Statistics, experts and William Shakespeare agree: Romantic relationships between teenagers are likely doomed to fail.
In fact, in a world of Romeos and Juliets, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, whose split after two years of dating and providing cute paparazzi shots was revealed by E! News last Friday, may even be role models of stability.
"Most teenager relationships end within the first year," says Mary Jo Rapini, a psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor. "They're distracted. They don't have the focus…The fact that [Bieber and Gomez] were together this long says a lot about their ability to focus, and tune out the outside world."
Indeed, only 4 percent of women and 1 percent of men make it all the way to marriage as teens, per a National Health Statistics Report released by the Centers for Disease Control in March. In celebrity terms, think of the scuttled pairing of Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston, whose breakup broke off an engagement.
Of those in the under-20 crowd who do make it to the altar, the study found, those romantics are less likely than their older counterparts to celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary. In this instance, think Macaulay Culkin and Rachel Miner, married to each other at 17, and separated at 19.
Bieber was 16, and Gomez 18 when they first showed up on the media's couple radar in late 2010.
The problem with teenagers, the pros say, is their brains: The frontal lobe, which governs reasoning and judgment, isn't fully developed until a person's early 20s.
This fact makes teen love especially intense, both the good and the "crash-and-burn" bad, according to Jacqueline Del Rosario, a marriage counselor and lecturer.
High-profiles, Hollywood and the paychecks that come with those particulars don't help.
"Money is the difference-maker," Del Rosario says. "…I think it really exacerbates the pros and cons of young love."
Buzz of a Bieber-Gomez reconciliation doesn't surprise Del Rosario: "These poor kids fell head first in love, and I think it's going to take some time to make adjustments."
For the rest of the world apparently, too.