Relationships need maturity
Q⁄A on Human Sexuality for Teenagers

John Ooi Peng Lee
Master of Engineering, University of Singapore
Master in Education, University of Manchester
Reproduced with permission.


Question 2:

I met him eight months ago at a school party, and our relationship has grown tremendously since. We're thinking of getting married soon after we finish our exams at the end of this year.

Answer 2:

It is exciting to get to know another person well, isn't it? However, given your age and situation, it would be advisable to slow things down. There is much to think about before you make a commitment to another person. It is better to let your relationship develop slowly but steadily, than to make promises to each other that will be difficult to keep later on.

Life nowadays is complex, and demands many skills and capabilities from individuals. As an adult, you will have to live out multiple roles, as spouse, parent, employee, supervisor, citizen, etc. To be able to make an effective contribution to your future family and to society, you have to be adequately prepared. This preparation is not just getting academic qualifications or going through a vocational course in a post-school institution. There are many developmental tasks that each maturing young person must undertake in order to be successful and productive. For instance, you will have to ask yourself questions like "What do I want from life? What should I work for?" or "Why do I behave like this? What values will guide my actions?" Therefore, as you become adult, you have to begin planning your life and setting your goals, to develop self-discipline and self-mastery to help you better achieve your goals, to clarify your set of values and your sense of what is right and wrong, and to develop moral courage and strength to stand up for what you believe in.


A simple way of putting it is to say that you need to become more mature. There are many aspects to maturity, of which the more important would be social, emotional, mental and spiritual maturity. You would be socially mature if you are unselfish, work well with and are helpful towards others, and can say sorry graciously. To be emotionally mature is to be able to accept yourself as you are, to accept criticisms or to face difficulties peacefully, and to know how to release anger and frustration without hurting others. A mentally mature person would accept responsibilities without looking for short-cuts or excuses, and would be dependable, organised, self-confident, and willing to give up immediate pleasures in order to achieve future goals. And being spiritually mature would mean that you can accept situations beyond your control but are willing to work hard to change those that you can change, and regularly take time to think about the meaning of Life beyond material gain and to search for God.


nov 31/Jul/00