So as I mentioned in my last blog post I attended what we Adventists call Camp Meeting. For reasons of time constraints, I shall delve into the Jewish background details, but the youth (and I often fall in this category) had a speaker who talked about dating versus courtship.
To start with, he was rather old school Christian in his approach. And I like that. In my honest opinion, I think life would be so much easier if we were more simple in the what we ate and how we dressed and what forms of recreation we indulged. I’m a reader and writer. I hope I won’t have a TV in my living room. I hope to have at east one meal eaten together with the all the family chessmen (and women) present. I’d like to cook and clean my own home and nurse my child(ren) for at least 2 years. I also think dating has a huge downside.
That’s not to say that it will all work out as I have reported it so nicely upstairs. I just think it’s nice to dream and set goals. I’ve read quite a few articles and books on relationships, dating, sex, men and women, temperaments, etc. But I also have my own opinions on some things. Dating is that thing that most of us do when someone gives us the “tingles” and we’re single and YOLO is the funkiest new mantra the 21st Century could ever bring forth. Yes, yes, I’m stretching it. But Dating allows us to test the waters and feel validated – a consolation for some of us boys and girls who need to be reminded that we still have lots of shelf life left in us.
But, I think dating also sets the stage for something more. Since you’d likely only date someone you find attractive, and all basic life processes are progressive (in spite of the fact that Charles Darwin kinda stretched that truth too thin), then dating means there’s an opportunity to explore sexual attraction and the packages that come with it. So you tell me what it means for a hormonal teen to have singled out and exclusively focused their energies on someone of the opposite sex whom they find, funny, good looking, intelligent, favourably mannered, etc. Then add to that that there’s the likelihood that marriage is the farthest thing from your mind when you are 16. Unless you’ve been doused in endless hours of romantic comedies, chick flicks and soap operas.
So what now? I think sexual energy is just that. Energy. Use it in the field kicking footballs, running around a track, boucing a basketball on the court or playing tennis. And since we all want to figure out our neighbouring sub-species, hang out in a crowd, make noise, get silly, develop a crush for a few weeks, tell a friend, get over it and move on. Because in my opinion, unless you’re thinking along the lines of “for the rest of my life”, dating is a messy emotionally exhausting, life changing (and not always in a good way), unnecessary part of growing up before one is actually an adult in their brain (as opposed to simple amassing twenty and one years).
Meanwhile, learn yourself and your immediate environment before your personal space is invaded and taken over by this new ninja you adore, but also can’t stand half the time you’re in co-existence.