Today, a young girl often finds herself burdened by numerous pressures, nearly as many as a women handling a house, a husband, job and her own life. Though it sounds incredible, it’s somewhat worrisome and has an impact on life and relationships from the start.
Pressure begins as the little one rebels about getting up in the middle of her/his sleep and going through the daily rituals of catching the school bus laden with a heavy bag. And if a school is not a regimented space then nothing is! It also requires conforming — firstly to the system and next to the peer-group. Kids at school are an invisible club and even a child does not want to be seen as ‘different’!
Youngsters too want to ‘belong’ and one has to admit that pressure is going to be the defining part of life. Many young college-going kids come under immense pressure to sleep with someone just after the first or second date. And the fear of him or her losing interest if they don’t succumb, is immense.
While both enjoy being together and there is the heat of attraction, is it love? Physicality and infatuation have a shelf life that comes with unrealistic expectation and lack of loyalty or commitment. Today’s idea of love is often very ‘nightclub sex after numerous shots of vodka’ — often encouraged and coveted by the bimbette brigade who carouse the midnight rent-a-crowd parties in fast cities, getting inebriated. No poetic romance for this lot. It is like a strong drug that draws you back, wanting to explore the depths of lust that promises longevity.
My young twenty-something friend tells me faithfulness is a dead concept and it would be unrealistic to expect it from her partner. She just looks the other way. “And yet I may not ever want to get married, because for now, I can manage with an unfaithful partner, but in the long term I don’t wish to have a husband who every now and then traipses off on a tryst with another woman while I’m chewing my nails and wondering if he’ll come back to me.”
Freedom of individual choice is something worth striving for. The corollary to this is you being able to take on the consequences of your choice. Living in, multiple partners, staying single, or a conventional married life — your decisions cannot be guided by peer pressure.
It is essential to step back and evaluate your life and what you want from it because no two people and no two lives are identical. Don’t be scared about being different and standing apart, you’d want to look back on your life and say that you did things your way, also keeping in mind your ecosystem of parents’ sensitivities, your goals as well as your inner matrix. Perhaps your sensitivities may not be cut out for fly by night relationships that leave you feeling empty and bereft? Ask yourself if it’s a better idea to wait for companionship, love, romance and something more enriching.
The writer is a columnist, designer and brand consultant. Mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org