Tuesday, July 10, 2007

‘Youth is wasted on the young’

I love my morning radio show. So much so that I try to be late enough getting out the door so that I can sit in rush hour traffic (I’m a bit of an oddball I know) and listen to more of it. I particularly like it when they have discussions about relationships and dating. They always give me food for thought.

For example, this Monday, they were discussing marrying and breaking up and age. One of the morning sidekicks (I dub him), NotMetrosexual was saying how he had gone to a wedding during his vacation the past week with his girlfriend. It was her best friend (the groom) who was getting married. She lives in the area of the wedding (not in DC) and is on a contract that will be ending soon, and she mentioned that she would need to find a new contract, so that she’s not out of work. The conversation progressed to the point where NotMetrosexual asked his girlfriend to come and move in with him. It then moved even further with them both agreeing that they might be the one for each other. The next logical step would be happy hearts and shiny faces all around, right…wrong. At the end of the day this couple was no more. The reason, they thought they were too young and hadn’t sown enough wild oats.

They were too young and hadn’t sown enough wild oats.

Is it just me or does this sound a little defeatist. Talk about ending the relationship before it even starts. Because of what they thought would happen they decide to let it go completely.

The radio show continued with people calling in to give their opinions on the issue. One woman hit it on the head for me. “You have to work at it.”

I arrived at work and turned off the car along with the show and couldn’t help but think that ‘youth is wasted on the young.’ Just the idea of finding that person who may be for me right now gives me hope. But to listen to NotMetrosexual and his girlfriend piss it away because they haven’t banged enough partners is pretty sad.

The very idea that NotMetrosexual and his girlfriend didn’t think they could work through it l makes me equally angry and sad. Angry, because of the absolutely laziness of NotMetrosexual and his girlfriend and sad because this is what I feel a society of instant gratification has spawned.

No one wants to work at relationships anymore. If things don’t work out, it’s easier to just move on. I’m seeing it more and more in everyday things as well. Don’t like your job, no problem, you can find a new one tomorrow. Angry with your friends, don’t try and fix the problem just ignore it and them and it will all go away. Don’t want to parent your children, that’s easy just turn the tv on and instant babysitter.

While some of my examples are extreme, they have some merit. Those of the baby boomer generation (and earlier) worked through their issues (or at lease appeared to), they took responsibility for the mistakes they made and didn’t blame one another. Why aren’t we working through things? Why aren’t we taking responsibility for ourselves? Why is youth wasted on the young?

I don’t have many answers, but I know that if we don’t stop sowing our oats and keep the wheat on the chaff we will soon be a field of unfulfilled dreams.*

*how do you like that metaphor?


myself said...

All depends how old they are. Personally, marrying (if that was in the cards) is not suggested when under 30 in my opinion, particularly women, we know nothing about ourselves until after 30. Everyone with exception of 1 couple (so probably 9 out of 10 couples) from my 20's is now split or divorced. Now, I wouldn't end this relationship.... Ahhhh I don't know.

As for jobs, my parent's generation (the Baby Boomers) worked for companies that didn't treat them like disposable chattle, these days, when the bottom line doesn't look so good, we get laid off. Loyalty works both ways, both from the employer as well as the employee, so I can't blame people for moving onto jobs when the going gets tough, god knows that the company would get rid of us in a moment if needed.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Man I couldn't agree with you more - they definitely did piss it away for a stupid reason....they seemed to be in love and comitted and then broke it of for a dumb ass cop- out reason

startingtoday said...

myself - I don't know if setting an age limit - 30+ on getting married is the right approach either. It just depends on the person.

I got married at 21, he was 28. I wanted to get married. I wanted to be married. Once we got married, a lot changed. He said he didn't understand why marriage was so much work, and why he had to show me he loved me.. I should just know.. He married me after all.

Needless to say, 5 years later, we are getting divorced. There are other issues, but mostly the fact that he thought a marriage would run itself was a deciding factor.

I don't think for us that it was an age issue. It was a communication and personality issue. The change began immediately after we got married, and I stuck it out for 5 years because I knew I had to give it a try. But when he didn't want to go to counseling, and he didn't want to see any of our issues, there was nothing left for me to do.

Anonymous said...

I read in a book once that with the sacrifice of fidelity comes unimaginable freedom. People need to realize that within a loving and faithful relationship is the security, love and support to truly live out your dreams and reach for your goals. Screwing a bunch of random people does not provide you that freedom...love and commitment does. But, it takes hard, hard, work...there's no denying that

Isabella Snow said...

Nice quote for a title!

I loathe metrosexuals, I hope you are doing your part to help them come out of the closet. ;)

NotSamantha said...

Myself - I don't think at any one age we know everything about ourselves. Its a given that we would know ourselves differently at age 30 than at 20, we're dealing with new things by that point. Being attached (married) won't change that process. It will just make us more considerate (I hope) of the other person in the relationship and what they also may be going through.

