Are you serious about this, or are you playing with this? We deserve to know.

Are you serious about this, or are you playing with this? We deserve to know.

An interesting trade-off between between youth and maturity is the outlook on time, and risk. When young, it feels like you have all the time in the world to play; consequently, the young tend to take more risks which result in more mistakes, and also more progress. As they age, they realize the fragility of life and the finality of time, and begin to make wiser choices. However, caution can be crippling, especially in matters of the heart.

So which way should we lean? Too much of either can be disastrous, and so it is wise to employ a mix of discretion and abandon. You have to be willing to protect it at all costs, and throw it all away at a moment’s notice if conditions call for it. One thing is certain: you cannot afford to wait to secure love with someone you want to be with. To do so is to risk losing them to the circumstances of life.

In order for a relationship to work, two very important factors must align. The first is the stage in life you two are in, and the second is the similarity of your purpose. Neither of these you have total control over, and neither of them are related to the usual compatibility/attraction factor.  Success in love is as much about two people sharing the same mind as it is about attraction. You have to both want the same thing, the same way, and be committed to a shared effort to obtain it. But those are ideal circumstances – we all know it doesn’t quite work out that way, right? Often, people have varying degrees of intention, levels of motivation, and methods for pursuit.

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In situations like these, there always comes a moment of truth. And sometimes you will experience the hardest thing to accept about love: no matter how bad you want someone, how good you two would be as one, you cannot make them want it the same way you do. And you can’t continue to give them the best of you in the hopes that they will get serious. Doing so will only subject you to despair, the likes of which will cause you to despise the one you adore.

On the chance that it falls apart, don’t be so quick to ascribe it to a lack of compatibility. Some people are just not at the point in their lives where they take love serious. And that is most unfortunate, since it might’ve worked had they been as serious about you as you them. You could wait for the next lifetime, a parallel reality, whatever you call it – but the reality is that you must move on; your crush is ineligible as far you are concerned.

How different it seems on the other side of the coin, where we’ve all been at one point or another. Not everybody has malicious intentions during these periods. Some of us are just plain unsure about what to do. But an interesting consequence of indecision is how time will close the window of opportunity and leave you wondering what could have been. As we age, we add life experiences, some of which are no longer compatible with everyone. You would be surprised how one pregnancy, or arrest, or night with someone else can move a person out of your life permanently.

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To help ourselves find the ones who are on our level, we must learn to identify when someone is still playing with life, and avoid them no matter how strong their allure may be. Factors include reckless behavior, little or no future plans (for you) and the lack of purpose for your relationship. They love to cite “living in the moment” as a valid excuse for playing in your life like a sandbox. But you cannot afford not to plan your life and your steps with such carelessness. Understand that if you two aren’t growing together, you’re growing apart. And if she isn’t willing to tie her life into yours and double-knot it, then she’s just a leaf who will wither and fall by the wayside as the seasons pass. Yall stay solid in 2014.