Let's Celebrate Failed Relationships

  Shelley and Chris

Shelley and Chris

There’s a popular fashion magazine with covers so tantalizing, I often turn them around in the grocery checkout. The model on the front is always presenting herself in some sort of a “come hither” pose accompanied by clothing that almost-but-not-quite covers practically anything at all.

Modesty aside, the 21st century woman in me is greatly bothered by the constant bombardment my 3 daughters endure from our media like this magazine that communicates to them that their value is in their sex appeal. Just plain yuck.

But recently a friend asked me for bachelorette party game ideas, and since I don’t really like playing silly party games, I turned to the internet for help. The first site that popped up when I googled something like “bachelorette party games that aren’t dumb” was none other than the magazine with the smutty covers. My friend and her crowd are savvy 20-somethings, so I thought maybe said magazine would have some fun ideas that we could use while we celebrated. 

Why, knowing the source of the article I was reading, was I then bothered as I read  the idea to play “Ex-Charades”? The directions went something like this: Split into two teams and act out the bride’s former boyfriends, hookups, or crushes.

For a magazine whose target audience seems to be young urban professionals, why are they still writing stuff as dumb as that? Oh, young bride-to-be with a degree or two behind your name, it’s time to get smart. A string of former boyfriends, hookups, and crushes is about the dumbest thing we could be celebrating. And I know not one grown-up married woman who doesn’t regret that past anyway.

How about instead of making light of failed relationships and one-night-stands, we come to terms with the fact that none of those scenarios makes for very good marriage preparation? And let’s come to terms with it sooner than later, because sooner or later many of us will have daughters who are making a lifelong commitment to be someone’s wife, and the more seriously she can regard that decision when she’s entering the world of grown-up dating and sex, the more apt she’ll be to find success in that most important relationship. 

It’s not rocket science. Statistically, marriages that occur after strings of other disposable relationships become easily disposed of. Sex that is casually sought after in one hook-up after another becomes a liability rather than an asset to every future relationship.

I’m not trying to be a buzzkill, I’m just telling you the truth. Pursue marriage and relationships built on mutual trust and respect and you’ll find you’ve got something to truly celebrate. But believe our culture’s abominably misguided media propaganda about sex and relationships and you’re headed for something far, far less than what a fulfilling marriage can be.