“Relationships Take Hard Work” was the title of one of the workshops Becky attended as part of the NDSC Youth and Adult Conference.Â At least the title made an impact on Becky.Â I still haven’t heard much of the content, but she knows that relationships take work!Â She has not yet entered into any exclusive relationships, just friendships, but she is learning what it means to have a friend.
I am learning alot about this new dating culture among the adults with Down syndrome.Â It appears that the national conference is an annual reunion of sorts where they see old friends, and meet new friends.Â Many families make this their annual vacation and the kids/adults look forward to it all year.Â The Buddy Cruise, which is in its 3rd year, is also an annual event that families will probably like to do every year.Â Meeting a new friend in a new state, does not seem to pose a problem in this world of electronic communication and ease of travel.Â If they meet someone they are interested in, they keep in touch and get to know them.Â Some families decide to visit each other through the year spending up to a month at a time in each other’s state.Â Long distance relationships seem to be par for the course among the adults with Down syndrome.
At this stage in the game, it seems to be about like Jr. High to me.Â The young adults fall in love after one evening of dancing and have no idea how to cultivate a friendship.Â Usually known for being “loving”, they are huggy and ready to tell each other they love each other.Â They are drawn to relationships simply because it is the thing to do.Â In Jr. High, we felt left out if we didn’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
Since we returned, Becky has had calls from two new friends (boys).Â She also realized how much her friends (boys) here missed her.Â It is dawning on her that many boys like her and she does not have to pick one exclusively right now.
Yes, Becky is planning to get married some day, but after this last conference, she is realizing that relationships do take work.Â For now, she is content to bask in the glow of her suitors’ admiration.