The prized treasure of meaningful relationship is something that is going to take a lot of time and hard work on the part of both people in the relationship.
I want to say thanks to Logan for writing this very kind comment—it made me smile: “I’m only 12 but I’ve gotten a lot of tips from your blog. I think it’s great you would spend your OWN time when you could be doing something more fun. God Bless!”Well, Logan, I actually have quite a bit of fun working on these blogs. Someone always has something interesting to ask about the opposite sex. I love trying to come up with answers that will bring direction to people who might need some help with their relationships. Another comment, like one sent from Tracy, help keep me going: “I love all your answers, you're amazing.” Thank you, Tracy. Let’s see if I can help you this week, because I sure want to.
QUESTION #17) Sheldon asked: “How do you get a really deep and meaningful dating relationship?”
DAWSON: Now that’s a great question. We live in a society driven by instant gratification. We think we can have whatever we want, when we want it, and not patiently have to work at it. Usually something worth having takes a lot of work and time. Therefore, the prized treasure of a deep and meaningful relationship is something that is going to take a lot of time and hard work on the part of both people.
It is difficult to get to a place of trust, respect, and mutual love with another person. It takes putting the other person first, and letting go of your own selfish desires. It takes patience, commitment and a rock-solid foundation that begins as a tried and tested friendship. This doesn’t happen overnight. You need to take time really getting to know someone before you begin dating them.
The danger is when a couple adds physical intimacy or sex to an undeveloped, uncommitted relationship—this throws the progress of the relationship all out of whack.
Many people don’t have the patience to let a relationship develop. They want to rush into things, because being in a close relationship can feel like the ultimate high. Many times people imagine a relationship to be better than it really is, just so they can feel “in love”—a sort of cloudy, fuzzy, state of giddiness that makes everything else in life seem small and boring in comparison. The danger is when a couple adds physical intimacy or sex to an undeveloped, uncommitted relationship—this throws the progress of the relationship all out of whack. Often, the girl starts to wonder if her boyfriend just cares for her for the sex, and he loses respect for her because of the times she has violated her own deeply held convictions. This can cause a cloud to hang over them—one that can often ruin their relationship.
There are many couples who have made their relationships work regardless of great age differences.
Just remember, real love involves a growing relationship, and any amount of growth takes time and attention. Not every relationship is worth the time. My prayer is that you will find that relationship. Protect it for all its worth because it is worth it. Nurture the relationship, take care of it, and do things that will let you get to know each other. Let God be your foundation, and let love, rather than selfishness, be your guide.
QUESTION #18) Anthony asked: “I’m 17 and the girl I like is 14. All my friends say she’s too young. What do you think is too young? Or too much age difference?”
It is possible for mixed-aged relationships to survive, but they are rarer than you think, and take extra work and patience to see them survive.
DAWSON: Generally speaking, most age differences in dating relationships are more of a problem in people’s heads than in actual reality. Meaning, there are some couples who have made their relationships work regardless of great age differences, while others haven’t. But usually, it has little to do with the actual age number, and more a matter of maturity and motive of both people. I’m curious if you want to date this girl because she is younger, and therefore more likely to be impressed by you, or used. Or do you feel like it’s difficult for you to date girls your own age? Also remember, there’s a tremendous difference between someone 17 dating a 14-year-old, and someone else 24, dating a 21-year-old. It all has to do with life experiences and the maturing process that is in high-gear during these years. I can’t really tell you whether she is too young for you, you almost have to go on a couple by couple basis.
Here are some questions I would ask if I were you:
- Are her parents okay with you dating her? They are probably concerned about their little girl growing up too fast by spending a lot of time with someone older.
- She may be mature for her age, but are you going to be okay hanging out with her other friends of the same age? Is she ok with your friends?
- Do your friends think she’s too young because she only 14, or because she acts considerably younger than you?
- Or is there some other factor about her besides her age they don’t think would be beneficial to you?
- Do you share similar hobbies and interests?
- Does she challenge you and make you a stronger, better man?
You will most likely see things differently at times—this happens in all relationships. But you might be prone to blame it on her age. It is possible for mixed-aged relationships to survive, but they are rarer than you think, and take extra work and patience to see them survive.
Thanks for the great questions you keep sending in. I’d still like to hear from you what is your most pressing question about the opposite sex. Let me know.