Are relationships any different today than our parents’ generation? My parents just celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They dated for ten years before actually taking the plunge – which means that they have put up with one another for a total of sixty years. This got me to thinking, are my parents and grandparents-great and grand- the reason why I am still single. I touched on this in my book. All of them were so loving toward each other. They were married to their spouses until one of them passed away. Even then, those who were left behind never remarried. Has the bubble that I was raised in, tainted the way I view relationships? Or, am I just out of touch on how things are today?
When we were old enough to understand, my father began to tell his girls how he landed our mother. My grandfather loved to read the newspaper from beginning to end and would rarely look up to even acknowledge my father. Dad said, “I read the newspaper every day, so that I could sit and talk with your grandfather about what was in the news.” This was his way of trying to impress him. After a while, my granddad respected my father for putting forth such a valiant effort to get to know him – because he really wanted to show him how much he loved our mom. I said all of that to say, that my father was instilling in us early on, that he wanted his girls to have someone treat us with the same amount of respect.
Soaking in everything that I saw, I subconsciously convinced myself that my life will end up just like the people around me- meeting the man of my dreams and living happily ever after. Now, don’t get me wrong, no relationship is perfect. Sure they had differences of opinion. Though, I never saw either set of my grandparents argue at all. Their generation didn’t dare do such things. However, living with my parents, I saw more than a few fallings-out. I also saw how they would civilly work through their issues and move forward.
So, when I met my college sweetheart and found out that he and I had very similar backgrounds, I immediately had delusions of our future. I just knew we were on the same page when it came to marriage. While I was emulating what I saw at home, he was living in the present. There were times that I thought that he would do right by me – like a gentleman would. So, when I finally understood that he would never ‘read a newspaper for me and my dad’, the relationship fizzled. (It was much deeper than reading a newspaper). That’s when I had an epiphany – my relationship will never be like my folks’ relationship.
Ironically, this topic was also discussed on a television show that I often watch. The young woman’s father came to visit her and gave her advice regarding her moving forward with her life. He explained to her that she had been trying so hard to find a relationship like her parents, that she is missing out on her own happiness. The funny thing is, there are a lot of us out here hoping that our relationships will be like our parents.
We hear young men saying things like – “my mother cooked meals for my father every day”. We hear young women saying, “my father treated my mother like a queen.” A perfect example of that mindset, was displayed on a television show where strangers wed the same day without knowing one another. There were three couples. Out of the three couples, one didn’t work. The couple that didn’t make it was the one who had a gentleman who wanted his new wife to cook, and basically act like his mother. His poor wife did not stand a chance in hell. I felt so sorry for her. He, like so many others, want the impossible. ( I won’t say impossible. There are many like minded individuals and perhaps, he may meet one. Though, it will be difficult.)
What many of us need to realize is that we should not put that kind of pressure on ourselves or anyone else. We should all define our own relationships and enjoy the person we are with for who they are. Times are different and things are done differently. Dating is different altogether. Meeting someone on websites is the norm. Similarly, newspapers are becoming obsolete and are now readable only on websites.
Lastly, we should adapt to the times in which we are living.
Have a wonderful week and thanks for reading my post.
See you on Sunday,