Monday, May 9, 2011

Why So Serious?

When I was two years into my current relationship, my free spirited aunt tried to play match maker and wanted me to get to know her friend's nephew. When I politely reminded her that I was in a relationship, she told me that at my age I shouldn't tie myself down because my relationship probably wasn't serious and I was too young for anything to be serious. After a few minutes of forced pleasantries, I hung up the phone and was obviously annoyed yet perplexed at the same time. After venting my frustrations to my father,  he advised me to let my aunt's advice roll off my back and continue building the relationship that me and my boyfriend created. Unfortunately, that was one of the few encouragements I received from those around me. Fast forward a couple of years and we're still together; in fact, we just celebrated an anniversary. However, I still get snide comments thinly veiled as advice that I shouldn't take my long-term relationship seriously as the birth date on my driver's license supposedly indicates I'm not equipped to handle a serious relationship.

I know many in my shoes and while it's easy to give a side eye or a few choice words depending on who it is, I've decided to give an intelligent response. I understand that grown folks have been around the block enough times to be a pretty good judge of character or a decent interpreter of a multitude of situations, but age or past experiences don’t grant older people the authority to dismiss or discredit the experiences of their younger counterparts. I know plenty of grown folks that have met and even married their spouses before they were able to vote or drink. Yes, times have changed and while there are not many teenagers getting married, it doesn't mean that the love shared between two consenting young adults makes it invalid.

A question that comes to my mind while exploring this issue is if people are outwardly discouraging these serious relationships, does that mean they encourage a series of short, no-strings-attached relationships as an alternative in order to supposedly get the full experience of one's youth instead? Would you rather me carry on meaningless relationships while running the risk of pregnancies, diseases, or a life taking care of children on my own because the guy I was supposed to just casually date doesn’t want to take of the children we made just for the sake preserving my youth? I would like to know what a good alternative is if relationships are going to be downplayed. I was watching the finale of Love & Hip Hop last week and it amazed me how Mama Jones, Jim Jones’ mother, would prefer Chrissy have children with Jim rather than marry him
. I’m sorry, but did I happen to miss something?

As we all know there are downsides to relationships long-term and short-term. For one, it could end…badly. Also, there can be many negative things within the relationship that cause it and the people in it to suffer mentally, emotionally, or even physically. With things like that, I do advise people to speak up especially if they care about the person. However, if the relationship is a healthy, mature one, just be happy for the couple and take a page out of their book if your love life isn’t up to par. The way I see it, some people are blessed to find their love at young ages and some may have to go through many years to find theirs, but one thing is for sure: serious relationships are a long road to travel; where or when you started doesn’t matter nearly as much as where you finish. 


VeralynMedia said...

I wish someone had advised me to look for the characteristics I ultimately wanted in a husband when I was younger-- ie: still in High School. It would have saved me a lot of time and who knows- maybe I'd be settled down by now. I say continue to stick with what you have! The grass is NOT greener on the other side. In fact there is no grass. lol

tsrprincess said...

Very true. If you find someone who you can build with why add strain to that relationship by "testing the waters". That something good is good for a reason. Age should not determine nor limit how far you go with that person especially if they mean something to you.

Ariana said...

@ VeralynMedia: Lol at "In fact there is no grass." Trust me, no one really advised me...and if they did advise me, I'm almost certain my teenage self wasn't trying to listen. I couldn't exactly articulate what I ultimately wanted, but after quite a few failed relationships, I was able to articulate what I DIDN'T want. That's process of elimination for you. lol

@ tsrprincess: THANK YOU! I really don't understand how people could basically advise messing up a good thing for the sake of having "variety." Sometimes it's that variety that leaves people by their lonesome in the end.

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