unhappy-woman-on-a-date

Perusing the internet searching for a topic for this week’s blog I found a lot of the topics were all about the same thing. I think that most blog sites are always trying to convince people that something is missing or something went away that used to be here. Now at times they could be talking about, where did all the real men/women go? Or they can talk to you about how you can get something back that you had a long time ago? The funny thing is most of the posts are never really forward looking, they’re all retrospective.

The one blog that kept coming up at almost every site I landed on was something about why we need to rekindle dating and avoid hookup culture. (As a side note, it seems that anything that becomes a trend nowadays is suddenly a culture.) As I read these articles about hookup culture and how it’s ruining dating, relationships and marriage, I was really confused as to how that could happen. I mean seriously, how in the world can two people who choose sleep together with no strings attached or in an unconventional relationship really affect the ENTIRE dating, relationships and marriage scene.

The truth is, they can’t. The real reason why those articles exist is because from a macro perspective it is to create a dating environment that is easier to navigate so people can find love easier. While that sounds good or beneficial, it’s actually silly. One thing I’ve always believed about life is that it’s not supposed to be easy.

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The other thing worth noting is that people really do not have any legitimate reason for why people need to date. They say that people should learn things about each other organically or the traditional route. It should be noted that just about everything in our world is always better today than it was in the past. That’s called progression and evolution; it’s also a scientific fact. People will tell you that when our grandparents were dating it was a certain way. I try to tell them that my grandparents were dating at a time when domestic violence was overlooked and women were forced to stay in horrible marriages or risk poverty and shaming. I’ll air on the side of thinking that we’re a bit more forward thinking in 2014.

So yeah, there’s no real legitimate reason for why people need to rekindle dating. That led me to seriously ask the question, do we need to date anymore?

Let’s define dating. Dating isn’t two people going to dinner; that’s called going to dinner. Dating isn’t two people taking a yoga class; that’s called taking a yoga class. Dating isn’t two people going to the movies; that’s called going to the movies. Dating is… dating is… dating is like adult entertainment, I can’t tell you what it is but you know it when you see it. All those things I mentioned were just activities but if you put them together and add pressure then it’s sort of like what dating is.

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Dating is a good way to get to know someone and figure out if you guys will be compatible. Dating will tell you if you share similar interests, viewpoints, and moral value systems. Yeah about that, fortunately for us in 2014 we can find most of all that information out online before we even meet a person. Simply by friending/following someone on Facebook and other social media platforms you can find out a lot about a person.

The other is that by dating it will give a couple the chance to actually have a conversation. Funny enough, in the last twenty years they invented cell phones which have the ability to transmit voice signals distances further than could be heard in your normal hearing range.They also have the ability to text and chat messages which makes it easier to communicate more frequently without a large impact on your schedule.

The last is that dating will make sure that you pace yourself in your relationship. It’s another fallacy, our society is obsessed with getting everything faster, more efficiently, and better. Why would you suggest that we slow down finding love? That goes against everything that evolution has taught us. If the goal is to find love and be happy, shouldn’t you want that as soon as possible?

I hope you’re starting to see that dating is really just an archaic form of courtship that suggests in the last 500 years or whenever marriages stopped being arranged we couldn’t figure out a better way to get to know a person and evaluate their ability to be our partner.

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I hope you’re starting to see that dating is also a form of courtship that is akin to doing a mating dance in the wild. It has no real purpose or use but we do it because it’s the traditional thing to do before we get in a relationship. It is as if we haven’t spent the last 50 years breaking down gender dynamics while replacing chivalry* with mutual respect for each other.

* The only reason I starred “chivalry” is because I’m defining it as the mindset that a man is going to show you how strong and wealthy he is, wisk you away to be his subservient wife for the rest of your life and you’ll live happily ever after. Doing nice things for a woman is still the right thing to do.

Here’s the thing, nobody is going to stop dating. It will never happen in a million years. We just need to understand that we don’t need to date. We want to date. It’s not required and it really doesn’t provide us anything that we couldn’t obtain through other channels. It’s just a preference and that’s a good way to describe it.

Then, we can stop slut shaming all the people who believe in this so called “hookup culture.”

– Dr. J