Love Does Not Hurt! Especially Not Like This!

A dear friend of mine experienced a horrific tragedy this week. Her lovely 22 year old daughter was brutally stabbed and murdered by an ex-boyfriend. Someone who allegedly loved her over the past 8 years, yet took her life in a rage of anger. They were two kids that began a relationship when they were about 14 and 17 years of age.

I don’t have all of the answers and still can’t wrap my mind around how this comes to be. But I have my thoughts on this subject. Not that these ideas could have solved or prevented this but I think they are worth listening to.

I personally have two beautiful boys. One is 12 years old and the other just four. How cute is it that they both have crushes on a girl with the same name? It is really not that cute at all. I have heard people ask my youngest “do you have a girlfriend?” Now I know they are just being silly with my little boy but I really think it all starts here.

As parents and adults we need to stop putting so much emphasis on our children dating and having crushes. We are encouraging their young hearts to get attached when they aren’t mature enough to handle the emotions. I have some young facebook friends (middle and high school kids) and I see their statuses change from single to in a relationship in just hours. They post messages on each other’s wall saying things like “I love you” and song lyrics that they don’t even understand. “Tell me that I’m special even when I know I’m not” were some recent lyrics I saw on a facebook wall. This is from a song by The Plain White T’s that sends a chill through my spine. They feel they are so special and important because they are in some form of a relationship. And then one day it ends and these kids are dealing with emotions of rejection that their immature minds can’t manage.

Let’s stop asking our kids about their crushes and start asking about sports, hobbies, friends and school. Let’s stop encouraging them to fall in love when they are too young. Because when that loves goes away they will lack the ability to cope. Encourage them to find hobbies and interests that make them feel special. And down the road when they are more mature to fall in love they will be able to handle the rejection because they will continue to have other wonderful things in their lives.

Another thought on this subject…Our children need to learn how to lose and experience the pain that goes along with it. I remember watching my son play baseball for many years. There were kids that got up to bat and simply never swung the bat. Odds are they would get a bad pitch and the parents would yell “good eye, good eye”. This is not true. The kid didn’t not have a good eye, he never ever swings the bat. Why is it so painful to tell our children the truth and let them experience the pain that comes with life? Tell him he doesn’t practice enough and he is letting the team down. Let them feel defeat and learn how to react and manage it. Otherwise we protect them for so long and one day they lose their girlfriend and they can’t handle the pain. They never learned the coping skills to get through heart ache or rejection.

These are not meant to be excuses for what happened in any way. There is no excuse for such a thing. I am just trying to understand how this could possibly happen! And maybe begin to prevent this from happening again.

My last message is to anyone in a relationship that claims they are in love. According to love is defined as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person. If this is not how it feels you are not in love! When someone calls you a slut, bitch, bastard they are not expressing love. When someone hurts you physically or emotionally they are not loving you. It is not cute and endearing to be jealous, it is in fact a serious red flag. I cringe when I see these young folks post things on their facebook walls like “love hurts” or “I will never give up on us”. Love by definition does not hurt! If it is not tender and passionate don’t call it love. If it is dangerous and scary get help! There is a new and free iphone app called td411. It is for teens and primarily addresses dating violence. It is free and can be hidden. Also the hotline number for CT is 888-774-2900.

Love is how Teresa and Jose feel about their beautiful daughter Suzete. Love is how Danny feels about his sister that was taken from him way too soon. Love is affectionate and not painful. Please stop accepting anything less in your relationships. Let’s learn from this horrific experience and do our best to stop it from ever happening again. Take care of yourselves, your friends and your children. And for now I will take care of my dear friend Teresa!

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