Rose-colored glasses: An optimistic perception of something; a positive opinion; seeing something in a positive way, often thinking of it as better than it actually is.
Sex: it’s no big deal, right?
Well, if you’ve been following our previous posts, you already know about the connection neurochemicals create (Part 1), as well as the startling STD facts among young people (Part 2), but what about something a little less scientific, yet just as alarmingly unhealthy?
You know what I’m talking about: you start a new relationship and you’re convinced your significant other could walk on water! The more bonded you become, the harder you “fall.” Boom, you’ve put on rose-colored glasses. The glasses become harder to take off the more you continue to bond (and as we’ve already read about, sex creates a strong neurochemical bond between individuals).
So what’s the harm in thinking your boo is the greatest thing since sliced bread?
When the rose-colored glasses go on, individuals may begin missing red flags, or justifying their partner’s behavior, because they’ve become so deeply and intimately invested.
At CPR, we teach about red flags of abuse, including:
- Double standards
- Controlling behavior
- Threats of self-harm
- Playing Rough
- Non-consensual sex
- And violence
While these may all seem obvious to an observer, the bond created by physical intimacy can severely mask these red flags. Not only that but once someone has decided to become physically intimate with another, it can take a lot of courage to end the relationship if a red flag arises. Sometimes people justify staying in the relationship because they’re already in too deep.
Abstinence gives clarity: without the bond created by sex, individuals have the freedom to get to know each other based on their CHARACTER. If they find their partner’s character isn’t what they’re looking for, they can move on with much less heartbreak (though not without some, of course) than if they had been physically intimate.
CPR advocates abstinence until marriage as the HEALTHIEST option for everyone.
Here are some quotes from real CPR students who realized they’d been wearing their rose-colored glasses for too long:
“I learned what it means to be in a healthy relationship. I was previously in an abusive relationship and it wasn’t until health this year that I really acknowledged that. He controlled my entire life and was highly abusive. This week has motivated and inspired me to never fall that low again. Thank you.”
“I learned that not all relationships are worth it. I broke up with my boyfriend because he was possessive and protective and I’m so much happier now.”
“I learned that my last relationship was fairly toxic and I’m glad I left when I did because it could have turned into an abusive relationship. I didn’t really know what was normal and what wasn’t until today.”
Wow! Hearing about red flags made these teens realize they’d been overlooking some red flags in their own relationships. Physical intimacy is a powerful thing. Young people need to be reminded that they’re worth waiting for; their mental, emotional, social, and physical health all depend on it.
Whether it’s the chemical bonding in the brain that happens during sex (Part 1), the risk of contracting an STI (Part 2), or the risk of missing a serious red flag, abstaining from sex until marriage provides individuals with time: time to focus on themselves as an individual within that relationship, time to live life STI-free, and time to get to know their partner’s true character. After all, in the midst of such a busy world, we could all use a little more time, right?
Are you looking for ways to have conversations regarding some of the points you’ve just read about? Here are some questions to consider asking a young person in your life:
- Do you have any questions about sex?
- What are some important character traits you’d like your future spouse to have?
- What do you think might be some benefits of waiting to have sex?
- Reiterate: Do you know that not everyone your age is having sex?
Interested in more tips on talking to a young person about sex and relationships? Did you know that every donation made to CPR qualifies you for a FREE Parent Guide? It’s a great resource covering things like conversation starters, at-home activities to do with your teen, creative group activities you can suggest your teen does with their friends, and SO MUCH MORE! Donate today and receive your copy!