It's been a while since this thought has been running through my mind. Probably because it is a topic of discussion over the dining table at home these days. One of my close relatives recently fell in love with a girl he has been "seeing" since the past 8 months or so. His intentions are sincere. He wants to marry the girl and bring her home. Apparently, what is not so sincere is the fact that he was "seeing" her and is now "in love" with her.
The readers of this article, to me would be in either of the below two categories. Those that are parents and those still teenagers or parents to be. A teenager reading it, would think, what's so wrong in going-out with someone and falling in love with him or her? Parents on the other hand would think somewhere in the middle. The concept may sound fine as a whole to them but when it comes to their own son or daughter (focus being on daughters) would they accept it? Probably not. I wonder why. Is it because they don't trust their own children and their judgment or is it because they don't trust society as a whole or are unsure of the way they've brought up their children?
Teenage life today, whether in India or outside has become so different compared to 7 or 10 years ago. Education and technology have opened several doors for students to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures. Gone are the days when a daughter or son would get married to a person that his or her parents suggest without first scrutinizing and making sure whether this person would meet their expectations in terms of education, looks and wavelength of thoughts.
How much freedom do teenagers have to explore? Or rather, how much should they be allowed to have is the question. Being a university student myself, I am well aware that a circle of friends does not consist of the same gender anymore. And if she finds someone interesting, she should be given enough freedom and support to help her make a right choice and decision. Parents should be open and involved in the going-on in her life.
Personally, I'm certainly not at a stage where I can advice parents on "should you allow your daughter to go on a date?" But all I'd request or suggest is find a common ground where both parents and children are able to see the positive points in the viewpoint of the other. And of course, the question of dating shall solve itself.
Finally, remember that dating is of two kinds: recreational (for fun or companionship) and in search of a future spouse. You should avoid the latter until this annulment procedure has been completed.