Dear Grandparenting: Grandson Cameron has this thing for older women! Over the Christmas/New Year holiday, his parents got together with friends and rented beach cottages in Florida for the week. Cam developed a crush on a flirty young lady down there who came along with her parents.
This is the first time my grandson has fallen really hard for a girl. But this particular one happens to be a college sophomore and Cam is still in high school! Poor Cam is way in over his head. She’s going to be a heartbreaker and everyone in the world except Cam sees what’s coming.
I was a fool for love who felt totally devastated when my first crush rejected me. You can see my dilemma. My instinct is to step in and spare my grandson from getting hurt, but that’s violating his personal space. Any words of wisdom for this grandmother? Dolly W., Kingsport, Tennessee
Dear Dolly: We came of age listening to Neil Sedaka’s 1962 hit “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” and Neil wasn’t kidding. But most of us are sooner or later unlucky at love, and we manage to survive. Better to have loved and lost, goes the saying, than to never love at all. Your grandson will pick up and move on.
Because they are more socialized, it’s been our experience that granddaughters take their early romantic relationships somewhat seriously, while grandsons are inclined treat pairing up more casually and even clown about break-ups. As teens age and develop their sexual attraction and emotional intimacy, romantic attachments become more intense from day one until the bitter end. Love hurts.
But according to research, we worry too much. In a study of Northwestern University freshmen involved in long-term dating relationships, their forecasts of distress and happiness following a break-up overestimated both their initial anguish and recovery time, regardless of gender or who dumped whom.
Americans, said psychologist Paul Eastwick, are overly pessimistic about the emotional impact of distressing deeds and generally poor judges of future events. His findings are consistent with other studies that showed people facing surgery envision suffering greater distress than they actually experience. And lottery winners are convinced they’ll enjoy greater happiness than they actually do after receiving their payout.
GRAND REMARK OF THE WEEK
Mick the Quick from Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, was explaining to grandson Michael, 6, why he lived with three dogs.
“They’re always with you and like it that way,” said Mick. “They say dogs are man’s best friend.”
Michael was quiet, processing the information. “I think you might be my best friend, Grandpa. You don’t bite either.”
Dee and Tom, married more than 50 years, have eight grandchildren. Together with Key, they welcome questions, suggestions and Grand Remarks of the Week. Send to P.O. Box 27454, Towson, MD, 21285. Call 410-963-4426.