Have you ever gagged on a sip of wine?
I don’t often, but when I do, it’s usually because I’m watching The Bachelor or Bachelorette. I mean, for one, do you recall Juan Pablo? That’s the tip top Prince Charming America has to offer? And now, the saga just continues with Bachelorette Andi. It’s like a sorority of drama-filled men and too many mini skirts, week after week after week.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette fantasizes love and honestly, it breaks my heart. Love isn’t embodied in elaborate vacations and overnight suites. It’s so much more. Sadly, this television show has become a glorified example of “true love”. In the age of reality TV the media is creating a convincing visual of what “love” is. Even more, they’re showcasing how you find it. And it’s all wrong. The next generation is being fooled about love and marriage. Little girls and young women are watching and listening and perhaps even starting to believe that “love” can be found outside of real life. And that just isn’t the case.
Although my daughter is just three years old, any parent understands that in a blink of an eye she’ll be thirteen and then before I know it, walking down the aisle. But with who?
Of course, I don’t know exactly who, but he has crossed my mind. I’ve prayed for him just as my parents prayed for the husband I’ve been blessed with. And I pray for my daughter and the journey she’ll take to find love. True love. Real love.
Call me controlling, but I imagine my daughter finding love in a more personal way than on a television show. Perhaps it will be at a dance, like how my grandparents met or church like my parents. My husband and I met at school and that seems like a reasonable option too. Truly, my hope is that she’ll experience a real life scenario where she and the potential mister can find common ground, commit to one another before pursuing the next phase of their relationship and see one another in the ups and downs that daily life bring.
And what if she chooses to turn her search for love online? That’s just fine too. You can develop strong, true relationships through online meetings. As a blogger, I know 100% that meaningful relationships are born on the internet. But with love, love needs to go through the test of the everyday. And that’s how I want my daughter to find love.
Between today and when my daughter begins her search for love, I want to show her examples of true love. If we, as a family, can overcome the sensationalized idea of love, I have hope that she’ll be blessed with a relationship that will more closely match what love is – patient, kind, without jealousy or rudeness. I want her to see real couples who have endured. Not endured a television series, but things like heartache, sickness, birth, moves, new jobs, tension and adventures. I want to teach her to fight fair, be vulnerable, confident in herself, care for a home, partner in finances and choose others over herself. I want her to find a man who does the same.
When my daughter finds love I want her to know and feel that it goes far beyond the surface of sex and glamour. Love is not a feeling, it’s an action. It’s the day in and day out of serving your partner. It’s a lifelong commitment. It’s something you find after threshing out a person’s soul and finding that who they are, all the ugliness, is something beautiful. It’s something, someone, you want to be with forever.
So, if the day comes that my daughter asks my opinion about her joining a television “love” show. You can bet my response will be a firm “no”. A glamorized, fast-paced launch into love isn’t love after all and I hope that through our many conversations over the years and study of true love, she’ll make the right decision.
Do you care how your children find love? What steps are you taking now, while they’re impressionable children, to guide their perspective of true love?
This post was originally published on The Baby Gizmo Blog.