20 is such a conflicting age. When I was a young kid, I thought that hitting 20 years old meant reaching adulthood and having your life figured out. But now I’m almost 21 and I have my life less figured out than I did when I was younger. When asked a serious question when young, for example, what job I wanted when I grew up, I could give a clear-cut answer because I had no reason to question my decisions even when this answer was to determine a path to take many years later. However, at the age of 20, words have more meaning because suddenly answers given to live questions are relevant.
In a recent, casual conversation, it was mentioned that a couple who had been together for several years broke up simply because one individual wanted kids and the other didn’t. Just like that, a 3-or-so yearlong relationship was over. Isn’t it incredible that you can find someone who you think is “your person” because you click in so many ways but due to one uncompromisable opinion the rest of your compatibility is rendered irrelevant? For this reason, I wonder, is it better to discuss the big, deal-breaking questions before a relationship gets serious? My thoughts are that an open line of communication throughout all stages of a relationship is key. No question is off the table at any point in time, and you should answer as honestly as you can at that moment while understanding that opinions may change but you can’t expect them to.
There is no right or wrong way to approach and develop a relationship and even if your relationship ends after an extended period, the time you spent with that person wasn’t necessarily wasted time, but hopefully, time enjoyed. However, maybe we could save ourselves some heartache if we normalized asking deal-breaking questions earlier in a relationship even before being sure that we want a future with this person.