Teen Ready For Love And Marriage

Dear Rob,
I’m a 15 year old boy, and I’m dating a girl three years my senior.

I know this has been said so many times before by millions of others, but I feel like I really love her with my whole heart, we talk about anything and everything, and we are not afraid to show our feelings to each other.

Now the problem:
I met her at a strip club, not that I have any problem with that, she’s a nice respectable girl, don’t get me wrong, it’s just that I really want to pursue a relationship with her, and I don’t know how the knowledge of this girl’s (soon to be) previous job will bode with the feelings of my family.

She is quitting the job because she also wants to pursue a relationship with me, and she wants to return to school. I know there are an abundance of teenagers who think they are ready for love and marriage and so on, but I know most if not all fail to see how this may affect their lives.

I want to be the one who cares for her, protects her, and grows old with her, I’m new at asking advice, since my life has been pretty textbook until I met this girl, and everything is so confusing. I was just hoping you could help me clear my thoughts with some healthy advice.
Hope to hear from you,
Philip

Hi Philip,
You asked so I’m going to answer:
15 and 18 is too young to plan a life together. You both aren’t mature enough. You want to know how I can tell this about you?

Because you are making commitments that you can’t follow through on;
because you are deciding the rest of your life without talking to your parents about these changes you plan and these feelings you have;
because, at 15, you can’t even take care of yourself, no job, no education, no car, no place to live on your own, so how are you going to take care of someone else?
Now, I know what you’re going to say to me “Rob, I’ve thought it through and this is what I want to do”.

Well, if that were true, you’d have a plan to finish school, and let your ex-stripper girlfriend finish school too, before making these life-changing decisions.

As well, you would be talking to your parents about these decisions so that they can help you. But, usually is the case, teens hide these decisions from their parents because deep down they know that their parents will react negatively.

You have to change your plans from “the rest of your life” to “the rest of the year” type goals.

If you and your girlfriend can be honest with your parents about your plans you have a chance to succeed at these decisions. If you have to do all this behind their backs, you will continue to make mistakes and poor choices that will affect the rest of your life.
Honestly.

As teens mature and start to understand more about the life that is before them, as you get older and experiment with interactions with the opposite sex, it’s easy to start looking at life through a narrow lens.

Your focus changes from the latest video game and what to eat for a snack to how you can involve the person you love more and more into your life without thinking through the consequences.

But it is this narrow view that stops you from seeing life as it really is.
These “love blinders” don’t allow you to see a life with bills, payments, needing new clothes, groceries, a job that pays well enough to support yourself and the family you create.

As teens move from the “World is all centered around me” to the “World is about all I want to do”, the possibilities are overwhelming. The responsibilities of maturity are not yet understood or presented in a way to help a teen to make choices that benefits the rest of their lives. It’s only their immediate, and somewhat selfish needs (even involving others) that get any attention or thought.

Love, moving in together, having sex, being ready to make adult choices are powerful thoughts that cast these narrow lenses that stop you from seeing the whole world around you and your true place in it.

The world isn’t ready for you to make these choices as long as you try to make them on your own at this age.

I’m not saying don’t plan your future.
But I am saying that you need to stop thinking so selfishly. Stop thinking about your own desires, even if your girlfriend shares them with you.

Plan your future, just make sure that it involves the choices that your parents have also made for you so far: finish school, get a good job.

Then move out on your own, date, get married and have children on your own.
One step at a time; One adult responsibility at a time.

To sum up:
Get honest with yourself. Talk to your parents. Plan your life but finish school before making any life-changing commitments to anyone other than yourself.
Best wishes,
Rob.

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