Tuesday, December 20, 2005

How not to get into a relationship (of the wrong sort)

(PARENTAL ADVISORY again - though, given that on their own testimony, up to 90% of 16 year olds are sexually active anyway, it's children from about year 8 upwards who need to know this!)

So, following the post below, what would I suggest? As an evangelical Christian, I have my opinions on how relationships are supposed to work, and I think that if people lived according to this pattern - sexual relationships are for marriage - they would be happier. But I also realise that most people don't share those beliefs. So if people aren't prepared to accept the Christian pattern, then what in practical terms can they do to avoid the worst of the messed-up relationship experiences that seem to be so common?

Unless you really are looking for casual sex (which in itself will probably help to mess up any future relationships that you have) don't start a sexual relationship with somebody unless you really know them. These days, it is a lot less painful to get into such a relationship than it is to get out of it. Sex isn't fundamentally a "casual" act - it changes you psychologically, emotionally and physically. This is even assuming that you know how to avoid unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

It is a lie for somebody to say: "if you loved me, you would do this." If that person loved you, they wouldn't be pushing you to do something you didn't think was right.

Don't get into a relationship thinking that you will "change" the things you don't like about somebody. It is more common for relationships to break up with such things unchanged than it is for changes to happen.

Living together isn't a "trial marriage". The one thing that living together can't model is the one thing that is different about marriage - that it is supposed to be permanent. A marriage is more likely to break up if a couple lived together before they got married.

Finally, don't lie to yourself that your "heart" is more powerful than your "mind". You are in control of your actions.