Gender Gender

What leads to premature relationships?

Dear Raphael and Namukolo,
I am an 18-year -old boy and I am not in a relationship. I have observed that a number of my friends who are even younger than me have got girlfriends. What makes young people rush into relationships? Tom.
Like with everything else in life, starting a relationship prematurely can have serious consequences.
We must, therefore, establish if we are indeed ready to enter into a love relationship. Young people must be aware of pressure which comes from different quarters to force them into premature friendships.
In our society, soon after certain things begin to happen in our lives, we are deemed to be ready to start looking for a partner.
We must watch out for the following things which do not automatically make us ready for courtship:
In our African society, when we attain a certain age we are considered ready for , marriage. Consider a village situation where girls get married from as young as 17 years and upwards, whilst the boys marry from around 18 years. However, one might be old but far from ready to enter courtship and marriage. Haven’t we met people who are physically grown up but still very childish in their dealings?
Completing academic studies and starting work
Similarly in our society it is almost automatic that immediately we complete academic studies, and start working, courtship and marriage must follow soon after. But just like age, there is no guarantee that we are ready just because we have completed our studies or found ourselves a job.
Peers getting into relationships and marriage
We all belong to particular age groups from which we have friends and peers. It is just a matter of time before we start hearing of our peers getting into relationships. Not only do we hear, but actually experience these same peers pushing us to also find ourselves a partner. This is what is known as peer group pressure.
We must remember that God has got different plans for each one of us. He has got unique plans for each one of us as we can see from Jeremiah 29:11 ESV For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Those who enter into relationships and perhaps marriage earlier than their peers, must avoid at all cost putting pressure on their friends to follow suit.
This is similar to peer pressure. The only difference being that it is coming not from our peers but from the older members of our society. This pressure can be unbearable and is sometimes connected to economic considerations. For example, here is a girl whose parents or guardians are poor and have been keeping her all these years. Immediately she completes her studies they start looking up to her to have her own home and to assist them economically.
On the other hand it may not be economics at play, perhaps her parents just want her to marry someone they like and they think would make a suitable partner for her. Either way they apply pressure on her.
Developing very strong feelings towards a member of the opposite sex
It’s just a matter of time as we grow older that we start developing strong, affectionate feelings of love towards members of the opposite sex. All of a sudden we are constantly thinking about these people. We terribly miss them. We are always dreaming about them. When we see them our hearts miss not a beat but many beats! Our brains stop functioning properly leading us to say ‘Good morning’ to them, when it is late in the afternoon!
Many young people feeling like this end up concluding that the hour has come for them to enter into a relationship.
Unfortunately, strong as the feeling might be, it does not prove that you are actually ready for a relationship. In fact, this might prove to be the most misleading thing in this area.
More often than not, this strong feeling is what is known as infatuation. Infatuation is a strong feeling of love towards someone that has got no real basis or explanation. Infatuation is the most unstable foundation on which to build a relationship, let alone marriage. Unfortunately, a lot of relationships are based on such strong feelings. What a huge disappointment to discover one day that all the feelings have gone away, after one has already committed themselves to a relationship!
All these are potential sources of pressure which can lead you into a premature relationship and so you must constantly be on guard against them Tom.
Failing to be creative and innovative can compromise your marital bedroom life.
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