“You’re actually 12”
Those were the first words that came to my mind when I heard the following story from my younger sister who is in Grade 7.
A girl in her class likes this boy outside of school who reciprocates the same feeling. Taking charge, she told the boy that she was too young to date. The boy agreed but the question that followed was the kicker:
“But can we still have the title?”
The title they were discussing being boyfriend/girlfriend.
When I was 12, I was thinking about playing basketball and trying to master songs on the recorder, not dating. So, what has changed in less than half a decade that has brought such ideas to the minds of children? Well, the answer is simple: society.
Society has morphed the idea of love into something it is not, and is ruining it for the future generations. It has caused the idea that love is all about the title, and being known as that person who is theirs, or someone who is taken. It has distorted the image of love into an achievement or award rather than a journey in itself. And now, that idea is engraved in the minds of the young, and it will continue to change for the worse.
I’m not claiming to be an expert, but I have pretty old school, traditional views on things, which have worked history, so I think it is safe to say that they can still work to this day.
What happened to the guy picking the girl up from her house and sending her
home? What happened to holding the door open for the girl, making sure she was warm, buying her flowers, having her walk on the inside of the road, etc? What happened to common courtesy? What has happened to love?
For me it is about someone to call “mine”, it is about finding, if God wills it, my future husband, the future father to my children, my best friend.
But unfortunately, this ideology is not as common as it should be. A prominent example of the twisted view on relationships was one I encountered at the beginning of the school year. We had just got back from summer break, and I was a table working on an assignment while those around me were talking about their summers. After the customary “Oh, we went here, my family did this, I got this” etc., the question arose:
“So… how many hook ups did you have during the summer?”
In my head, I was alarmed, but I tried not to let it show on my face. I was shocked, as we all attend a Catholic school. I was not naive enough to think that these never happened, but I did not think it was a common occurrence. I silently prayed that those being questioned would laugh it off with a “what are you talking about?” but I stood corrected.
“Hmm, I can’t remember how any exactly, they were all a blur.. maybe 5? 6? Something like that.”
You’re actually 15/16.
Is this what relationships have come to? That is as bad as the 12 years olds, if not worse. At least for the 12 year olds, there was some kind of emotion attached but for the 16 year olds, their flings had so little meaning to them that they cannot even remember if it happened or not.
It seems that relationships have become viewed by many as something that is fun, an outlet for their pleasure, or simply a title. Sure, they can be fun, but they also take a lot of work and include various hardships. It is not all fun and games. But it is through the work and the struggles that makes it valuable. It is like saying, “It can be difficult being with you, but I am going to fight and work towards improvement because I want to be with you, I want a future with you, and I care about you.”
A relationship should be encouraging you to be a better version of yourself for the one you care about. It should be about working together, caring for each other and helping one another grow. One should not have to lower their standards or themselves in order to feel loved.
And you know, relationships are not
about having someone. The common phrase nowadays is “he/she stole me heart”, but recently someone told me something very profound that has changed the way I view relationships even more. He said,
He did not steal your heart for your heart is still with you and is yours. Rather, he protects your heart, and keeps it from any harm, and he will do the same for you as an individual.
Wow. That was all I had to say in response, for no words have ever rung truer. The primary roles of a man is to be a protector and a provider, and he should be that for you, your heart, and your future.
“Love isn’t disposable.” It is not a one time use/one party use/one night use. It is something that should last, hopefully, until death do you apart. You cannot just dispose of it when you grow tired or bored of it. It requires work, and the work will make it worth.
St Raphael, patron saint of happy encounters and soul mates, pray for us.
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because He first loved us. -1 John 18-19