that the future will see a better understanding of what may be the answer to the never changing question of what love is


  1. Ajmal, M. A., & Kobab, S. (2012). Perception of love in young adults. Pakistan Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 10(1), 43-48.
  2. Burke, K. (2013). Column: How our idea of love changes as we get older., 1, 1. Retrieved February 3, 2019, from
  3. Love and spiritual growth. (n.d.). Retrieved February 3, 2019, from
  4. Dobrin, A. (2012). Love and happiness: True happiness is the gentle pulling away from yourself. Psychology Today. Retrieved February 3, 2019, from
  5. Happiness. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster online:
  6. Infatuation. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster online:
  7. PsychologyToday.(2019).Relationships.Retrievedfrom
  8. Stosny,S.(2010,September13).Freedomtolove:Retrievedfrom
  9. Wikipedia.(2018,December).Maturity(psychological).Retrievedfrom


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