Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 016
2016 November

Inherit attitude of love Learn how to love

Definitions of love and intimate relationships have changed over time. The core value of Hong Kong people has been taken over by “fast food culture”. The patience of cultivating long-term relationship is eroding and replaced by the concept of come and go. Many young people look for short term love and they are quickly immersed in the easily aroused romantic atmosphere of love.

Our Yuen Long District Youth Outreaching Social Work Team organised a programme for lovers to promote self-exploration and to find out the merits of their partners. Since young lovers do not see to know how to handle intimate relationships, different activities were held for young lovers to find out the expectation of one another and enable them to reflect on their choices and how to get along with their partners.

Lovers were asked to join unusual dating activities such as volunteering, taking a walk along the Gold Coast, taking pictures in the school campus of the University of Hong Kong and participating in competition in parties. Lovers then had the opportunity to slow down their pace and know more about their partners. Senior couples were invited to share their experiences of how to maintain a long term relationship, that patience is an important element. All these were shocking to their sense of value in looking for freshness and excitement.

To love and be loved are basic needs, this is the same for service users of our outreaching service. However, their up-bringing and experiences disabled them to have love or they might even have unhappy past experiences. Intimate relationship intervention fulfills one of their major needs in life and is also more acceptable to them. They were more willing to participate and change. Some were willing to quit drugs when they saw the happiness of their partners came from their change, while some learnt to express care and support in times of difficulties and both felt being loved.

Fairy tales are rare in reality, even though young lovers receive counselling that could not guarantee they live happily ever after, some think that breaking ups are normal. One of the service users said, “If we have arguments, social workers would separate us to cool us down. And then we would talk it over sensibly. We learnt that if we argue again, we would use the same way to solve the problem instead of a heated fight.” The enlightenment after the process helped them maintain the relationship and build up more strength and confidence in handling future challenges of life.

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