Graduating Child [PIC]

College is when I first noticed this, but its even more applicable outside the hallowed halls of my alma mater. You had a lot of girls ready for a real committed relationship (or at least they claimed they were) and a lot of guys who wanted none of that “boo boo” business.

But on the other hand, some guys were worst than the women … damn near wanting to get married … often times meeting a female who wanted to “play the field”. Why was this disconnect so commonplace?

Psychologists use the idea of mental age and chronological age for a long time. It comes into play with your IQ, when placing you in regular school or special education, and determining mental retardation in some aspect. Well, if your intelligence can be translated into an age, why can’t your ability to successfully enter and maintain a relationship.

Relationship Age … simply stated … is a number that shows your ability to enter and maintain a relationship. Sometimes you have the ability to be the best boyfriend/girlfriend on earth, but your desire to date like there is no tomorrow hurts your score. You could be ready to find your husband/wife tomorrow and settle down … but selfishness, unwillingness to compromise, or the fact you can’t not f*ck someone who offers may is going to keep you from reaching relationship puberty.

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The concept is solid … but the actual definition of each age is a work in progress … but here is the current list … a work in progress (so feel free to add or offer redefinitions). Based on Paiget’s levels.

Infant (0-2 years)

You are selfish, or a chronic cheater, or a self-confessed “player for life”, or <insert dealbreaker>. Luckily, you aren’t looking for a relationship and couldn’t get a decent mate if you tried. Not only are the “red flags” so obvious you might as well have a tattoo on their forehead, but they also poision anything approaching a relationship.

Toddler (2-7 years)

You are capable of puppy love and crushes. As long as serious motions aren’t involved and things aren’t serious, you can maintain a “situation” for long enough to earn you a title. Too bad it always ends relatively soon and real “commitment” still scares you … but at least the word “relationship” isn’t foreign anymore.

Youngin* (7-11 years)

Thought of a girlfriend isn’t so bad. You have learned to make little compromises and kind of care about someone other than yourself. You realize that your actions can hurt another person … but … it hasn’t stopped you from “doing you” when needed. Seeing happy people has made you think a boyfriend/girlfriend isn’t so bad anymore. If only she/he didn’t complain so much (“what you mean we gotta talk everyday?!?!?!”).

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Teenager (11-17 years)

You are definitely open to a real relationship. The though of things like marriage scare you … but a real commitment isn’t bad at all. You still got your flaws, and you still f*ck up every now and again, but your capable of compromise, can listen to the other person, and can show affection. You may even drop an L bomb (the word “love”) if you felt it was right. One common flaw at this age is just not knowing yourself or what you really want. The desire is there … but the execution still needs work.

Adulthood (18+ years)

You finally made it. The key to getting here was finally learning yourself and coming to terms with it. You are willing, ready, and prepared for a lifetime commitment. You know what it takes to keep your counterpart happy and smiling all day. You don’t have ridiculous demands, you give as well as you ask, and you don’t ask for more than you deserve. If you meet another adult … you’ll make a beautiful union … too bad most people never make it above teenager and you fall into some 3% of the population. Maybe you can teach one of these teens something … maybe …

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I know someone is going to ask “so what level are you at SBM?”. Well … don’t worry about me … worry about you … but I will say this … I’m not a relationship adult yet. I’m still on my journey of self discovery and the thought of marriage seems so so far away. But I see myself growing … so I’m not worried … yet.

*To anyone from the DC area, I understand “Youngin” is a term not tied to age … but it just works here. Besides … no one says youngin anymore!