I have had the privilege of talking to a young man who I think, is a good friend in the making. Somehow, in our long novel like conversations we started talking about relationships and yeah… It was weird for me… little awkward.. But it was interesting, because I misspoke or something and he misunderstood and it just kept spiraling down from there. However I actually had to think about some things, things that I’ve thought of before, but didn’t think of like that.
With society the way it is today, nearly everyone is sleeping with or has slept with someone before marriage. But bear with me, society says it isn’t ok to be single and it is flat out weird to not have slept with at least one person in your teenage years. Shoot I went to walmart today wearing a shirt that says “Got my dog, got my horse, don’t need no cowboy” and the cashier rattled it off and promptly laughed, “You have a cowboy though don’t you?” “No ma’am, I’m not interested in that right now. I’ve got my 3 horses and I am good to go.” She laughed again, “Aww. You’ll find one.” She continued with her attempts to uhm…. encourage? me? All the while I’m going I’M NOT INTERESTED LADY!! I DON’T NEED THAT HEADACHE RIGHT NOW!! I will say though there are several people who think that I should have a boyfriend already, again with the walmart trip, three separate people read my shirt and then were astonished that I do not have a boyfriend.
You see though, this idea made me stop and think, as young adults when are we truly ready for a relationship? Because some times I think I might be ready and other times I know I’m not ready. So what needs to be considered?
1. How do you feel about the opposite sex? Me personally, it is a big red flag that says “HEY! You don’t trust men.” I don’t much trust anyone, but I definitely shouldn’t be considering getting into a deeper relationship with someone I have a hard time trusting.
You can dislike the opposite sex and still feel compelled to have a relationship. Trust me, I know…. Some times it is peer pressure that pushes that desire for a relationship. However for me, I don’t really know how to explain it other than, I don’t trust most guys, but for a long time the only thing I wanted was to feel accepted by a man (it seems like a stupid idea now..). Not just any guy, I wanted a mentor. Occasionally, I got the two feelings mixed up and that was when I wanted a boyfriend. Now days though, I think it is peer pressure, I have a friend who is married and pregnant (which I have no desire to have children.. Unless I am adopting.), and another who is getting married, and an aunt who is a few years older than I am, who is also getting married, and everyone around me has boyfriends. It’s crazy! Then when you tell someone you don’t have a boyfriend and they are like, “Seriously? What’s wrong with you?” It messes with your head! Generally though I am perfectly content being single and getting to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, and not having to worry about someone else. I do believe though that not switching boyfriends every time I turn around has benefitted me in the long run by saving me from many broken hearts and even possibly a crummy marriage later down the road.
2. What does the other person want? Are they jumping right into bed? Or are they being thoughtful and considerate? If they are trying to uhm… get you in bed, before marriage. Then you are not likely to have a strong foundation to build off of.
Just like a house, you have to lay the foundations first before doing anything else. Get to know each other, understand each other. Learn each other’s strengths, weakness, flaws, and perfections. As the relationship progresses THEN you can begin to get more physical IF BOTH parties are game. When I say physical I mean without sex. Hugging, cuddling, maybe a peck on the cheek or whatever. I myself don’t think lip to lip kissing should come until after marriage, however it isn’t something that I think is a huge deal I suppose… Though without a doubt, sex, should be saved until after marriage. A relationship cannot be built off of sex and will often be the end of a relationship before it gets started. Not only that but it puts you at risk of pregnancy before you are married. Most people will say, “Aww, he loves me. He wouldn’t leave me.” But really is that a chance you are willing to take? Plus, I would like to hope there are people out there that still value virginity and would be proud to say, I saved my virginity for my spouse. I personally have a two year mark before deciding whether someone is dating material. If they can stay loyal on the off chance that things might work out, you’ve probably got yourself a winner. Be my friend, if we can start there and you are willing to do whatever it takes (within reason) to keep me in your grasps, then we’ll talk.
3. Are you willing to make the changes necessary to accommodate your girlfriend/boyfriend?
Yes, changes will come. You will have to take time out of whatever lifestyle you live to learn the lifestyle of your possibly future wife/husband. On the same note, they shouldn’t expect you to drop everything you are doing expecting your world to revolve around them (I mean, it should, in a way, but..). In fact, they should also be taking an interest in your hobbies. Because I’m sorry, I don’t care what you enjoy there is always some interest that can be shown even if it is only verbal. Not only that but the other person will want you to go do things with them, that means that you will actually have to set aside time to hangout or whatever it is couples do these days that don’t involve sleeping together.
4. Does the idea of a relationship make you nervous? Or maybe even scare you? Because if it does, you may not be ready.
I’ll admit, the idea of a relationship scares me periodically. Allowing someone that close to me just seems like a bad idea. Even the young man I’m talking to, he has made a couple of statements that shouldn’t bother me. But I see we are rapidly bonding as friends and I have had to voice it to him that it kind of makes me uncomfortable. It’s funny though because he’s so laid back about it and is willing to allow me to work through what I need to, and THAT is just a platonic friendship that is making me squirm. I can honestly say, if you date/marry a person who is afraid to let you love them and wants to keep their distance it is going to be challenging at best to make the relationship work. Which is why time before getting more heavily involved is a good thing. Because to start with you may not know what you are getting into until several months or a year down the road.
Some times though, the uncomfortable feeling can be caused by fearing what will happen once you are in a relationship, fearing not being good enough, or the relationship not working out. There are a number of reasons and which one is for you to find out.
5. What are the reasons for wanting a boyfriend/girlfriend? THAT is a big one.
You see, it is important to know why you or the person you are considering dating want to be in a relationship. Peer Pressure, sex, age, these are not reasons to be in a relationship. The other thing that needs to be watched for is, are you only looking for someone to care about you? Or do you genuinely want to care about that person too? As a young adult, and younger, are you really looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend? Or are you looking for a mentor or close friend? In my case I wanted a mentor, but would get boyfriend and mentor mixed up momentarily until I got to the root of the problem and realized that I needed a mentor.
So anyway, those are just a few of many thing that need to be considered when you are looking to enter a relationship. Some of it can be hard to swallow for some, but I really would like to see a time where more girls are being treated like ladies and the ladies are able to treat the men as men. If everyone would have a respect for each other before getting overly involved I think we would have a few more successful marriages. If you spend a few years getting to know each other, there is less likely to be a divorce because someone is being abused or cheated on or what have you.
I’m here to tell you though, no matter what anyone else says, you do not HAVE to have a boyfriend/girlfriend. It is perfectly alright and smart to wait if that is what you need/want to do.
And one other thing. If you do have a boyfriend/girlfriend, don’t uproot and move to some unfamiliar place where you might end up stranded because suddenly your partner has decided that y’all relationship isn’t going to work. I mean, overall, consider the choices you make before marriage and consider how they will effect you if the other decides he/she is done with the relationship.