One of the main challenges with dating practices nowadays is that young people lack knowledge of what dating is and its purpose. Even in the advanced cultures where this has been practiced for centuries with parents handing it down to their posterity, there are indications that this important knowledge is either lacking or is being discounted.
For lack of knowledge, my people perish, said the good book. Nowhere is this word of wisdom more apt than in the dating activities and behaviors of people today.
There is a meaning for dating in the relationship scheme. Dating has purpose. There are activities appropriate to dating. Watching people date today, one sees a prevalence of purposeless dating, meaningless dating and a high proportion of inappropriate activities associated to dating. This is more worrying as even older adults, people expected to know better, people who have been hurt before, those who should be showing the light, are still dating foolishly. The blundering is so alarming that younger people are now so confused and are asking, “What is dating and how can we date appropriately”? In other words, they are aware that what is going on today in the name of dating is either clearly wrong or appears confusing.
Dating is a beautiful game. It is also a critical preliminary step to one of the most wonderful experiences of life – the marriage relationship. As a game, there are rules. Those who would win the game must play by the rules, otherwise, the referee would not only disallow their win, they may also be penalized.
One of the most straight to the point definition of dating is meeting. The Wikipedia (online encyclopedia) defines dating as a form of courtship, that may include any social activity undertaken by, typically, two persons with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. The word refers to the act of meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity.
The purpose of dating is extractable from its meaning to meet someone of the opposite sex with the aim of assessing the other person’s suitability as a partner in an intimate relationship or as a spouse. So we can take from the Wikipedia purpose-laden definition the fact that dating is only a form of courtship. It is not marriage. Love is not involved. It is a get to know you meeting.
At the core of the dating is socialization. Relationships usually involve more than one person. The world is created for men and women. There are also charges from the Creator to keep one another company and to multiply and replenish the earth. The male and female genders grow up to find that they are different from each other. The first impulse of man is to be shy of unfamiliar presence. Dating is the ice breaker in getting the men and women to begin their relationship journey to be able to provide companionship and do the work of procreation as commanded by the Creator.
From the definition, we can also establish what we need to be doing during dating. The appropriate dating activities include meeting and engaging in some mutually agreed upon social activity. Again, the activities recommended for dating has ouster clause for the commonly observed inappropriate dating activities of today such as sexual intercourse, kissing, necking, and lavish spending especially on the girl. Some girls and women also engage in lavish spending most times to their detriment as the men usually feel emasculated by having the women pay their bills. This is the case even for gold-digging men in relationships with their victims.
Even by the Wikipedia definition which is considerably generous in allowances, there is still no connection with sex in dating. There is no love mentioned. There is no need to pressure a girl or a boy to have sex as a proof of love or anything for that matter.
Some mutually agreeable social activities that can be engaged in during dating include but not limited to the following:
* Attending religious activities together where it is allowed in your religion
* Attending combined young men and young men mutual together
* Attending school classes, activities and programmes together
* Having dinner at home if residing with parents (if not residing with parents, please eat together at public restaurants and anyone of you can pay the bill)
* Attending public events together (young single adult conferences, etc)
* Dating in groups with other activities and programmes involved
* Do not stay alone together
* Keep talking while on a date (if you stop talking and still remain together, you will start feeling and may find yourselves in awkward situations.)
* It is perfectly okay to run away if you see that you have started feeling or your partner has started touching you and breathing heavily
* It is more appropriate to give a dating partner a dirty slap than to have your virtue violated and that’s another good time to do the dating activity of running (lol).
* Ask questions about everything – marriage, family, number of children, extended family, cities and countries where you would like to settle, finance, work, schooling for children, etc. Asking questions would make you appear witty and interesting.