Many young people are finding devastating ways to discover love

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 3, 2006

I’ve said it before that some people are still choosing devastating ways to find love and some teens are using poor role models in starting families.

On Monday night, a new program was premiered on ABC TV Channel 13 called, “How to Get the Guy.” This program deals with four young single women living in San Francisco and engaging in volume dating, not to find any guy, but the right guy for them. If the peer pressure of our society, TV programs similar to this one and talk shows to find Mr. Right would lighten up on this subject, many people wouldn’t ruin their lives choosing the wrong partner.

On Saturday, as I was traveling to Atlantic City, N.J., we stopped at a restaurant. As I was washing my hands in the restroom, there were two young girls who looked to be in their teens standing behind me waiting for me to finish. After one girl informed the other that she was pregnant and wasn’t going to get married, she also said that they do it all the time in Hollywood, and that she knew two couples who had babies and are still in loving relationships.


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I assume that those two relationships are Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. The problem is that these couples seem to be putting the cart before the horse. I agree with Dr. Phil McGraw, relationship therapist and talk show host, when he says that the most important thing that you can do for your child is to show them a happy marriage relationship where the two people in it are in love and devoted to each other. Having children before marriage might mean that the parents never get married and that the child never gets the chance to experience a normal family life.

The first sad story on Good Morning America called “How to Protect Your Teen,” is a big one in the news today. Christine Lester,

Detroit, Mich., went on the Web site to find her “Mr. Right.” She is a straight-A student and tricked her parents into thinking that she was going to take a trip with friends to Canada and needed a passport. Instead, last week she flew to Israel to meet a total stranger. The FBI found out that she had been communicating with him online for three months after the family contacted them. The FBI then caught up with her during a layover in Amman, Jordan, and convinced her to return home.

It turned out that the man in Israel is a wealthy businessman who sent Lester the ticket to visit him. He seemed very psychotic and very possessive.

The advice to parents on this segment was to be nosy and watchful of your teen, and don’t assume that they are safe when on the computer.

On Tuesday morning the Good Morning America show had another segment on dating called “The Dangers of Online Dating.” Two women told their stories. One was almost raped after she gave the man she met online her address and he came to her house. The other one was conned out of a substantial amount of money.

For the last two Sundays at my church, there have been sermons dealing with relationships. The first was Marriage Enrichment Sunday and the other was Singles Sunday. I suppose that I am now in the singles category since I was widowed in 1998 after being married for 28 years. However, I don’t consider myself being single or married because I really think of being single as never ever being married to anyone. After I talked to a couple of other widows in the church, they said that they felt the same way. We should be in a category all by ourselves with a name like Widowed Single or Experienced Single because we have experienced married life. Getting married again for some of us could mean making really drastic decisions dealing with finances or the possibility of being disabled in the near future and a new partner’s willingness to stay put.

So I look at widower or widowhood (till death do us part) as the victory that overcame the ups and downs of marriage, that we are role models to those who are still in a marriage, and as some of us being able to still live life to the fullest. We’re doing it, as Frank Sinatra sang, “My way.”

I just experienced a revelation. There is light at the end of the tunnel after the death of a loved one.

Wall is a former News-Herald reporter and regular contributor to the Town Square page.