Now, where was I? Ahh, yes. This was inspired by watching the actions of a person who is very close to me as he has been rather careless in the past few weeks concerning his relations with girls. (No, I'm not talking about M. He comes in later.) Let's call him V for short.
V's carelessness is mostly in the way he talks to and engages girls his age--he's gotten a reputation for being outrageously flirtatious--and as a result he has broken up with two 'official' girlfriends and misled at least two into thinking that he liked them. Many tears have been shed, several hearts have been broken (or at least dropped). The last girl who he was involved with broke up with him a few weeks ago after prom, and I told him that I wanted him to promise me that he'd stay single for a while, at least so there would be less chance for collatoral damage.
The problem is, he's met a girl that he'd like to date. The bigger problem is, both he and this girl are 16. I've told him again and again that dating is, ideally, to find out if someone is marriage material. It's been reduced to 'recreation' and 'fun' by adults who have no serious intentions, and by extension kids who mimic what they see in an attempt to be 'grown-up'; but that doesn't mean that it should still be trivialized to such an extent.
The thing that REALLY bothers me, though, is that he doesn't seem to see a pattern in the way he's been relating to girls. He doesn't see that these short-term relationships are NOT training him to be a good spouse someday; rather, they're creating habits that make him only interested in the now and what feels good.
V was furious at M when the latter broke up with me, and has offered several times to tell the guy off for me. But what he doesn't seem to realize is that he is acting exactly the same way M does. M may be an adult, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have these short-term patterns where he seems interested in someone, finds something wrong with them, and drops them without a qualm. (He had his eye on and may have been involved with at least two women during my 'crush' stage towards him, I made three, and now he's on four in less than a year.) There is no thought or foresight involved--merely 'hmm, this looks good, I'd better take some before it's gone'.
Obviously V isn't to that point yet...but I can see that very easily becoming the case further down the road. First one becomes cavalier...then they become calloused. And when one is hardened like that it's impossible to make them see where they may be wrong.