Teenagers normally long for the feeling of intimacy and sexual desire. During this developmental stage, it is very applicable for us adults to guide them. Such responsibilities are not for the parents alone. We, as friends, siblings, relatives or even teachers have to be part of this system.
There isn’t a ‘right age’ to start having relationships – every child is different, and every family will feel differently about this issue. But here are some averages:
- From 9-11 years, your child might start to show more independence from the family and more interest in friends.
- From 10-14 years, your child might want to spend more time in mixed gender groups, which might eventually end up in a romantic relationship.
- From 15-19 years, romantic relationships can become central to social life. Friendships might become deeper and more stable.
Many teenagers spend a lot of time thinking and talking about being in a relationship. In these years, teenage relationships might last only a few weeks or months. It’s also normal for children to have no interest in romantic relationships until their late teens. Some choose to focus on schoolwork, sport or other interests. (Credit to http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/relationships_teenagers)
I for an unknown reason started to be in a relationship when I was 15 years old. I was living on a dormitory so I missed the chance of confirming my understanding and beliefs to my parents. It was only now that I am almost 30 years of age I realized the things I wish I knew before I get into a relationship.
- Being single is fun – I felt that I rushed things out. I was so defenseless and unsure about what I really want. It was only now it became clear to me that I should have spent more time on myself. Getting into a relationship is fun as well but being there without preparation on social, psychological and mental state is a compromise. I wish I enjoyed more days partying with my friends. I hope I spend more time with siblings, mom and dad. It’s good if I have more adolescence years minding only simple things like school work, extracurricular activities and community involvement. I am regretful that I should not only imagine of things I wanted to do. I am remorseful that I don’t try doing them. I was just in high school when I daydreamed of being a hiker. And because I was so busy with my relationship, it takes me 10 years to execute that. I was already 24 when I began. I desire I appreciated life more, the sky, nature, beaches, the flower that blooms and the innocent life. I missed the giggles of a teenager when they talked about crushes. So that’s why being single is fun not for so long but it is good if we give ourselves enough time to be happy in solitude.
- All relationship is a process– My partner was 5 years older than me. It was a test of maturity that impulses me into a very depressing emotional state. I had no idea at all of how should I act, what are my limitations and other things vital in a relationship. I only had movies and romantic love stories that can be read in a book. I forgot that the reality is different. When you say process, there has to be series of activities. Getting to know each other stage and getting to discover you more at the same time were the primary important stage. After that, courting or dating has taken place. When everything goes well, and the age is right, then maybe that is phase to start. And all of them have time investment. It sucks when you wake up one day and you recognized that you were already in a commitment of partnership. It’s even difficult that you do not know the person that much.
- Life is Not Just All About Him/Her – When you let your world revolves for just a single reason, you will end up a losing your reasons. That person may leave. You could loose your friends. You get very boring. You became clingy and needy. You lose life balance. It isn’t healthy. These very things happened to me one decade ago. And I most of the time can’t help but laugh to myself.
- Pray for the Right One – Ranata Suzuki once says “There are over 7 billion people in the world and sometimes you fall in love with someone and they fall in love you back – but sometimes they don’t and that’s just statistics… it’s not a fail on your part.” Praying for the perfect one is just a dream but God always prepare a right guy or girl for each of us, the one who will compliment with our character and attitude. There will always be perfect reasons why God will bring you to that person. It will always be special.
- Be Ready – The world is a wide battlefield. Psychological status awareness is important. A relationship can be depressing and hilarious at times. It is like a roller coaster ride that full of emotional surprises so be ready. Nonetheless, it requires maturity and mental state stability. Broad understanding and analytical ability will also very important to survive such situation. Be ready because this is not a fairytale or a Cinderella-like story. Welcome to the real life. Partners fight. Being romantic is seasonal and rare (for some). This will get you frustrated and disappointed most of the time. So be ready.
The journey that I’ve been through is truly remarkable. Each emotion that I fought for made me who I am now. Regardless of the fact that I had no awareness about how to handle those things, I managed to carry on. I usually say that I’ll going to cross the bridge when I get there. But I end up realizing that it’s okay to be prepared.
I could say that it’s a good turning point in life. We will definitely pick up a lesson that we will never forget. But, being in a relationship is more than just an experience. It is a search of a lifetime commitment. We were investing emotions, money and time, the things that we can never get back once we misused. And we come up regretting the choice that we made. So let’s make existence worthy by reminding ourselves and other people of the things that we’ve acquired in a real world, the lessons that we’ve learned the hard ways.