19 and Counting - A Community Blog

19-year-old Karissa Swartz responds to current topics

Have Standards

Written by Karissa Swartz, Community blogger | Aug 10, 2013 4:09 PM

Too often I hear of a couple getting together, but then breaking up. I even hear of kids my age having one night stands or summer flings. Casual dating seems to be the norm today, but it might not be the best thing.

What are young people to do in a society that promotes casual dating and non-committal relationships? How can trust, sincere love, and true commitment ever be formed if not established from the beginning? Call my philosophy conventional or old-school, but I believe relationships today don’t work out because there are no standards.

What happens when a boy likes a girl? He asks her out, right? They go on a date, eat some food, and end the night by a hug or a kiss. My question is: is that really how to start a relationship? How will giving away a kiss on the first date create any sense of suspense or mystery, ladies? And gentlemen—you know you wouldn’t kiss her if her father was standing right by the door.

So where do we go from here? As a society we are bombarded by messages from the media, movies, television, and books about how to “do” relationships. So often today sex is seen as a social activity, and not as something meaningful between two persons. Even kissing and making out are now just ways to make the night more “special,” even if the person you’re kissing doesn’t mean anything to you at all.

My question for my generation would be one of a simple “why?” Why give your body, heart, and emotions away to people who don’t treat you right and don’t care if they crush the very things you entrust them with?

I guess what I want to say is that something is missing today. The only relationships I’ve seen work out are the ones that start out slow, ones that are built on mutual trust and respect. So often people do not respect other people. They treat another person as an object that can be used for their desire and then be thrown away when the person no longer serves them. Don’t get me wrong—I know all relationships are not like this, but the ones I see today in my generation are not ones that can be categorized by respect.

In my own life I’ve seen this happen multiple times. It’s easy to be attracted to someone, but unless a relationship is defined, it’s kind of like being in a boat without a paddle: you will go nowhere. I have a challenge for my generation: have standards. Before you begin a relationship, define it. Where will it go? What will it look like? Are we even good for each other?

I know this all will sound silly to some people, but for others it might open their eyes to what’s been missing in their lives. Setting standards and being reserved at first is not bad. It’s actually very wise. Guarding your heart above all else is so important, especially for us girls. It’s easy to get wrapped up in emotions, but ladies, do yourselves a favor and see if the man you are interested in desires you and your heart, not just your body. Make him pursue you and treat you how you should be treated. And gentlemen, be the men in the relationship. Take charge and set standards, but also know that you deserve to be respected as well.

In the end, always be honest. The saying is so true that “honesty is always the best policy.” One way you show respect for another is to give him or her the truth with kindness. Don’t be two-faced or capricious, but really give thought to why you are in a relationship. And remember to always set standards by which you will define the relationship. It may sound silly now, but giving away your heart is not a small matter. Save your heart for someone who is worth all your efforts, and even more.  

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