Relationships are tough at any age

My oldest daughter has been a late bloomer all the way around, I have always appreciated that about her and was not surprised to find her in her senior year of high school with no real boyfriends and no real kisses. That all changed before Christmas when in a flurry of Snow Ball and hormones, her and her best friend Chris (a boy) decided they should try dating. I swear from that day on I have been holding my breath – the rush of emotions has been more intense than I think I’ve ever felt about anyone else’s relationship. I’ve gone from the high of “Ohhhh she finally figured it out” – all of us have known this friendship has been more for many years – to the low of “Oh My God they are going to screw this up and hate each other for it later” to the “If they can make it past a certain point, this just might be the real thing for both of them”

Then reality set in – the first time he came over to “hang out” after the big day I had to remind them both no hanging in the room with the door closed anymore, although with that came the – sitting to close to each other holding hands business in the family room – once when we left them alone in the back room we learned how loudly kissing can actually be – It still grosses me out to think about it.

Then there was the “protection” conversation – what an uncomfortable cluster that was and it wasn’t even the how things happen it was just the – “boys don’t always think, I would rather you ask me for one than not use one at all, they’re located in the sock drawer if you ever need any but here’s a supply for yourself – now do not tell me where you keep them because I will find myself drawn to your room to check if they’re still there”. And of course the – “please, please, please do not have sex in my house when I’m home!” Followed by the – “so help me if you get pregnant, I will not have you and your love child and boyfriend living under my roof as loafers” – not that I really had to worry about any of this, I have a wonderful God fearing Christian daughter that fully believes in waiting until she gets married – but, she does have half of my chromosomes and I want to a make sure I appeased them as well.

What I realized last week as she came home from Basketball practice, hurt, angry and very very quiet – was I had thought about the terms of this relationship as a 36 year old woman, with 2 marriages and countless relationships under her belt. I thought of them in terms of years and decades, of the comfort of really knowing someone, of commitment to a person I respect and love not just lust after – which is so often the case at the start of a relatioship. I considered their relationship in terms of an adult relationship and that was unfair to both of them.

Needless to say they have cooled off for the moment, both are hurt and confused and I’m not sure if they are going to be able to repair the damage that has been done. Last night she told me that she was considering getting back together with him, she had been too afraid of the big commitment before but thought she could get over it. But, his mother hated her now and his sister was not allowed to talk to her and maybe they should just keep things the way they were. I smiled and sighed and told her “Honey I love you very much, I hope you know that, now you need to decide which is more important to you, his friendship or his happiness. Because at the end of this you will only really get to have one and for a while it might be neither.”

I don’t know what her answer will be, but she went to bed with a deep sigh and a heavy walk. It was at that moment that I realized my little girl had grown quite a bit since the beginning of December and served as a reminder that relationships really are tough at any age.

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