How appropriate for me to choose this topic in lieu of the upcoming Hallmark proclaimed “Valentines Day”.
After recently hearing two more stories about young women falling in love with men they barely know, it felt like a perfect time to bust the “love myth”. I have close friends who both have daughters in their early twenties. Although they do not know one another these young women have a similar story.
They both met young men on the internet who were in the Armed Forces and fell in love mostly through e-mail and phone conversations. Both of the women have spent approximately a grand total of what would equate to two months in face-to-face time with these men. Although the time spent together was over a two year period, it still is not enough time spent with a person to know if this relationship is for a lifetime.
Much to the parent’s dismay, one of the young women decided she was going to marry her beau. They did get married, spent a week together and he is currently back to his post overseas. The other young woman is in a more challenging situation. During her last visit with her young man, she became pregnant. The boyfriend is at his post overseas, claims to love his girlfriend and wants to keep the child. Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture? Is it just me that feels as if our world is becoming desensitized to bringing a child into the world with parents who are still children themselves? Are we as a community not teaching our children what love and responsibility are all about? I am not condoning or condeming abortion, this is a highly personal decision, however there are other options when one becomes pregnant during a less than ideal situation. But of course, this couple is in love and that will definitely sustain them for the next twenty years while raising their child.
How do you explain to a 2o something person that has spent so little time together with their new partner to take it slowly? Get to know one another! What a concept. I keep seeing this scenario over and over again and continuously see young people getting deeply hurt because they lack the skills in understanding what love and commitment are all about. This is not a blame game on who is responsible for teaching this generation, but there must be a viable way to educate people on what it means to take your time and fall in love……slowly!!
While rushing into marriage or having a child together is not isolated to the 20 something generation, a person in their 30′s or 40′s has had more life experience, is a little stronger in their own self-awareness and hopefully has better skills than when they were in their 20′s.
I personally do not feel that a person in their 20′s has the ability to know themselves well enough to make a decision to spend the rest of their life with someone based on just knowing them for such a short amount of time. And if I hear one more time…”but we spend hours talking on the computer and the phone”..I am going to go screaming into the night! Does talking on the phone and writing e-mails a relationship make? Does it teach you how that person handles tough life situations? What are they like on a day to day basis? It is a huge undertaking to make a life commitment to another person and never mind making it with someone you have not spent more than three consecutive weeks with.
I have noticed something else that these young women have in common. They are both very talented, however they have not done anything with their talents. In other words, they have nothing going on in their lives. I remember being in my 20′s and the furthest thing from my mind was getting married. I was embarking on a career in the theatre and was determined to make it my life’s work. I believe that beginning to create a life for yourself and finding something you are deeply passionate about in the world can begin in your 20′s. This is the perfect time in life to try on different careers and see what is a fit for you. Find yourself before you find someone else!
So, the question remains. How do you gently and lovingly explain to someone who claims to be deeply in love to take it slowly? My friend is beside herself trying to talk with her daughter, who has no career, pregnant, very little financial resources and is relying on a man who she hardly knows.
But. . . .they are in “love”.
Happy Valentines Day!
Until next week!