The sixth developmental stage is between 20-39 years and the most common question by a majority of young people at this age is: Can I love? Intimacy vs. isolation is another term used to refer to this stage since people are in relationships while others are in marriages. Young people are always afraid of rejections and heart breaks from their partners because they believe so much in love and without love, they despise themselves.
Advice that I can give to someone going through early adulthood and is confused about feeling for a partner is to consult other people about his/her situation. Asking for advice from older people with experience in love will help in a significant way (Santrock, 2018). Being open-minded is always the best thing in a relationship though it is advisable to choose who to tell some secrets since some friends give wrong advice to others. Another advice is to learn to forgive at all time. No single person is perfect, and partners keep on wronging each other which is normal in any relationship. If this person loves his/her partner, it is good to forgive whenever the partner does a wrong thing. A mistake done by a person can create confusion since that person might end up thinking that his partner does not care about her. Sometimes it might be very hard to forgive a person, but if love indeed exists between them, then forgiveness is an essential thing as well.
Breaking up the relationship and having some time alone to make a right decision will be appropriate. It will be very hard for that person to decide while still in a relationship but being alone for some time is advisable. If that person is truly in love with his/her partner, it will be very hard to stay for a long time without communicating with each other. This is because they miss being together but if the person will stay for several days without communication and still feels good, then there is no love between that person and his/her partner. In such a situation, the best thing to do is to move on and forget about that partner and look for another partner after sometimes. Being slow to anger is also a good character in a relationship because anger creates confusion and negative attitude towards a partner (Santrock, 2018). If this person can avoid anger and try to find solutions in another way, it could end his/her confusion about feelings for a partner.
From my own experience with love, when I was dating with my partner, several things kept me moving despite the ups and downs of our relationship. Whenever I got confused, I used to consult my big sister who was already married, and she could advise me on what to do. Another thing which helped me is avoiding some friend’s company which did not have any benefits to me. I noticed many guys were being stressed up due to peer pressure and for me to avoid being a victim; I had to maintain just a few friends who were my role model. Forgiveness was another driver in my relationship, though sometimes it was hard to forgive some mistakes, but I had to since no one is perfect. There was one point where I was confused since there were several prospective partners who were interested in me but I had to use a unique strategy where I consulted my friends who helped me decide.
The most painful experience in this stage is rejection because this is a point where young people develop a capacity to offer love, emotionally and physically. As discussed above, it is good to consider the type of friend to hang out with because their company plays a significant role in determining how to relate to a partner. If things become so hard, it is advisable to seek professional help before it’s too late to handle a situation.
- Santrock, J. (2018). Essentials of Life-Span Development. Google Books. Retrieved 21 March 2018