Unexpected Love Lessons

This weekend I had a good conversation about dating with a friend of mine who’s in a long distance relationship.

We talked about boys, sleepovers, the future and more.

I should probably mention that she’s 6.

She confessed that everything was great between her and her honey Smith when they went to the same pre-school, but the separation of being at different kindergartens had put some strain on their relationship. She was confident though, because their parents had set up a playdate for them soon.

As the conversation progressed, it got me thinking about relationships and growing up, and how even though so much changes, it’s crazy how much stays the same.

I was surprised to hear how many similarities exist between the love life of a 6 year old and a 26 year old.

When I asked her what she liked about Smith, my friend replied that he treats her “nice” and lets her do what she wants to do. She likes that he “isn’t mean to her in front of his friends”, and that he tells her that she’s pretty. Well, that doesn’t sound too different from what us older gals want from a guy, right?

The fact that he’s nice to her dolls is much like appreciating a guy for getting along with our friends. Her being impressed by the fact that he has a Wii sounds a lot like us being influenced by a guy’s job or apartment.

Slumber parties turn into sleepovers, play dates turn into dinner dates. We trade juice boxes for cocktails, car seats for cabs, and bunk beds for a decent queen from Ikea.

I thought back to playground wedding ceremonies (In which I was always a bridesmaid, never a bride), and vows written using Ferngully quotes. Comparing those to weddings of my friends now, things really don’t seem to be too terribly different. The sentiments remain the same, and ceremonial priorities just transition in cost.

Lots of boys are still jerks, and there are times when we may long for a good cootie shot, but that element of just wanting to be admired, appreciated and understood stays with us for life.

We still play hard to get, but now it’s through text messaging instead of Tag.

The boys with the cuter clothes and cooler houses may have an edge, but at the end of the day we still like the boy who offers to carry our books (Or help us put together furniture, as the case may be.)

Instead of visiting us in the nurses office, they bring us coffee as we endure a hangover, or buy us a drink instead of something from the snack bar.

As I listened to her, I realized that as frightening as it may be at times, we really don’t change all that much. We gain wisdom and skills and (hopefully) learn from our mistakes, but our spirits stay the same, and the things we want may develop, but don’t necessarily fundamentally alter. And in a weird way I found some comfort in that.

I hope she and Smith can work it out.

You can read more from Tarreyn Van Slyke on her blog.

Featured image via.

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