The kids are alright. We think. Truth be told we haven’t seen our kids since the last day of school. We basically did a Costco run, bought tons of easy packaged food, bricked up our door and have been living in our bedroom. Sure we can hear them wreaking havoc and we are sure they are doing some kind of construction out there but we stay hidden writing about love myths. Today’s myth has been perpetuated for eons and continues to be among all cultures and forms of media. This myth is one of the worst things a parent can teach their child, aside from eating Cheese nips for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Lee says: I have been told that I have no idea what I’m talking about. I have been told that I’m talking out of the wrong orifice and that my opinions are suspect because I lack one very important thing. What could I be missing? I have a good education. I have 23 plus years of experience as a psychotherapist. I read tons of research daily. So what is wrong with my opinion?
Myth: The quantity of experience is what is important. (Love is about quantity).
In other words, since I did not bed dozens of men or have my heart broken on regular intervals, I am not to be trusted. How could I understand the complexity and pain of love? To the naysayers, I say I have never been bitten by a shark but I know that their teeth are very sharp.
To these people who believe that sewing your oats is how to learn to love I give them the following analogy: I love to play baseball/softball. If I, without any coaching or sage advice decide to go to bat with a crappy swing, and play hundreds of games swinging the bat wildly without any correction, sooner or later, I will be benched and not allowed to play the game. My teammates/friends will cringe when I go to bat. My confidence will plummet. My game will suffer to the point that I may choose to stop playing all together all because I have a dysfunctional swing. As in love, swinging the bat poorly in hundreds of games will never make me successful, neither will having affair after affair.
As parents, we tell our kids to go out there and take their swings without coaching or an idea of what they should be doing. We tell them to experience things and that will make them better people. Ultimately, too much heartbreak makes them bitter people. Also, this advice may actually have your child miss the opportunity of love. If we are so concentrated on quantity of experience we forget about the quality. We could possibly pass on the real experience of love for another batting cage of empty pitches with no base running (and that’s where we will end this silly analogy).
I have been blessed. I did have my share of crushes but I have only loved one man. I am also a little leery whether the amount of love people report is real. Sure, you can care for people and be passionate and have orgasms and kids and all sorts of experience but are you really in love? Many people who have divorced or broken up and subsequently started a new relationship that is healthier find that they may have never really been in love with their former partner. An experience, yes, but to what end? Personally, I would prefer if my kids avoided the pain and watched for the good pitches instead of swinging at everything. And you thought I was done with the baseball references.
Paul says: I think that I disagree. I am a fan of learning by trial. Teach a kid how to swim by throwing them into the deep end. Letting them bounce from car bumper to car bumper is a brilliant way to teach them how to cross the street. If they survive the lesson, all you need to do is shrug and push them back into danger. Yes, I like it. Love is a lot less romantic when you apply a little old school Darwin and some survival of the fittest mentality.