Q: Why are all adults (and both of you) always saying «Have a lot of casual friends and don’t get too serious about one person»? Also, some people make «falling in love» seem out of your own control. Is that true? (I’m a girl.)
A: Time brings change. As young people grow and mature, their interests, likes, and dislikes change. We know a young woman in her mid-twenties who said after breaking off a relationship, «I wonder how I could have ever liked him.» The person you think may be so cool and awesome today may seem like a nerd a few years from now. And someone who appears a nerd today may one day become the man of your dreams!
Also, a close relationship formed too early may deprive a young person of the opportunity to get to know and enjoy the friendship of other people. Often when people know that a girl or a guy is going steady with one person, nobody else will talk to them. As part of normal, healthy development young people should become acquainted with as many people of the opposite sex as possible in ways that don’t force them to make strong attachments to just one person.
As for «falling in love,» the expression itself seems to suggest a lack of control, doesn’t it? When we fall, we lose control, and sometimes we get hurt. The same thing can happen when we «fall in love.» True love is a relationship based on choice. It’s not something that happens instantly. Like caring for a tender plant, it grows, develops, and must be nurtured over a period of time.