These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I’m thinking about teen relationships. But first ... what the hell are “teen relationships”? In my opinion, and it’s a not so humble one, when the word “relationship” is used to indicate “dating,” anyone under about 18 simply can’t be in one!

A “relationship” to me means something farm more complex than what two you adolescents or, even worse, two pre-teens might have. I looked up a few definitions:
re·la·tion·ship  (r-lshn-shp)   n.
1. The condition or fact of being related; connection or association.
2. Connection by blood or marriage; kinship.
3. A particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other: has a close relationship with his siblings.
4. A romantic or sexual involvement.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

relationship [rɪˈleɪʃənʃɪp]   n
1. the state of being connected or related
2. association by blood or marriage; kinship
3. the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etc. a business relationship
4. an emotional or sexual affair or liaison
5. (Mathematics) Logic Maths another name for relation [10]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

  • a relation between people; (`relationship' is often used where `relation' would serve, as in `the relationship between inflation and unemployment', but the preferred usage of `relationship' is for human relations or states of relatedness); "the relationship between mothers and their children"
  • a state of connectedness between people (especially an emotional connection); "he didn't want his wife to know of the relationship"
  • a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries
  • kinship: (anthropology) relatedness or connection by blood or marriage or adoption

OK, now any/all of these indicate to me something that is beyond the emotional capability of young teens. Although scientists and anthropologists are saying that our children are maturing faster than ever, I’m here to say it is not emotionally possible for children so young to develop the ties that form that kind of relationship. Perhaps some older, more mature ones might reach this, but not teeny-boppers. And a “relationship” doesn’t start and end in 3 days or even three weeks! IT AIN’T A ....  R.E.L.A.T.I.O.N.S.H.I.P, PEOPLE!!!

So why am I writing about this? Well, because there are several youngsters I know on FB that are between about 11 and 17 whose “relationship status” keep changing from “in a relationship” to “single” and back again. Yes, I know they are supposed to be 14 to be on FB, but all they have to do is put in a phony age, and they are in! And I wonder whether their parents are even monitoring their accounts. A couple of them I’m pretty sure, aren’t.

These kids use the term “relationship” to mean “dating” or “going out.”  And let’s be honest .... at least some of them aren’t even dating! They haven’t been on dates! I know this, because I know their parents, and there is no way they are dating at 11 or 12 or 13.

In the past I’ve let the parents know about some other concerns I had (language used, personal details being given out, comments from older people that I suspect they don’t actually know or their parents don’t), and while the parents expressed concerns about the things I mentioned, I’m pretty sure they aren’t monitoring on a regular basis. Do they know their immature teens are in “relationships”?

I realize, of course, that those “relationships” are probably just flirtations, but I remain concerned about how the kids come to use these terms so casually and how it tweaks their understanding of what a relationship really is. As easily as marriage is broken these days, how does this flippant use of the term “relationship” change how these tender, still formative young people assess the way they bond with people in the future?

I donno. Maybe I’m old and crotchety. But I worry. I worry about these children who seem to already have a warped idea about relationships. I worry about all the children who are not fortunate enough to have the kind of parents who actually are involved enough to irritate the kids.

Yeah, I’m a cranky old gal, but I love the kids and hate to see them so exposed. Please protect children. Help the become mature enough to enjoy a real relationship.


  1. Yes you are old and crotchety! Only kidding dear Lyn. You are very right in what you say. I am fortunate enough to have been "Friended" by my Katie. I don't post anything as I don't want her to "Unfriend" me! As for her "My Space" page, well lets just say that she has older siblings monitoring that for me, hehehehe!!!!
    She does list herself as single, but she is! So far I am grateful that there has been no "involvements" in her life. The longer she waits, the happier it makes Jake and I!!
    So far she believes no sex before marriage, how cool is that! She thinks that it is "Ungodly"! Well we will see. All I can do is keep my eyes and ears open, much to her dismay. I did the same with my two older one's and I am very proud of them today.
    However, Katie has proven to be quite the challenge!
    Love Di ♥

  2. Good points, Lynilu.

    I have found that many people use words with little care for their meaning.
    It has become standard to say things with very little intention to live up to the promise inherent in them.
    People just say them to feel good about themselves short term, or to boost their own image of popularity or decency.

