Monday, July 6, 2009

I Wanted to be Loved

Usually, adolescent sex is a quest for a steady relationship, not sex. Steady relationships can remove aloneness for months. Yet the fear of losing that person and being lonely again prompts one to have sex to keep that person. But what they are really looking for is affection and companionship. After I returned from a speaking tour in England, a student wrote me a letter in which she said, “I just want someone to love me (not physically).” Then she made a statement which I think communicates where most young people are today, not just in our Western culture, but around the world: “I want someone who cares. I want to love and I want to be loved, but I don’t know how to do either.”

Some girls want to have a baby in hopes that their boyfriend will marry them, and then he and the child will take away her loneliness. Even in the case of teenage pregnancies where marriage does not follow, approximately 96 percent of teenage unwed mothers who do not have an abortion end up keeping their children. This is generally done in order to meet their own emotional need for companionship—that is, to have a child to love and to return love to them. Babies should be loved and nurtured, not born with the role of filling the unmet needs of an adolescent mother.

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