What Happened To Dating?

This is a new project that I am working on with Paula Morris.  Please check out the first article and feel free to comment!


What Happened To DATING?
I guess it would be extremely appropriate for me to define dating before I continue.  In my opinion, dating is how you get to know someone with whom you think you may be interested in pursuing a relationship.  Dating used to be the initial phase and was followed by exclusivity (becoming monogamous).  Then “talking” replaced “dating” and dating became exclusive.
Enough of the history lesson!  Nowadays, there is not much dating going on. People are going from hello to hookup!  It is amazing how little people may know about their sex partners.  The numbers of one-night stands that occur these days are exponentially higher simply because some people don’t know enough about their partner before sexual contact.  Now, I may be old fashioned, but I when I was dating, I wanted to know enough about a girl to make sure she had been a girl her whole life.  I mean, at least tell me your last name.  Show me some baby pictures or something!
Dating was an art form.  In most cases, a man had to formulate his “rap” to approach a woman who probably already knew whether she was impressed with him or not.  Regardless of how she felt, he was allowed to pursue and validate the things he said as truth.  This gave a woman the chance to prove the man to be Prince Charming or just another tired brother.
The fact is that because things can “go down” so quickly after two consenting adults meet, there is no time or reason for dating.  We have put the cart before the horse.  Now that we have entered the most private and precious part of someone’s life we have to backtrack and get to know him/her or completely leave him/her alone.  No wonder our relationships are so dysfunctional.
Another reason for the dysfunction is we haven’t been taught to date. Girls are taught how to land a guy to marry and guys are taught just the opposite. There is a huge gap in the education of our youth about how to have a successful relationship.  Where are the classes on that?
What happened to dating? It went out of style with parachute pants. If you are a woman and you want to date around “You’re a hoe”. If you’re a man and you want to date around “You’re a confirmed bachelor”. Now what’s wrong with this picture? The double standard rises up!! Ladies, there is nothing wrong with dating more than one man at a time. I don’t understand why women think there is something wrong with that. Now, clearly I am not saying it’s a good idea to have sex with all of them. That is not a good idea. But dating is a lost art. And I think we need to find it!
If the man isn’t committed to you, why the heck are you committed to him? Take the time to get to know more than one person. It’s not a sin or against the law. Dating should be fun and  it shouldn’t be a hassle. The best way to get to know a person is to date.
Let me caution you as Brian has: Sex changes every relationship. So before you complicate a relationship slow down and get to know the person first. There is no reason to make life harder.
In some ways, society has placed this pressure on women that they must be married by 25 or 30. Many marriages have ended because they did not take the time to get to know the person they were marrying. The divorce rate is high enough, let’s not add to it. Let’s take the time to get to know someone. Who knows? It might be fun!
Brian J. T. Watts is an educational consultant and an administrator.  He is the principal of an elementary school in Nashville and a public speaker who has spoken for youth, singles, married couples and mixed audiences.