Yes, It’s Perfectly OK to Have Relationship Questions

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. As I mentioned last Friday, life has a way of slinging unwelcome challenges at you. For my family, this came most recently in the form of dental procedures and a flat tire on my daughter’s car. But the best part of the week will be Sunday, when we’ll have a wedding shower for our oldest son. At 25 years old, he’s the first one on my husband’s side of the family to get married.

Quote of the week: Since I couldn’t decide which quote I like better, you get two this week:

“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.” –Audrey Hepburn   

“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” –Oprah Winfrey

Song of the week: The song I want to introduce to you is called “Answering Machine” by Rupert Holmes. You may know Holmes as the singer of “Escape,” a.k.a. the “piña colada song” that is used in The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack. With our topic of relationships, I thought it would be fun to let you hear how people used answering machines before voicemail was invented. I have always wondered what happened with the couple in the song…did they get together?

Jokes of the week: What kind of ship had two mates but no captain? A relationship.
(Okay, here is a bonus joke…Wife: “Do you want dinner?” Husband: “I don’t know. What are my choices?” Wife: “Yes or no.”)

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: Since my son is about to attend his wedding shower, I want to talk with you about relationships. You need to realize that not everyone meets a significant other during their teen years. At your age, you are probably still trying to figure out who you are, your likes and dislikes, and even what you want to do as a career. While it may seem as if your parents or older siblings or your friends had just one boyfriend or girlfriend and then got married, I hope you won’t feel in any rush to make that big decision. Dating is how you get to know different types of people to see if they are compatible with you. So, don’t think you must have all of the answers now. 

My husband and I have been married for 32 years in September, and we were both 20 years old at our wedding. He was in the Army, and we had the chance to move away from our families of origin to bond with each other and to form our own new family. The two of us have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in common. Yes, you read that correctly. In all of the ways that people can be different, we are. I can watch the same movie repeatedly (and I frequently do), while he barely tolerates it. I have my preferred things I love to eat. He says I am predictable, and he needs variety. He loves the outdoors, while I am allergic to it.

Our biggest argument early in our marriage came after a grocery shopping trip. Our different upbringings about how food was purchased became evident. He said, “Why can’t you be more like me?!” Once I stopped crying, he realized that wasn’t the best thing he could have said. When you do find someone you think would be a good life partner, remember that you are combining the families and histories of both you and that other person. You are mixing your beliefs and quirks with the other person in your life. Although my husband and I joke about having nothing in common, we do have the commitment we made to love each other. Love is a choice, and not every minute you spend together will give you the exciting thrill of a first love or the powerful positive emotion that you assume is automatically associated with committed relationships. On some days, the relationship will be challenging. You just will need to work through any issues you encounter. My husband knows when I need brownies or a trip to the movies by myself. And I understand when he says he needs time in the great outdoors. Love…commitment…choice…happiness.

Have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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