Between friends: Matters of the heart Editor-in-Chief Susan Antonacci shares a few lessons in love that she learned from teenagers. By Susan Antonacci Photography by Alvaro Goveia When it comes to matters of the heart, most of us automatically turn to our girlfriends, our BFFs and perhaps even our colleagues. Some of us seek out our moms and aunts. (After all, they’ve been through all this before, right?) Personally, I rarely turn to the younger set. But that is exactly what I did when a group of Grade 9 students came to the Canadian Living office as part of Take Our Kids to Work Day. We were in the midst of planning our February issue and I had Valentine’s Day on my mind, so I took a leap of faith and asked a handful of youth – girls and boys – for their thoughts on love and romance. They certainly put to rest any of my misconceptions about teens and puppy love! Their answers were articulate, sometimes poignant and always truthful. “Love is the feeling you get when your world is made up of one special person and, without that person, you seem empty.” “Love is the indescribable feeling you get when you’re around someone who you have a real crush on. You feel excited when you’re around them, but nervous and a little sick inside, thinking they may not feel the same way.” “I know that my mom loves me, but I don’t know if I believe in romantic love. I’ve seen the hurt that it has caused some of the people I love, like my mom and my best friend’s mom. They were really hurt by people they loved. I’m just a kid, but if romantic love means getting hurt, I don’t want it.” “Love is like your favourite candy: really sweet and you can’t get enough of it.” “When you love someone, your heart aches when they walk into a room, then aches more when they walk out.” “Love is tricky, and sometimes people tell you they love you to get something out of you. I’m a teenager and on my first real date the boy told me he loved me. He didn’t love me; he just wanted me to put out. I didn’t.” “Almost everything I know about love I learned from the music that I listen to and that my parents listen to. I love ‘Love You Like a Love Song’ by Selena Gomez, ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele and ‘All You Need Is Love’ by The Beatles.” It’s ironic. These students came to my office to learn a few lessons about careers in media, but they wound up teaching me a few things. I’ll tell you what: The next time you’re faced with one of those big life questions, turn to the young people in your life. I’m glad I did. Until next time, Susan @SusanCanLiving This story was originally titled "Between Friends" in the February 2013 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!