Departments and Ministries
Dear Dr. Smith
7. Dear Dr. Smith,
How may young people avoid getting into relationships that are likely to fail? Concerned Youth.
Dear Concerned Youth, immaturity is one of the reasons for failed relationships. While it is hard to put an age on maturity, since some people mature faster than others, it is advisable to focus on the developmental tasks at each stage of one’s development. When a girl matures and is ready for dating, it is expected that she has finished high school and is achieving life skills. This may mean that she is in college or some other learning or working environment where she is acquiring some skills that will prepare her to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, and independent. A relationship cannot last on passion only.
Many young people get passionate about each other and will elope so they can get married if they feel unsupported. It is advisable that they think carefully about their future. It takes two mature people who are ready to take on the responsibilities of a family in order to successfully negotiate a relationship.
In order to take on the responsibility of a family you need a job or preferably a career. Life is hard enough for couples with dual careers, let alone couples that are less able to meet the emotional and economic needs of each other.
Think with your head and not just with your libido. Choose a partner who shares your values. Look at the parents of the person you are interested in. What is their relationship like? A boy is likely to treat you the way his father treats his mother. Would your mother marry his father? Or vice versa. This is not to say that some children will not be able to undo the mistakes their parents made, but more often than not they are socialized by their family’s norms.
Think of your children (if God so desires), would this person make a good mother or a good father? Are you both compatible? Are you both prepared to live with your differences? What of your in-laws? What kind of people are they? Do they have strong family values? A relationship needs all the right elements to begin with, the person your spouse is before the marriage is what he/she is likely to be after the wedding. People do not change drastically after the wedding, if anything they get complacent.