    These children you are discussing are very definitely not having relationships as the word was originally intended.
    But we live in a facebook world that lets you call people 'friends' who you will never meet in person, let alone exchange a phone call with.
    And tweeting or texting does not a relationship make either.

    In relying on the computer or other electronics, society has lost the art of valuing face-to-face time spent together, regularly and over time.

    This generation of young people avoid the intimacy of relationships while claiming to have 300 friends, i.e.

    And having a boyfriend ought to mean exclusively dating, AFTER AGE 16, for at least 3 months minimum.

    The warped ideas you mention regarding today's 'relationships' are a sad indicator for the lack of preparation they will ever have for marriage.
    And yes, the parents oblivion is also sad. The parents cooperate with their children's long-term self-destruction. With that shallow mindset, a divorced Mom will be comfortable having a divorced daughter.

    Only the few with REAL values will thrive in this culture.

  3. ;D Good, I'm successful in my quest to grow old and grumpy!

    Each child is different, has his or her own challenge for parents. With "more challenging" ones, like your Katie, it can be tiring, but it is good for them to explore, to grow, to learn while still under the protection of their parents. It exhausts us parents, but it is how they learn without disaster! I certainly had a couple of challenges, too. Wait, make that a couple million challenges!! I'm glad you monitor her.

    I don't think parents should be obnoxious and intrusive unless they must, but it is important to be aware and to be ready to guide if necessary. I fear especially for the younger ones on the internet. The net is a wonderful, amazing, informative, entertaining place. And to unsuspecting youngsters who aren't mature enough to understand some of the evils in the world, it can be very dangerous.

  4. Oh, Annie! Hello!

    You've said it well. I've made a point of meeting as many of my online "friends" as I can. Actually, the only friends I have on FB that I don't know are those with whom I've shared blogs over time; the rest are IRL people. When I go anywhere near where one of my virtual friend lives, I try to connect with them, to meet and have faces and voices to go with the virtual personality I've come to know.

    The trouble, as we both know, is that a 12 year old might give information about where they are, be coerced to meet up with a virtual "friend" with disastrous outcome. Those parents who do not monitor are setting the stage for such, and I am really frightened for them.

    Knowing how to define and rate relationships is an important part of maturing. I keep hoping that every parent would be as wise as my son and daughter have been in their raising of my grandchildren. They aren't perfect, but they are involved and close with their children, and all are growing up stable, well adjusted, and making mostly good decisions. I couldn't ask for much more.

    Good to "hear" you again, Annie. :)

  5. Here is another perspective. I think these kids are old enough to be in relationships. They are interacting with other human beings in ways that can very significantly influence the other person.

    Here's where I'd like the see the term "relationship" mean more. It is not the fact they believe they are in and out of something so quickly, but more about how flippantly they may be dealing with another person's feelings. Think back to when you were 14. Would you have wanted the person you liked to have published that you were "going out" and then a few days later, that you were not anymore?

    Whether or not they are old enough to really be in what we, as adults, consider relationships is less relevant than the fact they are interacting with other human beings and need to learn to show each other respect. Social networking sites seem to harm this dynamic. No longer to we rely on observation or word of mouth to know who is no longer "dating" - just look up their status on FB. The relative ease of changing status, or even commenting on the details of the "relationship" seems far more destructive than what was possible before everyone was on FB and similar sites.

    I think there is a lot more to say here. Great topic!

  6. Yeah, Dakota, well said. There is so much to be said on this topic that It was overwhelming when I got into it. I guess my greatest concern is the absence of parental involvement, helping kids understand and appreciate what is there.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!