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Is 12 too early to fall in love?

The older boys each have a Facebook page and I keep tabs on them to make sure there are no predators or inappropriate activity. Kit talks with his mom and shares pictures of Lady Gaga. No problem there. Tio IM's his friends and gets a bit out of hand in talking with his 'girlfriend'. We've discussed that he's too young for dating and that if he responds too strongly with her that the FB page, like the phone, would become a piece of history.

Well, down it came. He immediately started looking for bargains to make to get it back but this isn't the first, second, or third time around this track and I said so. However, in thinking about it I wondered if there was an opportunity here to learn something - both of us.

"You keep doing this because you think I'm wrong about you being too young for love, right?"
He agreed.
"Then, I want you to spend this week on our academic writing time making an argument for love. Explain what love is to you, why you believe you're really in love, and what is different here than with all the other girls you've "dated". If you can convince me you understand what you're talking about or that what you're feeling here is appropriate, I'll reconsider."
"You're on!" he said.
I said he'd have to make a legitimate case, not just a half baked essay that ends with 'because'.

Tonight he wrote out the definitions of love, affection and devotion. We talked about that and I gave him things to consider about how that affects him personally. This will be a tough sell for him. We've discussed it before and he couldn't explain the difference between love and friendship. We'll see how he does here.

Does anyone out there have experience along these lines with a child so young?