Princess Ex - Exactly, ruining a good thing because they're not sure if they're mature enough to not ruin a good thing...

startingtoday - Yours is a good example of what I mean. Working at the relationship is key. Being unwilling to do so is really beginning the slide down a slippery slope to the end.

Anon - I would love to know what book you found this in. It underscores something else about not working at relationships and that is security and confidence. If you're already damning the relationship with the what could happens you've already shown your lack of faith in its survival. Being secure and knowing what you both want out of the relationship makes it easy to not second guess yourself or your partner.

Isabella - Thanks! It was literally the first thing I thought (and then immediately felt old for thinking it) when I was listening to this recount of the breakup. As for Metronsexuals...give me a manly man who cleans up nice any day of the week.

Ryane said...

Great post. I agree w/you completely about it being very hard work that a lot of people seem unwilling to commit to. What I really don't understand is, why do people think a relationship will be, or should be, easy? Life isn't easy. I mean, yes--here in the the US we have relatively easy lives in relation to other countries, but in every other area of my life--I work hard. At work. At the gym. With my friends & family--I work hard at all of those relationships so...a love relationship deserves no less. How sad that couple tossed away what they did have in favor of what they might get...

Really good post...!!

Roxy said...

My thought is that in the whole discussion about being the one for each other, they both quickly realized that they were NOT right for each other. Men, especially, don't let a good one get away. He wasn't that into her and that's that. Women kid themselves into thinking a man is the one and this girl didn't allow that.

Elisabeth said...

I really like the post and can see the parallels between this and the relationship in my life. I found someone who I consider to be a great person and actually maybe marry one day. I know in the past, I was also quick to end things out of fear that the person would do it to me. Now, that I'm in my late 20s and have grown a bit (still have a lot more to do), I'm putting a lot of effort and work into someone and something that I hope will continue to flourish in the future. Thanks for the post. :)

Asian Mistress said...

One of my ex boyfriends who married at 22 and went through a rocky time recently told me, "I thought love was enough"...to which I said it's a lot more than that (to startingtoday's comment)...it's trust, honesty, compromise, communication, and most of all commitment.

I hate to just link, but...precisely.

NotSamantha said...

ryane - Glad you liked it. I believe in working hard for the things that matter and being in a committed relationship qualifies, but its really a let down to see that people can't get over the simple things and are terrified of actually missing something so much so that they will throw away the best thing that's happened to them.

roxy - I can get coming to that realization, but copping out before they even realize what they could (or do) have is still a trend of what's happening. Giving in because its easier than trying to figure it out.

elisabeth - Thanks for reading.

asian mistress - In December 2005 I tackled the 'is love enough' question and at that time I took the hearts and roses approached and believed it was. One relationship and a broken heart later and I'm a little bit more learned about it. Love is never enough, but its a good start.

Rachel said...

That is probably one of the most fabulously accurate metaphors that I have ever heard! I'm only 24, but I totally agree that youth is wasted on most of us. I've been in several relationships where I was trying to "work it out" alone. I wanted to fix the problem and he wanted to jump ship because it was easy. I can't stand it. If you are going to be in a relationship you have to accept some resonsibilty for the relationship. A significant other is not a burden, they are a gift. One that should be fought for at all costs.

blog prince said...

Really like the post. I would agree pretty much completely. I see it somewhat of an issue of fickleness and somewhat as an issue of being spoiled.

If you look back at our grandparents' generation and what they went through. . . growing up in the depression and then fighting WWII it's not wonder that so many of them settled down and worked at marriages that lasted for 50-60 years. Based on what they had been through. Not that there weren't failed ones or loveless ones as well. But. . . my great aunt and uncle met in 1945 and got married six weeks later. Sixty-two years later they still hold hands and call each other sweetheart and honey.

For all the hell most of them lived through during the depression and the war, they learned pretty quickly about what was truly important in this life, and they knew that nothing of true value in this life comes without work and effort and commitment.

Our generation -- for the most part -- hasn't had to work for anything like they did. Besides which, we are overloaded with choices and possibilities in just about every other area and I think it affects our choices in partners and relationships.

And we also live in a disposable society. If something stops working or breaks or gets old, throw it away and find or buy another that's newer or better or flashier, rather than work to fix or repair or refurbish.

Lucy said...

"No one wants to work at relationships anymore"

I completely agree. I think this is a fear of mine. I know how the new generation (my generation) is so willing to drop what they have and move on to something new. I don't trust people's instincts in relationships. For one, if you want to date me, you better do some serious soulsearching and decide early on what you want out of this relationship.

If it's a fling, then let it be a fling. But if this is for good, then commi! You can't have it both ways. You can't be on the fence about this. It's not fair to either of us.