SURVEY SAYS: When Was Your First Love?

February 12, 2009 ( - Saturday, of course, is Valentine's Day - a day on which those who have found true love have much to celebrate (or had better, if they want to stay in those good graces).

This week, I asked readers, how old were you when you fell in love for the first time?

The results were, as always, interesting, perhaps not so much in the overall findings – nearly half ( 45.2% ) were between the ages of 16-20 that first time – but among this week’s “other” category.    More on that in a minute.

Just over 16% said they fell for the first time between the ages of 11 and 15, while one-in-ten claimed it had happened between the ages of 5 and 10 – about as many ( 9.7% ) who said they were between the ages of 21-25.  

As for the rest:

5.4% – 26-30

3.2% – 31-35

4.2% – over age 35

Just over 2% said they were “still waiting”, and about 1% said they didn’t remember how old they were.

Among the more intriguing revelations was the reader who said, "I have never "fallen in love". I have learned to love and, fortunately for me, chosen to continue to love."  One reader who has clearly learned some lessons along the way noted that they "Fell in Lust at 19 and in Love at 29," , while another said (perhaps ominously) it "Depends on who is asking."

On the other hand, there was plenty of inspiration to be found as well:

"Fell in love at 20 (prior to that other feelings ruled), married her at 23 and now 42 years later, no regrets."

"He was exactly 9 months older and "thanked" my parents for making me for him. We are still together nearly 36 years later!"  

Proving that true love has no age boundaries, consider the readers who recalled:

"I fell in love with Barbara Eden of I Dream of Genie when I was 6 years old."  

Or one who was perhaps just a little older, but said it happened "When I saw Wonder Woman on TV for the first time..."

But this week's Editor's Choice goes to the reader who recalled, "I don't remember how old I was but I was convinced that I was going to be Mrs. Mighty Mouse."  

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!  

And if you haven't done so already, check out reader insights on the best advice they ever got/gave on love/relationships  HERE

from a Tom Jones song "It's Not Unusual" and the advice is "Love will never do what you want it to..."
Don't do it.
Is there any good advice about love/relationships?
Geez -- if I had good advice about love/relationships, I'd be doing something else for a living. And if it really worked, I'd be rich and famous, right? But I'm looking forward to what everyone else has to say!
A movie or event with no conversation is not a date.
Love stands the test of time and distance.
never stop talking
Don't go to bed angry at your mate!
If you want love and loyalty - get a dog. If you want love, loyalty and attention - get a smart dog.
Do not make someone a priority in your life that only makes you an option in his.
Women are like buses, another one will come along shortly.
When it comes to marriage, you can be right or you can be happy. But you can't be both. -Comedian Ralphie May
If that person is jealous of your friends, RUN AWAY!! Never date a man whose butt is smaller than yours
Always remember who your best friend is...
choose your battles (decide what's really worth fighting about)
I Corinthians 13 - even if you aren't a God believer, you can't refute that the tenants would go a long way in growing any relationship.
It's not a 50 -50 proposition.Sometimes because of circumstances it has to be 100-0 for a time.
"Be sure you're right, then go ahead." -- Davy Crockett (Although I'm not sure he was referring to relationships or marriage, it worked for us -- we'll be celebrating 18 years of marriage next month.)
Be honest and open in your communications with each other. Present a united front to others (mostly family) that try to interfere. Be flexible.
dont forget to have good comunication otherwise you will be alone wondering what happened.
Look at it from the other person's point of view.
Why would you want to be in a relationship with someone who does not love you like you love them?
When your heart is breaking over a relationship, sometimes only the passage of time can make you feel better, but having other healthy distractions can also help.
If you are happy and fulfilled, you are probably with your soulmate.
My grandmother said "Don't marry him". I didn't listen. Should have - she was right.
From my Dad, when I asked him as a teenager how to tell if you were in love: "Love is being able to live with someone for the rest of your life." Little did I know at the time, how true that was.
Never go to bed angry with each other. Talk it out.
No matter what, a loving relationship requires nurturing, give and take, and authenticity, at a minimum. With that as a foundation, you're in for a wondrous experience!!
Find new ways to appreciate him (or her) frequently - and let them know.
get a pre-nuptial even if you don't own anything.
if you don't let the old go, the new (and, presumably, the better) will never come.
I don't know if I ever gave this as advice but my husband and I were good friends first and our relationship developed from there. We knew each other for over 2 years before we officially started dating and had actually met each others parents too. It has been a good base for our overall relationship.
you'll know if when it happens I never married my first love but stil lthink about her almost daily - 40 yrs later.
Wait until you are thirty to get married. Most men do not mature until then!
Never got any good advice, which is probably why I've never had a successful "romantic" relationship.
That men are like rubberbands (as quoted from Men are from Mars...). You just have to let them stretch away every now and then. If you stay put, they'll come snapping back.
Opposites may attract, but the more you have in common with your partner the less work the relationship is.
Love is not an is a choice and an action. Lust is an emotion most commonly confused with love. A person will have much more meaningful and longlasting relationships when that person learns, regardless of how he/she feels at the moment, to choose to actively and consistently love and, conversely to control his/her lusts.
Always be yourself and Boys always lie.
Don't ask for or accept advice from anyone. You need to figure it out for yourself.
Don't bother.
From my grandma: why buy the cow if the milk is free
You don't have to win every argument (in fact, you won't!), so work together to make it work. Compromise is good every once in a while....besides, a good compromise is meant to be a win-win for the parties involved.
Women! You can't live with them and you can't live without them.
Nothing worth having comes easy. - OR - If most (>50%) of the time you're more happy than miserable (above a 5 on a 1-to-10 happiness scale), your relationship is worth it.
Some of God's Greatest Gifts are Unanswered Prayers - oherwise I may have married my high school sweetheart and woudl not be in love with my wife and have these three wonderful children.
I didn't get any good advice. I think that's why I'm divorced. My advice to others about love/relationships and the stimulus bill is go slow, be careful and be skeptical. Lovers and Congress may say they care about you when they really only care about themselves.
You can't make somebody love you.
Sometimes you just have to decide to love someone through the tough times - because the 'feeling' of love won't last through it.
My mom always told me never to go to bed angry. This doesn't mean you just let things go but you need to come to a point where you are civil with each other. My best advice it to be with someone who is your best friend also. Love isn't about one person dominating everything. It's about being with someone you enjoy. Happy Valentine's Day!
It happens when you least expect it.
Don't talk when you're angry. Walk away and discuss it when cooler heads prevail. By that time, what seemed so important often seems pretty trivial. Oddly enough, this advice was given to me by my second (current) husband. I wonder if I would still be married to my first husband if we both had followed that rule...thank goodness for small favors!
Never go to bed mad
Marriage is work and don't sweat the small stuff