Nathan Bates and Ashley Salyer may have hit a bump in the road of their courtship, but they are handling it with wisdom far beyond their years.
Let me just take a moment to applaud these two for recognizing and trying to work through their differences. That moment during tonight's episode of Bringing Up Bates where the couple sought out Kelly Jo and Gil Bates' counsel was so impressive. It was definitely a point in favor for courtship.
Rather than just enjoy spending time together getting to know one another, Ashley and Nathan are really taking the time to think through a future together by communicating.
"You know, I don't want Ashley to change," Nathan said in his conversation with his parents. "I love her and who she is, but at the same time, we do have concerns. We have, sometimes, a lot of conflict, and neither one of us are really, you know, sure that God wants us to get married."
Like Kelly Jo said, communication is the key to a successful relationship, so even though Ashley and Nathan are recognizing some differences they have together, they also have clearly mastered one of the cornerstones for success: honest, open conversation.
"I am so proud of y'all," Kelly Jo told Ashley and Nathan. "It's obvious — you're sitting here holding hands — it's obvious that you have feelings for each other and, I mean, you're discovering something about relationships that everybody has to discover. There are times that you rub each other the wrong way."
She reassured them that they would figure it out either way. "We want the best for both of you. We love you."
Will these two get married? Who knows.
Even they admitted they don't know at this point in their relationship. But the fact that they are talking so openly with one another makes it clear that they are both going to end up in happy, healthy relationships even if it isn't with one another at the end of the day.
Nathan is only 22 years old, after all. He still has plenty of time to explore relationships and what the right path is for himself and same with Ashley.
It's hard as a spectator to give my opinion on whether these two should stay together or not. They really didn't get into the details of their differences. But in my opinion, part of dating is learning your likes and dislikes, and discovering what makes someone compatible as a life partner. If this doesn't work for the two of them, I think they'll both be able to learn and move forward with a better understanding of what will make a suitable life partner for each of them.
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