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by Abigail Van Buren

Teen Unsure Of The Difference Between 'Love' And 'Crush'

DEAR ABBY: I know this boy that I really love. He's nice, smart and funny and I think about him all the time. He says he loves me back.

Is this true love, or just a mutual crush? I know I'm only 13, but I think I'm in love. Is it ridiculous to think I have found true love in seventh grade? How can I tell whether it's love or not? And what would you consider the usual age to find your perfect other half? -- CONFUSED IN LOVE

DEAR CONFUSED: No one can predict how old you will be when you meet someone who is your perfect other half. People's interests and needs evolve as they grow older, and what seems perfect today can seem less so when viewed through the lens of life experience.

I would never label your feelings as "ridiculous," but when you are in love, there is usually no doubt about it. Because you need to ask someone else if what you're feeling is true love, then it probably isn't.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Teens