Truly, madly, deeply: falling in love

© Gerti G.

You have never felt like this before. Well, maybe you have felt something similar, but it wasn’t quite like this. You get butterflies in your stomach when you think about them, and you think about them all the time. Maybe the last time you saw each other you said some silly things that you’re a bit embarrassed about now. Don’t worry, you can bet they feel the same.

Why do we react like this when we are falling in love? Probably because we really want the person we like to like us back, regardless of whether we have a perfect body or not, a scar on our chest, a pacemaker or blue lips. 

Falling in love is an exciting, turbulent time. The early days of a relationship are all about two people getting to know each other and learning how to be a couple, and this can be a rocky path. But a relationship is something you both have to nurture, something you have to invest time and effort in, and something that becomes more and more rewarding over time, if you make the effort.

You are not a mind reader

The key to a good relationship is communication. You and your partner must feel comfortable sharing your feelings, needs, desires and even some of your secrets with each other. If something is bugging you it is always better to talk about it, as openly and honestly as you can. And you must also be prepared to listen, to truly hear the other person’s opinion and to keep each other’s secrets. Close relationships aren’t born fully formed, they must be nurtured and cared for so they can grow.

Body changes

Just a few years ago, you may have thought the opposite sex was annoying, embarrassing, or just plain boring. Even if you did like someone, you would have rather dived under a table than talk to them. Suddenly, that’s changed. Perhaps you still want to dive under that table, but you feel different inside. Your body is changing as you go through puberty. Everyone goes through this period of confusion, anxiety and excitement, but we all cope differently. Growing up is a very personal experience.

Body parts

Some parts of puberty are alright – like falling in love. Some parts are not that exciting – for example, girls might not enjoy getting their period and learning to cope with it, while boys could find it difficult to deal with uncontrollable erections. Embarrassing, you might think. But thinking about their body is pretty much what everyone does as they go through this stage. Is my penis too small? Are my breasts not big enough? Calm down, there is no such thing as a ‘normal’ body – looking different is normal!

My heart

Accepting each other, isn’t that what life and relationships are all about? And mutual trust? So what happens when it’s the time to talk to your girlfriend or boyfriend about your heart condition? You should explain that you are just like everybody else, except you just have this heart condition. Only you will know when the time is right, and when you feel confident in your relationship.

Arrgh, a scar!

Maybe your boyfriend or girlfriend has already seen your scar and been too afraid to ask about it. Or maybe they did ask, out of curiosity, and you were not ready to give a proper answer. Don’t worry, tell your heart story when you feel prepared and comfortable about it. Remember that nobody is perfect.

Other heart aspects

If you are a girl with congenital heart disease you might find that menstruation affects you more than it does your friends. You get tired faster, your period seems to hurt more and your blood loss is greater. Your experience of your period could depend on your heart defect and how severe it is. If you find this is a problem, share your thoughts with your cardiologist or nurse.
If you are a boy you might think a great deal about impotency. Could your congenital heart defect affect it? Well, there are some risks for people with certain heart defects, or on certain medication. If you want to know more about it you should talk to your cardiologist or nurse.


R U Thinking: About sex and relationships,, accessed on 05/08/2009.

Great Ormond Street Hospital: Teens first for help,, accessed on 05/08/2009.

Author(s): Ulrika Hallin
Last updated: 2010-04-10

Do you want to tell us about your experiences? Leave a comment on this article.

Comments on this article

16.04.2011 | Irvin aaron arevalo gonzales, Peru
Grax la verdad io estoy super enamorado de una xia pero no dejo de pensar en eia io le cuento mis problemas pero eia mi no me cuenta na :(


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