In early high school, my crush and I shared a notebook. This notebook traveled from my locker to his and back to mine on a daily basis and contained such moving statements as:
“I’d rather be with you than in math class.”
“I can’t wait for homecoming next week.”
“So, what do you like about me?”
This was all written in gel pen, of course.
Our so-called relationship never made it past his sweet 16, but looking back, our teenage parting was for the best. Our relationship maturity was clearly in the negative zone.
We can all reflect on our early dating history and smile at the cheesy love notes, the first dances and the timid hand-holding. Now in adulthood, our relationships are so much more than attraction and convenience, yet many of our peers haven’t developed the relationship and emotional maturity necessary to maintain a healthy, faith-filled adult partnership.
Over dinner only a few weeks ago, one of my girlfriends raised her eyebrows when she learned that my CatholicMatch boyfriend and I spend most of our weeknights apart. When I confirmed that we also don’t speak on the phone every day, she about fell off her chair.
To me, our willingness to maintain other friendships and pursue other interests is admirable, not concerning. The possessiveness and clinginess that so many couples fall victim to is another sign of relationship immaturity.
Relationships grow as we grow. The relationships that defined my college years, both romantic and platonic, are very different than the relationships I maintain now. I’ve matured and so have my thoughts, preferences and needs. In high school, I exchanged love notes with a crush and now in my 20s, I’m growing spiritually with someone who understands me down to my very core. Talk about a different rating on the relationship maturity scale!
For any relationship to succeed, couples need to match each other in relationship maturity. By living equally yoked, couples can grow together through the seasons of life to meet each other physically, emotionally and spiritually and bring each other closer to God.
CatholicMatchers, have your relationships changed as you’ve changed and matured?